This email looks best with images enabled.
To view this email online, view the email below.
Arts Council NI welcomes BBC announcement
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland's Chair, Liam Hannaway, has welcomed the announcement by the BBC that it is to devolve more programming to nations and regions outside London. The BBC plans to enhance its creative presence across the UK and ensure that BBC programmes and services more fully reflect the needs and diversity of audiences, wherever they live.

This is good news for the arts and creative sectors in Northern Ireland and the Arts Council is committed to strengthening its collaborations with BBC NI and the wider arts sector.
Funding News

The Arts Council is currently dealing with an unprecedented volume of email correspondence. It may take longer than usual for staff to respond to your enquiries. We thank you for your patience.

Our staff list is here.

First NI Writers Day will Celebrate Home-grown Talent
The Royal Society of Literature has joined with the Arts Council to celebrate Northern Irish writers and writing as part of the first NI Writers Day on Tuesday 23rd March. This free online day of events, hosted in partnership with the Arts Council, will shine a spotlight on our acclaimed poets, playwrights and authors.

NI Writers Day is part of a UK-wide drive by the Royal Society of Literature to broaden its reach and celebrate diversity in literature. Through its RSL Open Fellowship Programme, 60 new fellows will be elected this year, from communities under-represented in UK literature - particularly working class writers, writers outside of London, writers of colour, and LGBTQ+ writers.

Tickets for NI Writers Day are free and can be booked via the RSL website.
Arts Council of Northern Ireland Digital Ambitions survey 
The Arts Council has developed a new survey for arts organisations to determine which key digital skills and technologies are currently used by the Northern Ireland arts sector and which key digital areas the sector has ambitions to develop. We also seek opinions on what digital knowledge, skills, and equipment would be of benefit to meet the sector's future ambitions.

The information gathered by this survey will inform the development of the Arts Council's first digital strategy.

The survey closes on Monday 29 March 2021.
Horizons: Re-Imagining Cultural Sustainability
Thursday 25 March 2021, 12–5pm. FREE
Arts & Business NI present 'Horizons: Re-Imagining Cultural Sustainability', bringing together local and international speakers representing funders, UK trusts and arts organisations from Northern Ireland and beyond to discuss and debate how we create the change and culture shift required to build a stronger, healthier arts funding ecology for the longer term.

Throughout the half-day they will be hosting a number of panels, discussing a range of areas, including income sources and risk, funder practice, adapting and strengthening business models, and transformative leadership. They will also be platforming a number of NI Arts organisations through a series of interviews/talks to share how they have adapted, stayed true to their values, purpose and artistic vision, and continued to engage their communities.
Arts activities to enjoy online
The Arts Council has rounded up just some of the fantastic creative activities and performances you can enjoy online, most of which are funded by the Arts Council, the Dept for Communities and the National Lottery.

New highlights include: 

Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics (22nd – 28th March), one of Belfast's most innovative and engaging festivals, returns for its seventh year with 115 webcasts, exploring the theme, 'The State of Us' and pertinent topics, including the centenary of the formation of Northern Ireland, Brexit, climate change, COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter. 

The Walled City Music Festival (25th-28th March) presents a stunning line-up of world-class musicians and ensembles from across the world, in a new virtual format.

Watch the Arts Council's Head of Community Arts & Education, Gilly Campbell, with her weekly roundup on NVTV here.
Beat Carnival - Creating St. Patrick's Day Parade documentary
We may not have been able to enjoy the Belfast St Patrick's Day Parade in all its vibrant glory this year due to Covid restrictions, but we can relive some of the great moments from the past through a fascinating new documentary filmed by Beat Carnival, which takes a look behind the scenes at the Beat Carnival Centre and the creation of the carnival parade. Watch it on the Beat Carnival Youtube channel.

The documentary will also feature on the home page of Beat Carnival's brand new website, launching today, around 3pm.
Carnival Consortium Questionnaires. Beat Carnival is exploring development of a Carnival Consortium with the sector in Northern Ireland. Beat is inviting anyone in the wide carnival community to give some information and comment on this, in a questionnaire. Four Carnival Consortium Questionnaires are open from today, on the new Beat Carnival website, for Artists, Arts Organisations, Community Groups and Individuals.
Belfast Exposed:
Natural Connections
Belfast Exposed has partnered with Translink on a photography competition to capture the 'Natural Connections' which have sustained people and communities since 23 March 2020, the first day of lockdown. The importance of nature in our lives, from a small flower in a garden to climbing a newly discovered hill, or just sitting on a beach listening to the waves - never before has the connection to nature been more crucial.

The competition is open to all ages. You are invited share your photographs, capturing the link between nature and connecting in the last year, taken between 23 March 2020 and Earth Day on 22 April 2021, using the hashtag #NaturalConnections2021 on social media.  Entries can also be emailed to
Prizes available. Closes 22 April 2021.
Future Tuesdays presents Performance Without Barriers
Tuesday 23 March 2021, 13:00 – 14:00 GMT

Performance Without Barriers (PwB) is a research group at Queen's University Belfast, established in 2015 by Dr Franziska Schroeder in collaboration with the Drake Music Project Northern Ireland. Together, they work with disabled people to identify more accessible and open ways to designing music technologies. 

This free event, by Future Screens NI, features Dr Schroeder and Zach Kinstner, CEO of Aesthetic Interactive, who will discuss his experience of developing for the virtual musical environments in Virtual and Mixed Realities.
Arts Council COVID-19 advice
Keep up to date with the latest Coronavirus updates from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, including a list of potential funding sources which might be helpful to artists and arts organisations at this time. We will update this list as we go along. 

If you know of any other sources, please contact us at and we will share with the sector.
Share this newsletter
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Arts Council of Northern
Follow us on
Department for Communities
Awarding funds from the National Lottery
This message was sent to by Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Follow this link to .