Fab fourteen pick up funding awards for deaf and disabled artists
Fourteen deaf and disabled artists from Northern Ireland have been announced as recipients of the iDA (Individual Disabled/Deaf Artists) scheme, a dedicated arts stream delivered through the Arts & Disability Forum (ADF) and funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, which allows them to develop their professional artistic careers.
Awards under the iDA scheme are made annually to Deaf and disabled artists working in a range of art forms. The bursaries, funded through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, will allow each artist to produce a new creative work or receive training or professional mentoring. The 2016 artists include eight visual artists, two theatre practitioners, one dance artist, a poet and two musicians. The artists have impairments ranging from physical disability, visual impairment, mental-ill health and learning difficulties.
Chris Ledger, Chief Executive, Arts and Disability Forum, commented;
“Disabled and deaf people can have fruitful and successful careers in the arts and the grant scheme recognises this and supports artists to develop work of extremely high artistic merit. The scheme is open to artists in all artforms and with all types of disability including unseen conditions such as diabetes, dyslexia, epilepsy and mental health conditions.”
Fionnuala Walsh, Head of Participatory Arts, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added: “Congratulations to all fourteen artists. These grants are given in recognition of the artists’ work to date and to provide them with the necessary support to take their careers to the next level. The Arts Council is pleased to support this important programme, which encourages the creation of new, high-quality artistic work and addresses the need for disabled and Deaf artists to have on-going training and skills development within the sector.”
Through the ADF’s support, deaf and disabled artists have developed unique artwork of extremely high artistic quality, some progressing to a level where they have received international recognition. The iDA scheme’s purpose is to identify, encourage and nurture individual talent amongst disabled practitioners.
The iDA scheme is a dedicated grant system for individual disabled artists, managed by the Arts & Disability Forum on behalf of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The ADF has managed grant schemes for disabled/deaf artists for around 16 years now, including the Arts & Disability Awards Ireland scheme, which operated on a cross-border basis and won a cross-border co-operation award. Through the ADF’s support, disabled and deaf artists have developed unique artwork of extremely high artistic quality, some progressing to a level where international recognition is won. The funding’s purpose is to identify, encourage and nurture individual talent amongst disabled and deaf practitioners. It is open to disabled/deaf artists living in Northern Ireland. Artists can apply for up to £5,000. Visit www.adf.ie
About the artists
• Alice Burns, from Portavogie, is a visual artist who will use this funding award to attend training in Germany to develop her glass work skills
• Paula Clarke, from Belfast, is a theatre practioner who will use her funding award for mentoring and also to visit Deaffest, the UK’s leading Deaf-led film and arts festival, which celebrates the talents of Deaf filmmakers and artists from all over the world, with the intention of growing her own skills and provision of Deaf Theatre in Northern Ireland
• Patricia Downey, from Belfast, is a theatre professional and writer who will use this funding award for a residency in Anam Cara and to purchase software to develop new scripts
• Stephanie Harrison, from Bangor, is a visual artist and printmaker who will use the funding award towards the purchase of IT equipment
• Charissa Martin, from Bangor, is a visual artist who will use this funding award to purchase a loom to make 3-D textile work
• Elaine McGinn, from Newtownards, is a maker of life art and will use this funding award to purchase IT and camera equipment
• Shauna McGowan, Belfast, is a visual artist who will use this funding for mentoring and to develop leather work skills
• Bill McKnight, from Belfast, is a poet who will use this funding to digitise his work by purchasing a laptop
• Nikki McLaughlin, Newtownabbey, is a dancer and physical theatre performer who will use this funding award to develop her skills through mentoring
• Mark Patty, from Belfast, is a DJ who will use the funding award to buy specialist computer equipment and training
• George Robb, from East Belfast, is a visual artist who will use this funding award to develop his skills with further photography training
• Alan Sheeran, from Belfast, is a musician and songwriter who will use this funding award for mentoring support and to purchase software with the aim of producing an EP
• Joel Simon, from Belfast, is an experienced animator who will use this funding award to develop skills in oil painting and an exhibition of work
• Elvin Simpson, from Ballymoney, is a visual artist and musician, who will use this funding award to create an installation combining visual art and music