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Good news for Northern Ireland arts sector as 150 more people to benefit from emergency fund


Roisin McDonough

Roisin McDonough

Roisin McDonough

A further 150 artists in Northern Ireland will benefit from an emergency fund, it has been revealed.

The announcement by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland is in addition to the 88 award offers made in May.

The Arts Council and Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey unveiled details for the £500,000 Artists Emergency Programme in April.

The scheme was set up to support artists and performers whose income has been badly hit by the pandemic.

Within two weeks, over 300 applications were received, totalling almost £1.4m, and the scheme was temporarily closed because of the high demand.

Now an additional £50,000 Arts Council National Lottery funding has been made available and £25,000 from the Department for Communities.

This brings the total amount now awarded through the scheme to £575,000.

Those offered funding include writers, composers, theatre practitioners, community artists and visual artists. Each will receive grants of up to £3,000.

Roisin McDonough, Arts Council chief executive, said: "Today's announcement will be welcome news for 150 more artists who will now be able start developing new work thanks to the Artists Emergency Programme.

"Fifty-eight of these awards are going to artists who have never received Arts Council support before and we are very excited about some of the fantastic projects which they have planned for the coming months."

She added: "Like many other sectors of society, our creative community has been badly hit by the pandemic but it is our hope that as a result of the Artists Emergency Programme communities across Northern Ireland will once again be able to come together to celebrate the uplifting power of the arts."

Belfast Telegraph