Funding, Organisations

Nine projects gets share of £53,000 Arts Council fund for community projects

31st August, 2022

NINE arts projects have been awarded funding totalling over £53,000 this month (August 2022) as part of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Small Grants funding programme. The money will be used to support arts initiatives in communities across Northern Ireland, including projects in Armagh, Bangor, Craigavon, Downpatrick and the Fermanagh area.

Group of harpists performing on stage.
Pictured: Armagh Pipers

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 the Armagh Pipers Club. It has been awarded £10,000 to help cover the costs of providing tutors to teach evening classes, covering eight different instruments and singing.

Ciarán Ó Maoláin, from Armagh Pipers Club, said:

“Armagh Pipers Club, founded in 1966, was among the first traditional arts organisations to receive funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, back in 1973. The Arts Council has been one of our principal funders ever since, and its support has enabled the Club to train thousands of young musicians and to provide work for dozens of skilled tutors. Our recent Small Grant will go towards tutor costs for our 2022-23 teaching programme.”

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

“This month we have awarded funding through our Small Grants programme to support nine fantastic projects, creating more opportunities for people to engage with the arts, from grassroots level projects through to professional productions. Thanks to National Lottery players and the money raised for good causes, this valuable funding programme will support a variety of high quality arts projects in locations across Northern Ireland, including performances, workshops and mentoring opportunities.”

AUGUST Small Grants Programme Awardees:

Banbridge Music Society, awarded £7,360 for their project ‘All Shook Up”
Banbridge Musical Society will produce a new musical theatre show, "All Shook Up", for audiences in the ABC Council District and its surrounding areas. All Shook Up is a Jukebox Musical featuring hits from the Elvis Presley songbook. The group will stage four shows in early October and will perform at the Market Place for the first time.

Shore Collective, awarded £3,520 for The Winter Project (Craigavon)
The Winter Project is a series of twenty, weekly arts workshop sessions. Each workshop will be two hours long and aimed primarly at the unemployed, elderly, young mothers, socially isolated and less included members of our community in the Craigavon area. Possible activities will include silk painting and Shibori, monoprinting and linocut, paper making and bookbinding, drawing and painting techniques, wet felting and hand embroidery, ceramics. An end of project exhibition will be held in the Atrium for participants and their friends and family.

Armagh Pipers Club, awarded £10,000 for its Term 1 Education Programme
Armagh Pipers Club will use their Small Grants award for the payment of tutors providing evening classes in traditional music. The grant will cover the provision of ten teaching nights each with 32 to 36 hour-long classes, covering eight instruments and singing, at four levels from beginner to senior.

Music in Fermanagh, awarded £3,444 for Four Classical Music Concerts
This Small Grants award will assist with the cost of a planned series of concerts, including artists' fees and piano hire. The upcoming programme will include:

  • Dublin-born pianist John O'Conor
  • The Fidelio Trio, joined by Cillian Vallely on the uilleann pipes
  • Ashley Wass, pianist and Richard Pierce, lecturer
  • Mezzo-soprano Carolyn Dobbin with pianist Ruth McGinley

Mid-Armagh Community Network, awarded £8,000 for a Music, Dance and Drama Programme (Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon)
Mid Armagh Community Network (MACN) is planning a community based project to teach music, dance and drama within an Ulster Scots context in a safe and central location. The project will see the development of a program of low cost lessons in Scottish traditional fiddle, Scottish Highland and theatre dance, drama, accordion and community choir and encourage participation in these traditional artforms.

North Down Community Network (NDNC), awarded £1,769 for Inert Structure to Kinetic Form
This ten-week sculpture project will use shape, form and movement as a way of exploring emergence from the Covid 19 pandemic. A journey from the stillness of constructivist sculpture to the motion of Kinetic Art via optical illusion and Calder’s mobiles. The artworks created through the programme will be displayed in NDCN's Wellbeing Centre in Bangor and then retained by participants. The collaborative artwork will be placed on permanent display in North Down Community Network’s Wellbeing Centre.

Patrician Youth Centre, awarded £10,000 for Bringing The Arts to the Heart of Down - Restart completed!
Patrician Youth Theatre has, over the past year, restarted work with their membership delivering all artform activities face to face again, engaging children and young people through weekly rehearsal and workshop sessions, plus live performances in May and June 2022. In September, the group will build on this work and embark on a new term delivering across the age bands and working on a new series of productions. Planned work will include a pantomime and a musical showcase.

Harmony Community Trust, awarded £4,301, to create and develop a mixed media installation (Newry, Mourne and Down)
This project will see the development and creation of a mixed media installation to include four panels or banners. Each will be inspired by the work of four local community groups in Down and Ards. They are: The Glebe House Knitwits from the Lecale area, East End Ladies group from Newtownards, Ballykinlar Forever Young Group and Hilltown Kosy club, The project will involve a range of art techniques and materials, highlighting their local communities, history, customs, traditions and peculiarities. They will also reflect the participants personal experiences and reminiscences. The project will conclude with a celebration event at Glebe House for all participants, with a display of the work and the exhibition of finished panels/ banners at Down Arts Centre, Newtownards Arts Centre, Glebe House and at the centres of participating groups.

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