Funding, Organisations

Nine projects gets share of £49,000 Arts Council fund for community projects

4th July, 2022

NINE arts projects have been awarded funding totalling over £49,000 as part of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Small Grants funding programme in June. The money will be used to support arts initiatives in communities across Northern Ireland, including projects in Limavady, Belfast and Derry/Londonderry.

Large group of people enjoying the Artabyss Children's Festival in a rural countryside location.
Artabyss Children’s Festival in Limavady.

Supported through National Lottery funds, the Small Grants Programme is designed to encourage organisations in Northern Ireland to get more people to engage with the arts through creative, community-based projects. Grants are awarded by the Arts Council on a monthly basis and organisations can apply for up to £10,000 to support projects in any art form, including music, drama, dance, literature, visual, and participatory arts.

One of the projects set to benefit from funding is Limavady-based ArtAbyss. It has been awarded £7,500 to support their three day children’s festival in July, offering up to 1,200 children the chance to enjoy a whole host of fun new arts experiences.

Kathryn McShane from ArtAbyss explained what the award means for the organisation:

“ArtAbyss Children’s Festival, first piloted by Stendhal Festival in 2018, engages children and young people in the wider area in arts activity which aims to build confidence, resilience and most importantly, to reconnect with their creativity!

“We believe that creativity is the seed of innovation, and that everyone is an artist in their own way. By including many facets of artistic practice we believe there’s something for everyone. Our key themes this year are to promoting mental wellbeing, reconnect with nature and build confidence and self-esteem through participation in the Creative Arts. We want to allow our young people to do what they do best, be creative and play.

“We've watched ArtAbyss grow from Strength to Strength over the last 5 years and is now a charity in it's own right. We've loved to watch our event grow, inviting more schools in the region to take part - but ArtAbyss isn't just a festival. We're growing our outreach programme and providing training to artists and facilitators in the region. We believe ArtAbyss has been a valuable resource for children in the rural North West and provides a much needed outlet for our young people to reach their full potential. Without our biggest supporter, Arts Council of Northern Ireland we wouldn't be where we are today!”

Commenting on funding programme, Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said:

“Thanks to the National Lottery, we have awarded funding through our Small Grants programme to support nine fantastic community projects this month, creating more opportunities for people to engage with the arts, from grassroots level projects through to professional productions.

“Made possible thanks to National Lottery players and the money raised for good causes, this valuable funding programme is supporting a huge variety of high quality arts projects, proving that sometimes a small investment can have a tremendous impact on the communities we live in.”

In JUNE Small Grants Awards were awarded to:

BEAMA Education CIC, awarded £3,855 for their project ‘All Points: East’
All Points Arts is an artist-led audio-video project produced by BEAMA education CIC, bringing together some of NI’s foremost digital content creators, poets, visual artists and musicians, with the aim of showcasing emerging and established local talent in venues of historical and cultural significance. All Points: East builds on the success of All Points: North and will focus on showcasing and promoting the work of musicians, content creators and venues in the East of Belfast.

ArtAbyss LTD, awarded £7,500 for the ArtAbyss Children’s Festival 2022
ArtAbyss is a three day dedicated Children’s Festival for Key Stage 2 school children based in rural Northern Ireland. It takes place just outside Limavady and offers children a range of arts experiences, performance opportunities and workshops including, circus, music, craft and visual arts. The 4th annual ArtAbyss Children's Festival will take place on the 15th, 16th & 17th of July 2022 for 1,200 children living within a 30 mile radius of the Limavady.

Sailortown Regeneration, awarded £6,500 for the Sailortown Gathering
The Sailortown area is being brought back to life in a partnership between Sailortown Regeneration, Maritime Trust and the Harbour through the Maritime Mile initiative. Funding awarded through the Arts Council’s Small Grants programme will support a festival that will include local venues, streets and Barrow Square, as part of the organisation’s ongoing mission to revitalise Sailortown. Planned events and activities include exhibitions, live music and performances.

Cara-Friend, awarded £6,500 for The Rainbow Library/> The Rainbow Library is an ambitious UK and Ireland-wide participatory literature creation and publishing project addressing demand for LGBTQ+ identities in children’s books. Eleven LGBTQ+ writers and illustrators will develop eight new works of children’s literature (picture books, poetry, novella, comics), all conceived during creative workshops with LGBTQ+ young people in eight cities (Belfast, Derry/Londonderry, Cork, Inverness, Glasgow, Manchester, Nottingham, Basildon). Funding from the Arts Council’s Small Grants Programme will support the NI based elements of the project.

Reclaim the Enlightenment, awarded £4,500 for Harps Alive
Harps Alive│An Chruit Bheo│Harp Leevin is a major collaborative festival that will take place in July to mark the 230th anniversary of the assembly of harpers in Belfast in 1792 and celebrate the work of the renowned organist and collector, Edward Bunting, who played a major part in the preservation of the music of the harpers. The event will bring together harpers from all over Ireland, showcase the harpers’ music, and bring a contemporary spotlight to bear on current developments to safeguard harping as a living tradition in Ireland.

The Public Catalogue Foundation, awarded £4,675 for Art UK: Northern Ireland Audience Development Programme
Art UK will carry out a programme of content development in Northern Ireland that will build upon its work growing and diversifying digital audiences. It will also support public art collections and venues across Northern Ireland to improve their reach, raise their digital profile, and engage individuals and communities in an accessible way. This work will include the commissioning of 15 articles over 12 months, from art writers, artists, authors, researchers and specialists in or from Northern Ireland, covering a wide range of subjects relating to Northern Irish art.

Celtronic Derry LTD, awarded £7,000 for Celtronic 2022
For 22 years, Celtronic has showcased the most relevant national/international acts alongside the best emerging acts across all genres of electronic music. Headliners at recent festivals have included Nile Rodgers & Chic, Ulster Orchestra, Jon Hopkins, David Holmes, Bicep, Nina Kraviz, Mary Anne Hobbs and Annie Mac. Celtronic 2022 will take place in Derry across a range of indoor/outdoor venues and will showcase showcase the best local, national electronic musicians, DJs, producers and live acts alongside the world's most national/international acts.

Pollen Studio and Gallery Belfast, awarded £5,950 for ArtFest:Pollen8
Funding from the Arts Council through the Small Grants programme will enable Pollen Studio to expand its work to deliver two separate community focused arts projects. The first, named ArtsFest, is a support network for artists in Belfast and beyond, directed at providing a platform for amateur artists to gain experience of taking part in a live art event and develop their professional artistic practice. The second project, named Pollin8, will focus on pollination and conservation, fusing arts and science to create an interactive arts experience for young people, lead by qualified conservation scientists and artist workshop facilitators from Pollen Studios and Gallery.

Codetta Choirs, awarded £3,150 for two commissions for young singers.
For 2022, Codetta will commission two new works for its Junior and Youth choirs from acclaimed composer and concert harpist, Anne Marie O’Farrell. Each work will be of 3-5 minutes duration and will be workshopped as part of Big Sing schools events at the Festival. Composers, writers and performers will be encouraged to take part in the digital programme of Symposia and podcasts that accompanies the Choir Festival. After the event, both works will be recorded by Codetta Junior and Youth choirs, with recordings engineered by the Choir Festival’s experienced in-house production team of R&D Media and PS Audio for dissemination.

Funding from the Small Grants Programme is awarded to organisations by the Arts Council on a monthly basis. Application forms and guidance notes are available to download at