Funding, Organisations

Ten projects get share of £45,000 Arts Council fund for community projects

28th April, 2022

Ten arts projects have been awarded funding, totalling over £45,000 this month (april 2022) as part of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland's Small Grants programme.

A male and female smiling beside a red door holding a fiddle and a flute.
Sorcha and Martin Meehan from North Coast Trad.

The money will be used to support arts initiatives in communities across Northern Ireland, including projects in Tyrone, Fermanagh, Derry/Londonderry, North Down and the North Coast.

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.

Two of the projects awarded this month will have links to the Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations. They are, Inspiring Yarns CIC, for their project ’70 by 70 for 70’ and Lagan Village Youth and Community group, for their Together in Celebration Project.

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

“The Arts Council’s Small Grants Programme is supporting arts projects in communities across Northern Ireland, creating more opportunities for people to engage with the arts, from grassroots level projects to professional productions.

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

In April Small Grants Awards were made to:

Lagan Villages Youth and Community Group, awarded £2,545 for their project Together in Celebration

Together in Celebration will be a 24 week programme for two hours per week. The group, which will include older people and those with special needs will learn a range of skills, including needlework, image transfer and embroidery. The group will also create their own Queens Platinum Jubilee art piece, which they will design and create. The group will work towards an exhibition at the end of the sessions, to showcase their work and learning.

Inspiring Yarns CIC, awarded £5,288 for its project ’70 by 70 for 70’

This project will target 70 people across Ballynahinch, Newtownards and Ballybeen, inviting them to learn to crochet or knit. The focus of this project is to help build capacity, social networks, resilience and self-help coping mechanisms through mindfulness and creative expression. The project will link in with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, with participants reflecting on the theme of ‘resilience’ to create individual work which will together form a wall hanging to displayed at Inspiring Yarn’s premises in Newtownards.

The Glens Wellbeing Group, awarded £3,760 for its project ‘Handmade with Love’

The funding will be used to support a 20 week arts and craft project, which will include watercolour painting, lettering and graphic design. The group will produce crafts and gifts, participate in the local Cushendall community festival in August and stage an end of project showcase, displaying their work. The project will tackle social isolation and support positive mental health.

Soul Studio Belfast CIC, awarded £3,839 for its project Re:Bound

Soul Studio Belfast’s Re:Bound project will encourage young people from Belfast to 'Re:Bound' back from Covid19 after two years of isolation. They will create a week-long training camp for dancers from 5+ in July 2022, contributing to the growth of arts in communities in west and north Belfast. Focus will be given to redeveloping social skills, confidence and improved mental and emotional wellbeing through the expression of dance.

North Coast Trad, awarded £5,980 for its project ‘Trad Music’

This funding will be used to help North Coast Trad provide weekly traditional multi-instrumental classes, sessions and concerts in Portrush and Portstewart. The project will promote the traditional arts in the North Coast and help build a legacy of traditional arts participation in the north coast area.

Fermanagh/Tyrone Brass Band Summer School, awarded £6,000 through the Small Grants Programme

Twenty bands from the Fermanagh and Tyrone area will take part in the Fermanagh/Tyrone Brass Band Summer School, building on their wealth of experience and helping to maintain the tradition of brass bands in the area. The 3rd annual Summer School will take place in July 2022 and provide training and performance opportunities for players across all ages and abilities.

Art Arcadia, awarded £7,600 for its Art Arcadia Residency Programme 2022

Since 2018 Art Arcadia has been running a programme of artist residencies with associated public programmes at St Augustine’s Heritage Site in Derry. The residencies offer time, space, and resources to artists of all disciplines to research, create and exhibit new work. The residency programme places the artists at the centre of the community. This year’s programme will run for six months and five artists will each take part in an artist residency, culminating in an exhibition.

Feldstein Agency, awarded £4,964 to publish new works by Northern Ireland authors

This Small Grants funding will support the costs of publishing three new works by Northern Ireland writers this Autumn, from Jason Johnson, Anthony J. Quinn and Fionola Meredith.

Ballintoy Young at Heart, awarded £4,386 for its project Small Art Big Heart

This visual art project will introduce participants to a range of skills, including watercolours, collage, lettering and mixed media. Small Grants funding from the Arts Council will help support the costs of artist lead workshops this summer and autumn. The project has been created in recognition of the power of the arts to address social isolation and loneliness and the importance of staying connected with each other.

Extending the Choice Club, awarded £1,990 for its Street Art Mural project

ETC is a club for adults with learning disabilities living in the Greater Belfast area. With this funding they plan to use one of the walls outside their building as a canvas for a street art mural. The mural will focus on the values of the club, which include social inclusion for adults with a learning disability; integration into the local community; breaking down barriers and promoting independence for their members.

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