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Arts Council publishes Annual Review of 2019-2020
The Arts Council has published its 2019-2020 Annual Review, recounting many of the highlights of the Year in the Arts in Northern Ireland, supported by Arts Council exchequer funding from the Department for Communities and National Lottery funds.

Starting in April 2019 with the Arts Council awarding Annual Funding of £12.8 million to 97 key arts organisations, and ending with the first lockdown on 20th March 2020, this review of the financial year 2019-20 is a powerful reminder of what we've all been missing during this last year of pandemic.
Funding News

National Lottery Project Funding Programme 2021-22 - CLOSED
This programme closed for applications at 12 noon on Tuesday 1st June 2021.

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.

Culture, Arts & Heritage Recovery Taskforce Survey
The Minister for Communities NI has established a Culture, Arts & Heritage Recovery Taskforce in response to COVID-19, to consider measures to support re-opening and recovery of the sector in the short-term, paving the way for a longer term strategy for culture, the arts and heritage. To support the work of the Taskforce,  experiences and opinions are sought from organisations and individuals operating within the sector. Online survey closes 14th June 2021.

The Taskforce has been asked to consider measures:
  • to support the reopening of heritage sites, theatres, performance venues and relevant public gathering places in line with the Executive's Pathway Out of Restrictions;
  • to stimulate culture, arts and heritage activity, re-start the cultural economy and enable the sector to play a central role in rebuilding social and economic life here;
  • to explore outdoor performance/activity, including at youth, amateur and community level across the summer, autumn and into the longer term, as a means of encouraging participation and building audience confidence as the opening of indoor and outdoor facilities and activities rolls out;
  • to advise on actions in the short-term to support the retention of talent and skills and to stimulate opportunity for potential new-entrants embarking on a career in the sectors; and;
  • to identify medium to long term actions which might be considered in the development of a new Culture, Arts and Heritage Strategy.
The Taskforce is chaired by Rotha Johnston, Chair of Northern Ireland Screen and includes Roisin McDonough, CEO of the Arts Council. Full membership: 
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: 

Northern Ireland Opera is releasing eight new 'Northern Songs' films, celebrating songs by composers from across the island of Ireland, performed in some of Northern Ireland's most beautiful and historic locations. Series 2 includes Enniskillen Castle and Marble Arch Caves, among other places, and features art songs and contemporary songs.

Greater Shantallow Community Arts has launched its May-September arts programme for young people.  For dance, visual art, gaming, drama, singing, fitness, dj-ing and much more.

Void gallery has reopened in its new location at 10 Waterloo Place, Derry-Londonderry. The opening exhibition, 'Before the Cypress Broke', continues until 5 June 2021.

Watch the Arts Council's Head of Community Arts & Education, Gilly Campbell, with her weekly roundup on NVTV here.
Art Fund unveils summer funding plans worth over £2m to the UK sector
The UK arts charity has opened applications for its new £2 million Reimagine grants scheme, designed to support museum and galleries during the next phase of pandemic recovery.

Awards ranging between £5,000 and £50,000 will be made over three rounds; the first closes for applications on 5th July, with two others following in August and October. The initiative will aim to support projects large and small at museums, galleries, historic houses, arts-focused archives, libraries, festivals and biennials, as well as a range of professional networks within the sector.
Kickstart Heritage
THRIVE is running a series of free workshops focused on reopening and strengthening relationships with audiences post-pandemic.

Although the sessions are designed primarily for museums and heritage organisations, they will be useful to the wider arts and culture sector and all are welcome to attend.
  • Tuesday 1st June 2021, 11.00 to 13.00
  • Friday 4th June 2021, 11.00 to 13.00
  • Monday 7th June 2021, 11.00 to 13.00
  • Wednesday 9th June 2021, 11.00 to 13.00
  • Friday 11th June 2021, 11.00 to 13.00
Open House Announces Programme for August Walled Garden Festival
Tickets are now on sale for the Open House Festival, August 2021. Three weeks of music, comedy, spoken word and classic cinema in the beautiful surroundings of Bangor Castle Walled Garden. Events will be open air, fully seated and Covid-compliant, but weather-protected under a stretch canvas cover. 

Headline acts include novelist Marian Keyes, singer Mary Coughlan and comedian Adam Kay.

The Festival will focus on local artists from the island of Ireland.  Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Get Creative & Make a Difference
The Get Creative & Make a Difference campaign creates social connections across physical distances. From virtual singing sessions to group knitting and more, submit your own activities or explore Get Creative 's growing collection of inspiring ideas.

Get Creative is brought to you by arts and creative organisations and individuals across the UK and is supported by Arts Council England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales, the BBC, Crafts Council, Creative Scotland, Libraries Connected, Local Government Association, Scottish Libraries & Information Council, Voluntary Arts, and What Next?
National Lottery Open Week
Calling all National Lottery-funded projects - 
there's still time to get involved with the National Lottery Open Week, from Saturday 5th – Sunday 13th June 2021.

The National Lottery Open Week is an opportunity to thank the National Lottery players who have helped to make your work possible as well as welcome visitors to your venue/project.
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.
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