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Arts Council opens first mentoring and residency programme for minority ethnic artists

Monday 6th September 2021 at 1pm 0 Comments

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland today announced a new funding programme to support the work of minority ethnic artists and creative practitioners living in Northern Ireland. Thanks to funding from the National Lottery, £50,000 will be made available by the Arts Council this autumn to support the pilot scheme.

Through this new programme the Arts Council aims to create opportunities for specialized training, research, cultural exchange, networking and learning for individual artists, creative practitioners and arts administrators. Applicants may be eligible for awards of up to £5,000 each.

The Minority Ethnic Artists Mentoring and Residency Programme aims to help individuals at every stage of their career; supporting skills development and career pathways, inspiring excellence and increasing opportunities for young and emerging minority ethnic artists and creatives. The creation of the programme has been informed by the Arts Council’s Intercultural Arts Strategy and framed within its current business plan.

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

“The Arts Council is pleased to announce this new funding programme which will provide vital support to our growing community of minority ethnic artists and creative practitioners. In working to create the conditions for the widest variety of art and creativity for both artists and audiences, we are seeking to address the numerous and complex barriers to access, progression and representation in the arts encountered by minority ethnic artists.

“National Lottery players raise £30 million every week for good causes in the UK and thanks to that funding, this important programme has been developed. In addition to this funding, the Arts Council is currently in the process of establishing a new Minority Ethnic Deliberative Forum to generate an improved understanding of needs in this area and to inform future decision making. It is our hope that this funding and the work undertaken by the Deliberative Forum will help to strengthen diversity within the arts sector and lead to the development of many new and exciting projects.”

Applications to the Minority Ethnic Artists Mentoring and Residency Programme are now open and can be made online. Guidance notes and the application form are available on our website and they can be requested in large print or other accessible formats. Please contact us at if you need further help, including alternative language versions.

Please note, this programme will only fund proposals that will take place between 12 November 2021 and 31 October 2022. All eligible expenditure must be incurred within these dates. The application process will close at 12 noon on 4th October, with decisions made on 12th November. For application forms and guidance notes visit

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