Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555 info@artscouncil-ni.org

Funding for Organisations
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Organisations Emergency Programme

Sorry, this scheme is closed. If you need help please contact us

The Arts Council has co-designed this emergency support programme which reflects the Minister’s priorities with financial support from the Department for Communities to support the wider cultural sector.

The primary objective of the programme is to support the continuance of creative work AND assist operational costs where necessary.  The programme seeks to assist small to medium scale organisations to explore ways of working that will help them to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances. It will also aim to assist organisations most in need due to loss of income or operational capacity up to 31 March 2021, enabling them to continue to develop and/or deliver activities.

Given the pressures across the cultural sector we would urge you to apply ONLY if your existing income or grant from public and other sources is not sufficient to ensure your stabilisation during the crisis.
 
This programme prioritises applications that:

  • Can demonstrate loss of income as a direct result of COVID-19 through records or estimates of loss (evidence will be required so please keep a record).
  • Can demonstrate urgent operational costs not met by existing income, grant aid or other forms of assistance; these could include overheads and the cost of being operational until 31 March 2021.

AND

Seek to explore ways of working that will help them to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances. This could include a period of research, development and/or delivery of creative activity / project by 31 March 2021.

Who can apply?

The Arts Council welcomes applications from Arts or Cultural organisations whose primary work is in the following art form or cultural areas. Arts Organisation need to have a proven track record of quality work and public engagement supported by public funding in one of the last three financial years:

•  Dance
•  Drama
•  Literature
•  Music and Opera
•  Traditional Arts
•  Visual Arts
•  Festivals
•  Participatory Arts
•  Cross Art form
•  Venues

Applications from Accredited Museums and Independent Libraries whose work focuses on delivering greater access to culture and heritage, including enhancing understanding and interpretation. In particular, we welcome applications from organisations which deliver work in relation to

•  Public engagement activities
•  Audience development programmes (events, exhibitions, workshops, talks and online initiatives)

Who Cannot Apply?

•  Individuals including sole traders
•  Broadcasters (excluding community service broadcasters)
•  Central Government Departments
•  Local authorities
•  Unaccredited Museums
•  Libraries within Libraries NI
•  Arts Organisations who cannot evidence some form of public funding in the past three years.
•  Proposals which, before the end of Social Distancing, entail public gathering or conventional audience situations; or otherwise breach social distancing and other COVID-19 guidelines.

How to apply?

Interested eligible organisations must submit the following evidence by email to artgrants@artscouncil-ni.org by the closing date of 4pm on Friday 12 June 2020.

•  Completed application form
•  Constitution and/or Memorandum and Articles of Association (if not uploaded to the Government Funders Database)
•  Most recent set of accounts (if not uploaded to the Government Funders Database)
•  CVs or information on artist/s, groups, technical staff and other personnel proposed to employ as part of the proposal
•  A financial budget and cash flow for the financial year end 2020/21 (normally year ending 31 March 2021)
•  A breakdown of costs over £1,000 (if applicable)
•  Evidence of loss of income from COVID-19, examples may include reduced ticket sales due to prior planned activity having to be cancelled due to COVID-19, loss of sponsorship etc
•  Equality Monitoring Information – a template for your completion is available below.

When submitting your application by email, please clearly identify in the subject line, the programme to which the application relates – Organisations Emergency Programme.

Guidance Notes
Application Form
Equality Monitoring Template
FAQs
Funding for Organisations
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Small Grants Programme

This scheme is open. Deadline for applications: Ongoing
The maximum award available is £10,000

A sample application form and set of guidance notes for the Small Grants Programme is available below.  All applicants should read and familiarize themselves with the guidance notes before starting an online application. 

The Arts Council has designed this programme to encourage you to develop and deliver your ideas, linked to your artistic needs and to your future plans. 

The aim of this programme is to assist organisations to deliver arts projects which contribute to the growth of arts in the community for new and existing audiences and which reflect the diversity of Northern Ireland’s society and culture.

We want to support activities which benefit the people of Northern Ireland or that help arts organisations in Northern Ireland carry out their work. All applications should fit within the objectives stated in the Council’s five year plan and within its artform policies. 

Note: It is the case that the Council’s programmes, priorities and criteria can change. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are using the most up to date guidance notes and application forms. If you are thinking of making an application please check the Council’s website to make sure that you are using the current guidance notes.

Before making an application it is essential that you read the Guidance Notes

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from the widest possible range of organisations. You will be required to provide proof that you have a legal constitution.

