Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA has announced funding of £1.5 million to support individuals and organisations in the Arts Sector in response to Covid-19.
‘The Creative Support Fund’, has been created to provide financial support for a diverse range of performing artists and community art organisations.
Individual artists and creative practitioners, who have lost their work as a result of Covid-19, can apply for funding of up to £5,000 to take new and innovative approaches in continuing to provide their talents and services to audiences, particularly those facing barriers to the arts.
Small and medium sized organisations will be able to apply for maximum funding of £25,000 to help them develop new projects or programmes or re-arrange events which have had to be cancelled during the Covid-19 period.
Minister Hargey said: “These two programmes will provide a significant and welcome source of assistance to individuals and organisations in the Arts Sector, which plays a crucial role in our economy and contributes greatly to the mental wellbeing of our communities.
“As a result of this pandemic they do not have opportunities to work in their usual way that is why I am pleased to be able to support them through this ‘Creative Support Fund’. It will provide them with the means to find different ways of engaging with audiences across a range of platforms and ensure arts services are not withdrawn from the public at this crucial time.”
The Creative Support Fund will be administered by the Arts Council NI who are contributing £500,000 of Lottery Funding to the initiative. The Individual Artists and Creative Practitioners Programme will be available immediately. To find out more about the criteria and to apply visit www.artscouncil-ni.org
The Minister concluded: “The Arts Sector is facing many barriers, this fund will offer equality of opportunity and access for a broad range of people. I have asked my Department to continue to do everything possible to provide support and assistance to individuals and groups in the Arts Sector at this time. I am also grateful to the Arts Council for working with my Department in responding to the needs of the Arts Sector.”