Coronavirus: Organisations Emergency Programme for arts activity

News article

Arts Council NI emergency programme for small and medium-sized arts organisations.

NOTE: Applications for this programme closed on Thursday 17 September 2020.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland opened the Organisations Emergency Programme (OEP) in a second call to arts and cultural organisations across Northern Ireland.

The fund allows those organisations which did not receive support in the first call made in June, to apply for grants of up to £25,000 each.

The funding aims to support the continuance of creative work in Northern Ireland and assist operational costs of arts organisations where necessary.

This programme prioritises applications that:

  • Can demonstrate loss of income as a direct result of COVID-19 through records or estimates of loss (evidence will be required so please keep a record).
  • Can demonstrate urgent operational costs not met by existing income, grant aid or other forms of assistance; these could include overheads and the cost of being operational until 31 March 2021.
  • Seek to explore ways of working that will help them to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances. This could include a period of research, development and/or delivery of creative activity / project by 31 March 2021.

Who can apply
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland welcomes applications from arts or cultural organisations whose primary work is in the following art form or cultural areas:

  • dance
  • drama
  • literature
  • music and opera
  • traditional arts
  • visual arts
  • festivals
  • participatory arts
  • cross art form
  • venues delivering cultural events

Arts organisations need to have a proven track record of quality work and public engagement supported by public funding in one of the last three financial years.

Applications are welcomed from organisations working in or on behalf of Irish or Ulster-Scots. In particular, applications are welcomed from organisations which deliver work in relation to:

  • public engagement activities
  • audience development programmes (events, exhibitions, workshops, talks and online initiatives)

Who cannot apply
The following are excluded from applying to the scheme:

  • organisations which received funding in the first call of the Organisations Emergency Programme in June 2020
  • individuals, including sole traders
  • broadcasters (excluding community service broadcasters)
  • central government departments
  • local authorities
  • accredited museums
  • libraries within Libraries NI and independent libraries
  • arts organisations who cannot evidence some form of public funding in the past three years
  • proposals which, before the end of social distancing, entail public gathering or conventional audience situations; or otherwise breach social distancing and other COVID-19 guidelines

How to apply
You must apply using Arts Council NI online system. Applications in hard copy or by email will not be accepted.

The deadline for applications is Thursday 17 September 2020 at 16:00.
Decisions will be made by Friday 30 October 2020.


First published 19 May 2020