•  Registered charities and other organisations which cannot distribute profits
•  Groups of organisations working together to deliver specific projects
•  formally constituted parent-teacher associations
 

Who Cannot Apply?

•  Organisations currently in receipt of Arts Council funding from its Annual Funding or Lottery Project Funding programmes
•  Individuals or Sole traders
•  Commercial trading companies
•  Companies that exist to distribute a profit
•  Statutory authorities or organisations governed by statutory authorities i.e. ELB schools
 

How to apply?

You MUST apply online. We will not accept applications in hard copy, by email or by fax.

Online applications may be edited, saved and returned to at any time until you submit.  You MUST submit ALL mandatory enclosures associated with the application at the same time, ie. at the point at which you submit your online application.   These enclosures are listed within the online application and also in the sample application document (available for download on our website). 

The online application allows you to upload and attach the necessary enclosures to your application. All such documents must be in Word, Excel or pdf format.  We cannot accept documents in other formats.   Total size of documents should not exceed 25 Mb.

All of the information you provide will be held on computer.  This information will be used for the administration of applications and grants, for producing statistics and information on successful applicants.  Remember to keep a copy of the completed form and enclosures for your own records.
 

Guidance Notes and FAQs
Sample Application Form
Sample Equal Opportunities Policy
End of Project Report Form
Event confirmation template
Equality of Opportunity and Good Relations Form

Deadline for Applications

This is a rolling programme.

Funding for Individuals
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Support for the Individual Artist Programme

This scheme is open. Deadline for applications: Friday 24th July 2020 at 4pm

All applications to the programme below must be for projects that will take place between 14 September 2020 and 31 August 2021.

What can you apply for?

  • Project assistance
  • Travel grants
  • Residencies

When planning your project please give careful consideration to the feasibility, timing and presentation of your project given restrictions due to Covid-19.

Who can apply?

Artists of all disciplines and in all types of working practice, who

(a) have made a contribution to artistic activities in Northern Ireland for a minimum period of one year within the last five years.

In a limited number of cases, individual technical staff/administrators of professional artistic companies may also be eligible.

Due to the exceptional circumstances this year, applications are welcomed from artists who are currently in receipt of Arts Council’s support through its existing Support for Individual Artists Programme.

Please note however, that individuals are unable to hold two awards concurrently. Should currently funded SIAP individual artists wish to submit an application, you must ensure that the project for which you apply does not start until your current project is completed, eg if your current award is due to complete on 31 October 2020, your proposed project must start later, 1 November 2020. Please note that all projects are to complete by 31 August 2021. Projects may also complete before 31 August 2021.

Who cannot apply?

Applicants who have broken the conditions of any previous award within the previous 4 years (taken from the date of the letter of offer) and applicants who remain in breach of any previous letters of offer.

How to apply?

Please consult the programme guidance notes below before making an application. All applications must be completed online.

SIAP Guidance Notes
Sample Application

Deadline for Applications

The deadline for applications is Friday 24th July 2020 at 4pm
Decisions will be made by Monday 14th September 2020

Funding for Individuals
View All Programmes

Artists Emergency Programme

Sorry, this scheme is closed. If you need help please contact us
Due to the high level of demand, this programme has been temporarily closed until further notice. 

Thank you to everyone who submitted an application. The response to date is significant; we received over 300 applications requesting over £1.2m of funding. The Arts Council is currently moderating round 1 of eligible applications received and hopes to respond to all requests within a two to four-weeks timeframe.

The second round of AEP applications will be assessed before the end of May. The Arts Council continues to work with Minister Hargey to determine the level of need within the sector and we aim to offer as much support as possible to individual artists and creative practitioners at this stressful time.

The Arts Council has designed this programme to support individual artists, creative practitioners and performers

There are two primary objectives of the programme

  • to support proposals for the research, design and future presentation of specific showcases, performance(s) and/or other forms of public presentation aimed at groups and communities otherwise facing barriers to the arts on a range of platforms
  • to engage the arts sector in employment by providing individual artists, creative practitioners and performers with financial support to create work and make a vital contribution to the well-being of communities.

There is an expectation that funding from the Scheme will lead in the future to some form of meaningful public engagement and/or other forms of public access opportunity, in large or small scale.

