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Arts awards for thirteen talented artists with disabilities from Northern Ireland

Thursday 16th March 2017 at 10am 0 Comments Arts & Disability , Visual Arts , Music & Opera , Drama , Dance

Pictured are 2017 iDA recipients, actress Luna Kalo, visual artist Shiro Masuyama, performance artist, Sinead O'Donnell and dancer, Nicola McLaughlin. Image: Pictured are 2017 iDA recipients, actress Luna Kalo, visual artist Shiro Masuyama, performance artist, Sinead O'Donnell and dancer, Nicola McLaughlin.

Thirteen artists with disabilities from Northern Ireland have been announced as recipients of the Arts & Disability Forum’s (ADF) Individual Disabled Artist (iDA) Award, funding awards worth up to £5000 each, supported by National Lottery funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.  

The iDA funding programme is a dedicated annual arts development programme, delivered through the Arts & Disability Forum, to enable deaf and disabled artists who are working in a range of art forms to develop their professional artistic careers.

The bursaries provide valuable opportunities for each artist to produce a new high-quality creative work, receive training or professional mentoring.  The 2017 artists include four visual artists, four literature and theatre artists, two musicians, a dancer, a performance artist and an artist working across multiple artforms.  The artists have impairments ranging from physical disability, visual impairment, mental illness and learning difficulties.

One of the awardees, Catherine Hatt, a singer-songwriter from Belfast, will use her funding award to create a digital story board script for a music video for her original song ‘Liban’, about the mermaid of Lough Neagh whilst Belfast actress Luna Kalo will travel to Hollywood for training ahead of her lead role in ‘Dessert for Three’ a contemporary theatre piece. 

Roger Courtney, Arts and Disability Forum, commented;

“The Arts & Disability Forum is delighted to support these thirteen artists through the iDA funding programme.  Disabled and deaf people can have fruitful and successful careers in the arts and the iDA programme recognises this and supports artists to develop work of extremely high artistic merit. The scheme is open to artists working in all artforms and with all types of disability.”

Lizzie Devlin, Community Arts Development Officer, 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.



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