Arts Council awards over £1m of National Lottery funding to support arts organisations
FORTY-TWO arts organisations across Northern Ireland are set to receive over £1 million of Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery funding to bring a series of high-quality arts projects to people living through the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Lottery Project Funding will be used to support the development and creation of year round arts activities and events, many of which will be online and socially distanced, through literature, drama, visual arts, music and community programming.
Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:
“Thanks to National Lottery players, over £1m of arts funding will directly benefit communities across Northern Ireland. This vital source of funding will once again allow our core arts organisations to continue their work this year, reaching out to the hearts of towns and cities across Northern Ireland, providing quality arts experiences and arts programming for all.
“We are living in the most challenging of times but our arts organisations remain committed, creative and resilient in their approach. Many are now looking at moving tuition, performances and activities online, while others are exploring other ways to continue their work within current government guidelines.
“Our key arts organisations have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This funding will provide some level of stability and continuity for the year ahead but there is still much to do if we are to ensure the survival of this important sector into the future.”
Today’s announcement, while welcome news, is set against a backdrop of a massive loss of income by arts organisations, estimated to be at least £17.5 million this year alone, and has had a devastating impact on all who work within the sector.
This year the Arts Council’s Lottery application process was limited to previous recipients who provide a year round programme of activities and which are considered to be a core part of the arts infrastructure in Northern Ireland. Among the 42 successful applicants offered Lottery Project Funding are:
C21 Theatre Company
C21 will use their Lottery Project Funding to create a Reminiscence Project to take into nursing and care homes in Northern Ireland. Five short theatrical films will be made on different themes, one per week over five weeks. The films will address the following themes: home, community, school days, work and going out. These will then be broadcast over Youtube to be watched in care homes. Other wraparound elements will include reminiscence boxes to complement the films, and reminiscence workshops.
CRAIC Theatre and Arts Centre, Coalisland
CRAIC Theatre and Arts Centre offer a yearlong programme of high quality arts opportunities, including drama, music and dance. Thanks to support through the Arts Council’s Lottery Project Funding, this year’s plans include a drama academy, annual showcase performances and a summer drama programme. Despite the current restrictions, CRAIC will endeavour to reach out using virtual platforms to provide a safe and welcoming environment for young people to engage with activities.
Armagh Pipers Club has been at the forefront of traditional music education since its foundation in 1966. They deliver an annual programme of classes for students who come from far and wide to attend. During the Covid-19 crisis teaching has moved online. Their Lottery Project award from the Arts Council will allow this valuable work to continue in line with government guidance benefiting hundreds of students.
City of Derry International Choral Festival
Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic this year’s City of Derry International Choral Festival will now be held almost entirely online. With Funding from the Arts Council’s Lottery Project funding, the programme will include performances from leading choral and a capella ensembles broadcast via Facebook, newly commissioned work, socially distanced events, panel discussions and talks.