This programme prioritises applications that:

  • Engage with groups, participants and audiences otherwise without easy access to or participation in the arts
  • Benefit individual artists, creative practitioners and performers who are currently in difficulties due to work restrictions imposed by COVID-19 protocols
  • Propose new or newly-imagined projects as interventions of high artistic quality
  • Are planned to reach significant audiences through ‘live’, ‘as live’ or recorded digital performance, publication, broadcast, reading, recording, and/or other audience channels
  • Provide for an extended life and/or extended public reach and impact for the work or project that has been created.

 

Who can apply?

The Arts Council welcomes Expressions of Interest from freelance individual artists and creative practitioners and performers of all disciplines, genres, skills and practice. Applicant artists, creative practitioners and performers can also choose to work with arts organisations on projects where the leaders and principal beneficiaries are individual artists, creative practitioners or performers.

In addition to practicing individual artists, creative practitioners and performers as freelancers, included in the call are those who work in the arts as curators, editors, directors, creative producers, originators, among other roles. Each potential applicant should seek to evidence their eligibility for the scheme as an active creative.

Individual artists, creative practitioners and performers who have proven successful models of practice can make proposals based on adaptations or variations of such work.

Who Cannot Apply?

• Constituted organisations/companies
• Broadcasters (excluding community service broadcasters)
• Central Government Departments.
• Local authorities etc
• Those who have not made a contribution to artistic activities in Northern Ireland for a minimum period of one year within the last five years.
• Applicants who have broken the conditions of any previous award within the previous 4 years (taken from the date of the letter of offer) and applicants who remain in breach of any previous letters of offer.

How to apply?

Interested eligible artists must submit the following by email to artgrants@artscouncil-ni.org 

  • Completed Expression of Interest form
  • Your CV
  • CVs of other artists, creative practitioners and performers involved, if any
  • A budget outline
  • Previous experience of delivering work for public benefit would be important to evidence.
  • Equality & Monitoring Information – a template for your completion is available below.

When submitting your Expression of Interest by email, please clearly identify in the subject line, the programme to which the Expression of Interest relates.

Guidance Notes
Expression of Interest Form
Equality Monitoring Form
Child-Young People-Adults at Risk Policy Statement
FAQs
Funding for Individuals
View All Programmes

The Rosemary James Memorial Trust Award

Sorry, this scheme is closed. If you need help please contact us
The published closing and decision dates are being kept under review, due to current circumstances relating to COVID-19.
In light of the current circumstances relating to COVID-19 we would like to offer those who have difficulty posting applications at this time to email your application to us before the closing date of 4pm on Friday 24 April 2020.

Please send to rstephenson@artscouncil-ni.org

Rosemary (Rosy) James died in 2010, having bequeathed over £500,000 to establish an annual bursary in her name to help artists, designers and makers to pursue their careers by developing a new body of work. ‘The Rosemary James Bursary’ will be administered by the Arts Council on behalf of the Rosemary James Trust. The value of the annual award is up to £15,000

Who can apply?

This unique award is directed at makers steeped in practice using materials singly or in combination. Such materials might include fired clay or glass; fine or base metals; textiles using any kinds of applications; wood; plastics; paper or other materials not included in this list, where the emphasis is based upon the transformation of materials through the use of sustained practice towards a series of critical outcomes.

It aims to assist makers to investigate and develop a body of work which would otherwise be unaffordable.

The period of the award will culminate in an exhibition of work on public display in Northern Ireland.

How to apply?

In light of the current circumstances relating to COVID-19 we would like to offer those who have difficulty posting applications at this time to email your application to us before the closing date of 4pm on Friday 24 April 2020.

Please send to rstephenson@artscouncil-ni.org
Application form
Guidance notes

What can you apply for
The main thrust is to be directed towards the body of work but may also provide assistance towards

  • Travel abroad to pursue additional skills, training or research
  • Residencies/Master classes
  • Research (materials, technology, practices)
  • Collaboration with makers and artists in other disciplines

What you cannot apply for

  • Self-Commissioning or publishing costs
  • Prolonged study at centres of further and higher education
  • Work that forms part of under-graduate or post-graduate study or is intended to be assessed as part of an academic course
  • Work which forms part of your professional or academic employment.  This does not exclude those working in an academic institution or statutory body who are continuing to pursue their crafts practice
  • Study leading to a professional qualification
  • Applications to fund or establish websites
  • Applications relating to projects/commissions already in receipt of Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery funds
  • Applications relating to residencies or rent of premises at venues already in receipt of Arts Council funding (for example, residencies to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre).

