Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555

Funding for Individuals
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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 

  • 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