Arts Council of Northern Ireland Announces Emergency Fund for Artists

Arts Council of Northern Ireland Announces Emergency Fund for Artists

Freelance artists, creative practitioners and performers can apply for grants of up to £5,000.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland this week (27 April) announced a new emergency fund to support artists during the pandemic. The Artists Emergency Programme, worth £500,000, offers freelance artists and practitioners of all art forms the opportunity to apply for grants of up to £5,000. 

Proposals that benefit artists who are facing financial difficulties, that plan to reach audiences through digital performances, and that aim to reach communities without direct access to the arts will be prioritised. 

In addition, curators, editors, directors, producers and those with other similar roles are also invited to apply. The fund is open for applications now and will be assessed on a rolling basis. 

The Artists Emergency Programme is one part of a  £1.5m funding package recently announced by Minister for Communities Deirdre Hargey to support the arts and culture community during the pandemic. An Organisations Emergency Programme will also open in May and is aimed at supporting arts organisations with grants of up to £25,000. 

Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said:

We welcome the Minister’s announcement of new funding to support the arts and culture sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic and we hope to allocate that as quickly as possible. The Artists Emergency Programme we opened … forms an important strand of the Minister’s package; one that targets our individual artists who are in urgent need at this time. Our artists are among the most creative, flexible and inventive members of our society and many are already finding brilliant, imaginative and innovative ways to deliver their art, but the impact of the pandemic on their working lives has been both severe and immediate.

For further information on the fund, visit

Published on 29 April 2020

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