Funding for Individuals
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Collection Acquisitions Open Submission Scheme

Sorry, this scheme is closed. If you need help please contact us

This scheme gives artists an opportunity to submit details of an artwork for consideration to be purchased for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Art Collection.

Arts Council of Northern Ireland recognises the importance of purchasing contemporary work as a vital support mechanism for artists.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s specific objectives with respect to acquisitions are to

  • support individual artists;
  • contribute to the development of visual arts practice in Northern Ireland;
  • develop a culture in which visual art is respected and appreciated;
  • foster knowledge and research;
  • ensure that contemporary visual arts are showcased; and,
  • stimulate the art market in Northern Ireland.

 

Who can apply?

Artists of all disciplines and in all types of working practice, who have made a contribution to artistic activities in Northern Ireland for a minimum period of one year within the last five years.

Artists from Northern Ireland who are living elsewhere will also be considered. In exceptional circumstances, artists who are not from Northern Ireland but who have made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Northern Ireland may be considered.

Who Cannot Apply?

Applicants who have had an artwork purchased or commissioned by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland within the previous 12 months.

Applicants who have broken the conditions of previous grant awards within the previous 4 years (taken from the date of the letter of offer).

How to apply?

The submission process will consist of an initial online application stage where artists can submit an application form and details of their work, including images or a digital video clip sample of the work to be considered. No original artworks should be submitted at the application stage.

An application can only be made via the online application system only. No applications will be accepted by post or by email. In addition to completing the online application form, applicants will be required to upload and attach a History of Artistic Practice document, an Artist Statement document, and images or a video clip of the artwork, prior to submission of the online application.

Once shortlisting has taken place, shortlisted artists will be asked to bring their work to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in Lisburn within 2 weeks, so that the acquisitions panel can see the original artwork, and confirm that it is in good condition and appropriate for purchase for the collection.  Successful artists will then be informed and can leave the works with us.   Any unsuccessful artists at that point would have to collect their work.

Guidance notes
Funding for Organisations
View All Programmes

Pilot Premium Payments Programme

Sorry, this scheme is closed. If you need help please contact us
This is a rolling programme so can be applied any time from Monday 6 January 2020 to Friday 13 March 2020

The Arts Council wants to ensure a wider and more diverse group of people have access to a high quality arts experience.

This pilot programme seeks to facilitate the engagement and inclusion of all Section 75 groups in funded arts activity. This includes: between persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation; between men and women generally; between persons with a disability and persons without; and between persons with dependants and persons without.

Aim:

  • To improve access to the arts for all Section 75 groups.

 

Objectives:

  • To increase engagement in the arts by each of the nine Section 75 categories
  • Support arts organisations diversify audiences / participants
  • Respond to project level need in a timely and systematic way, enabling engagement with existing or planned arts activity
  • Target small to medium sized arts organisations without dedicated capacity or resources to facilitate the engagement of Section 75 categories

 

We want to support activities which benefit the people of Northern Ireland or that help arts organisations in Northern Ireland carry out their work.

Who can apply?

The Premium Payment scheme provides funding of up to £5,000 to organisations in receipt of exchequer or lottery funding and regardless of the programme support was provided under.

Organisations are eligible for funding if their total income is less than £500,000 per annum.

Eligible organisations are encouraged to apply for funding to support the engagement of one or more Section 75 groups.

Organisations must ensure that they are able to complete the project(s) by 31 March 2020.

You will be required to provide proof with your expression of interest that you have a legal constitution.

Who Cannot Submit an Expression of Interest

• Individuals or Sole traders
• Commercial trading companies
• Companies that exist to distribute a profit
• Statutory authorities or organisations governed by statutory authorities i.e. ELB schools.

How to apply?

You can only apply to this programme by submitting an Expression of Interest.  A template is available to download below.

Expressions of interest (and supporting documentation) and be submitted by email to amckittrick@artscouncil-ni.org or by post for the attention of Andrea McKittrick, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Linen Hill House, 23 Linenhall Street, Lisburn, BT28 1FJ.

All expressions of interest can be submitted to the Arts Council from Monday 6th January 2020 up to Friday 13th March 2020.

As well as the Expression of Interest, available to download below, you are also required to submit the following essential documents:

• Your organisation’s Constitution and/or Memorandum and Articles of Association (if not previously stored in the Government Funding Database)

• CVs or information on artist/s, groups, technical staff, other personnel you propose to employ as part of the project

• Equality & Monitoring Information – a template for your completion is available below

Eligible Expressions of Interest will be considered by an arts development officer or head of. You will be notified of a decision within 2 weeks of submitting an eligible Expression of Interest.

