Funding, Artists

Craft makers encouraged to apply for £15,000 Rosy James Memorial Trust Award

3rd November, 2022

The Rosy James Memorial Trust Award, worth £15,000, is now welcoming applications through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. This unique bursary aims to assist craft makers to develop their careers by creating a new body of work which would otherwise have been unattainable without the funding award.

Visual Artist Sheena Devitt in her studio with Suzanne Lyle, Head of Visual Arts at the Arts Council.
Pictured is previous Rosy James Awardee, Sheena Devitt with Suzanne Lyle, Head of Visual Arts at the Arts Council.

Administered by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Rosy James Memorial Trust Award, established in 2014, was established thanks to the generosity of Rosemary James (Rosy), a local patron of the arts. Originally from Belfast, Rosy had a lifelong commitment to the arts and following her death in 2010, bequeathed over £500,000 to help artists and craft makers pursue their careers.

Previous recipients of the prestigious award include glass artist, Scott Benefield (2015), silversmiths, Stuart Cairns (2014) and Cara Murphy (2016) and in 2017 two awards were made to ceramicist, Anne Butler and furniture designer, Brian McKee. In 2018, the award was made to stone sculptor, Sheena Devitt.

Dr Suzanne Lyle, Head of Visual Arts, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:

“The Rosy James Memorial Trust Award demonstrates the power of philanthropic giving to create lasting impact. Rosy James leaves an incredible legacy. Her passion for craft led her to leave the bequest that will allow new work of really high quality, and of international interest, to be produced by local artists. It will give our artists the chance to devote time to their practice over the course of a year and to develop their ideas. We look forward to receiving the next round of applications.”

Applications are now open and will close at 4pm, Friday 20th January 2023. Prior to submission of your application, you may seek advice on any aspect of the form from the Arts Council Visual Arts team. Dr Suzanne Lyle is the Head of Visual Arts and a Rosemary James Trust member and can be contacted at

You must apply by email. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland will not accept applications in hard copy. Please send your completed application form and all the requested mandatory enclosures to

If you feel you have a disability which affects your ability to complete the application form, please contact the University of Atypical (UoA). The UoA will provide tailored advice and support to D/deaf, disabled and Neurodiverse applicants when submitting applications to ACNI Programmes. Visit

For information on eligibility and to apply visit