What We Do
The Arts Council is the official funding and development organisation for the arts in Northern Ireland. We support the vital contribution that the arts make to the region through our broad range of funding opportunities.
We distribute funding from our principal sponsor, the Department for Communities, and from the National Lottery.
We invest public funding, using these funds to create opportunities for more people, from all backgrounds and communities, to enjoy and take part in the arts.
Through applications to our Lottery funding programmes, we’re able to fund projects that develop new arts activity, supporting individuals, communities and organisations.
We want to create an innovative, creative and diverse society where people can fulfil their potential and contribute fully to society.
We produce strategic research and intelligence and work with partners in the cultural sector to advise the Department for Communities, Local Authorities and other bodies on matters relating to the arts. We also have strong international links in the UK and beyond.
We are the national voice for the arts in Northern Ireland, promoting the quality, value and importance of the region’s artists/arts organisations and the impact they make.
The arts take place in many different settings. They can have a dramatic impact on the quality of people’s lives and on the places in which they live and work. The arts are also frequently at the heart of initiatives for economic and social regeneration. Our job is to ensure that the contribution that the arts can make is recognised.
We have developed partnerships with cultural organisations such as the British Council, and work collaboratively with all the UK nations to promote Northern Ireland art internationally and we encourage international exchange and collaboration between artists and arts organisations.
By seeking and listening to feedback through our formal consultations and open conversations, we ensure that our programmes of work deliver public benefit.
We facilitate skills development and knowledge transfer in digital technology for the arts sector, encourage collaboration and leverage of additional funding and expertise through key partners, and encourage the creation of digital artwork to ensure the arts evolve with audiences.
The Arts Council’s 5-year Strategic Plan provides the strategic direction for the development of the arts in Northern Ireland over the period 2019-2024.
We are consulting in 2023 on our strategy for 2024-2029.Our Strategy
What We Support
We support and develop high-quality arts activity, investing funding to create opportunities for more people, from all backgrounds and communities, to enjoy and take part in the arts.Learn More