If submitting your expression of interest by email, please clearly identify in the subject line, the programme to which the expression of interest relates.

If you decide to submit your expression of interest by post, please ensure that it is with by 4.00pm on Friday 13 March 2020.  Proof of postage is not admissible.

Guidance Notes
Expression of Interest form
Equality and Monitoring form
Equality of Opportunity & Good Relation Commitment
Safeguarding Policy Statement
Funding for Individuals
View All Programmes

Travel Awards

Sorry, this scheme is closed. If you need help please contact us
In light of current restrictions on travel due to Covid-19, the Travel Award scheme is currently suspended. The reopening of the scheme will be kept under review and this webpage will be updated when it reopens for applications.

The Travel Awards Scheme is a rolling programme. Applications must be received 4 weeks before the intended date of travel. 

These awards enable individual artists and established music groups (up to 4 members) to travel from Northern Ireland to develop their skills and expertise. Applicants must provide evidence that they have been invited by a host organisation in the country to which they intend to travel. 

Music Artists / Established music groups (ONLY) who have received an official invitation to perform at an international industry focused showcasing festival or conference in North America or Europe, should apply to the PRS Foundation International Showcase Fund e.g. SXSW, WOMEX, Folk Alliance International, Classical: Next, Jazz Ahead

Who can apply?

Individual artists, established music groups (up to 4 members) and arts administrators. Employees of statutory bodies are eligible to apply but they must prove that the funds which they are seeking are for work/costs which are not properly the concern of their employer and do not form part of their professional employment.

Established music groups applying to the scheme should submit a single application. Within the contact details section of the form, they should state the name of the group as well as the name of the primary contact to whom all correspondence will be addressed. Names of all band members should be stated in The History of Artistic Practice submitted with the application, which should be the history of artistic practice for the group as a whole. 

 

How to apply?

Please consult the programme guidance notes before submitting an application. 
Travel Awards Guidance Notes
Funding for Organisations
View All Programmes

Lottery Project Funding 2019-20

Sorry, this scheme is closed. If you need help please contact us

The aim of this programme is to assist organisations to deliver arts projects which contribute to the growth of arts in the community for new and existing audiences and which reflect the diversity of Northern Ireland’s society and culture.

We want to support activities which benefit the people of Northern Ireland or that help arts organisations in Northern Ireland carry out their work. 

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from the widest possible range of organisations and in particular from applicants whose projects benefit individuals categorised under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.  You will be required to provide proof that you have a legal constitution. 

  • Registered charities and other organisations which cannot distribute profits may apply for funds.
  • Local Authorities are eligible to apply but they are a low priority.
  • Commercial organisations can only apply for support if the project is primarily for the benefit of the public rather than their own commercial interests.
  • You do not have to be primarily an arts organisation, although the focus of the project must be on arts activities.
  • If your organisation has a limited membership, or is a school, college or university, you must show that the project will benefit the wider public.
  • Public sector agencies can apply for projects which are outside their statutory remit.
  • Groups of organisations (consortia) working together to deliver specific projects.
  • In most cases we expect the activity to take place in Northern Ireland.  However, organisations based outside Northern Ireland can apply where they can demonstrate significant benefit to the people of Northern Ireland.

How to apply?

You may only apply online. We will not accept applications in hard copy or by email or by fax.

Online Applications are open now.

Online applications may be edited, saved and returned up to the closing date. You MUST submit ALL mandatory enclosures associated with the application at the same time, ie. at the point at which you submit your online application.   These enclosures are listed within the online application.

The online application allows you to upload and attach the necessary enclosures to your application. All such documents must be in Word, Excel or pdf format.  We cannot accept documents in other formats. Total size of documents should not exceed 25 Mb.

Please ensure that you leave sufficient time to upload all documents to the system as there can be long delays as the closing deadline approaches and the system will shut down at 4.00 pm on the closing date.   If your complete application is not uploaded when the system closes, your application will not be accepted.

It is your responsibility to ensure that we receive the application form and documents by the closing time and date. 

All of the information you provide will be held on computer. This information will be used for the administration of applications and grants, for producing statistics and information on successful applicants.  Remember to keep a copy of the completed form and enclosures for your own records.

Please consult the programme Guidance Notes before completing and submitting an application to this programme.
LPF Guidance Notes
Lottery Project Funding Indicators
Instructions for uploading documents
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