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Arts Council opens £1.1m emergency funding programme for individuals working in the Creative Economy

Tuesday 4th August 2020 at 10am 0 Comments

Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín is pictured L-R with Country Music singer Cliona Hagan from Co Tyrone and Deirdre McKenna, a visual artist/curator and studio member of Flax Art Studios Belfast to launch the reopening of the £4m Creative Support Fund Image: Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín is pictured L-R with Country Music singer Cliona Hagan from Co Tyrone and Deirdre McKenna, a visual artist/curator and studio member of Flax Art Studios Belfast to launch the reopening of the £4m Creative Support Fund

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, in collaboration with Future Screens NI, today (Friday 31st July 2020) opened a new funding programme designed to support those working in the Creative Economy including freelancers, musicians, actors, artists and craft workers during the COVID-19 crisis. The Individuals Emergency Resilience Programme (IERP), worth £1m from the Department for Communities and an additional £100,000 from Future Screens NI, offers individuals the opportunity to apply for grants of £1,200, £3,000 or £5,000 each.

The IERP provides much needed financial support and employment, a lifeline to individuals working within the wider Creative Economy, at a time when essential elements of the arts sector have been decimated due to venue and gallery closures, festival and event cancellations and the disappearance of live audiences.  The IERP builds on the initial, Artist Emergency Programme (AEP), a fund that was opened by the Arts Council on 27th April 2020 and was heavily oversubscribed. 

This new funding programme is one element of the wider £4m funding package recently announced by Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín, Department for Communities, to support the arts, creative industries and cultural sector during the current pandemic. Further measures will be rolled out to organisations in the creative sector in the coming weeks.

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:

“The opening of the Individuals Emergency Resilience Programme today is welcome news and we hope to allocate this funding quickly as possible. We also welcome an additional £100,000 provided by Future Screens NI as part of this programme.  The programme is designed to support those artists and freelance creatives who were left struggling with serious financial hardships since their livelihoods disappeared practically overnight as a result of the pandemic. Demand on our previous Artists Emergency Fund for creative workers outstripped capacity by 3:1.  The new Individuals Emergency Resilience Programme provides critically-needed support and will help to bridge the gap over the coming months until the Executive has an opportunity to consider and agree a more comprehensive, long-term government support package for arts, culture and heritage in Northern Ireland.”

Professor Paul Moore, Director Future Screens NI said,

“Future Screens NI welcome the Individual Emergency Resilience Fund of £1.1mn which will provide release much needed resources to freelancers, musicians, actors, artists and craft workers.  We are delighted to work in partnership with the Arts Council NI and the Department for Communities to provide this much needed stimulus to the Creative Industries.  Moving Forward Future Screens NI welcome the opportunity to continue to work with both the Arts Council and the Department for Communities to target resources and support into the sector   Since the outset of the crisis Future Screens have provided much needed resources and support to the Creative Industries to address some of the most severe implications of Covid-19”.

The IERP is open for online applications from Friday 31st July and will close at 4pm on Monday 17th August for grants ranging from £1,200, £3,000 and £5,000.  For information on eligibility, guidance notes and to apply visit http://artscouncil-ni.org/funding/scheme/individuals-emergency-resilience-programme

For more information on the financial impact of the Coronavirus on the NI Arts Sector visit http://artscouncil-ni.org/news/coronavirus-covid-19-advice

To read the Arts Council’s survey on financial impact of Coronavirus on NI Arts sector (April 2020) visit http://www.artscouncil-ni.org/images/uploads/publications-documents/ACNI-Coronavirus-Survey-Report-April2020.pdf

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