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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: January 8, 2013 @ 9:43 pm

    Arts funding and bursaries 2013: Deadline time

    Laurence Mackin

    For many artists, the beginning of the calendar year means organising their funding, so here is a selection of some of the arts grants, funding sources and bursaries available for 2013. If you know of any more please leave them in the comments section below.


    The first major deadline and perhaps the most pertinent one for individual artists, is the Arts Council’s bursary awards, and the deadline for these is January 17th. These are awarded in the following areas: theatre, visual, film, literature, architecture, dance and arts. For most of these, the bursary goes up to €15,000, but for dance and arts this is capped at €10,000.

    These are awards for professional artists to develop their practice and to provide artists with the time and resources to think, to research and to develop what they do, be it with their art in general, a specific piece or a particular body of work.

    To qualify, you have to be a professional artist, and you have to have been born in or resident in the State. The only major restriction is that you can’t be in undergraduate or postgraduate education.

    The award is designed to help an artist develop their practice, and to a limited extent this may mean covering expenses such as living costs, renting studio space or time, materials or paying for third-party expertise. In a nutshell, this is more current than capital costs.

    There are specific guidelines for each individual bursary available on the Arts Council website.

    One particular point that should be borne in mind is that all applications have to go through the Arts Council website, which you have to register on first. Getting that initial registration confirmed can take up to five days, so first-time applicants should register immediately even if their application isn’t completely ready to go.

    The next Arts Council deadline is on February 7th and this is for the Festivals and Events scheme. This is for events that will take place between July 1st and December 31st, 2013 and replaces the council’s older scheme for funding small festivals.

    This is open to multi-disciplinary festivals as well as single artform festivals that can be one-off projects or programmed over a number of months. There are three strands of funding available.

    Strand 1: Up to €10,000
    Strand 2: Between €10,001 and €20,000
    Strand 3: Between €20,001 and €40,000

    Anyone applying to this scheme for the first time can only apply to strand one.

    The third major deadline is on February 21st for four other awards: the opera production award, the traditional arts commissions award, the music commissions award and the Deis.

    The opera award is to support opera productions during 2014, which is an area the Arts Council has focused on in recent years with no little success. The Arts Council is specifically looking for individuals and organizations working in collaboration or in partnerships. There is no upper limit for funding on this one, so finish off that proposal for your multimedia €20 million operatic exploration of the work of James Last.

    The Traditional Arts Commissions and Music Commissions awards have an upper limit of €10,000, and are to “facilitate creative partnerships between a range of commissioners and artists” – this could be a public performance, a community engagement programme, or the presentation of a commissioned work in Ireland or abroad.

    Deis is a particular scheme aimed at encouraging and facilitating the traditional arts community to seek funding from the Arts Council for a range of projects, and it has a limit of €20,000 for individual projects.

    The third tranche of deadlines fall on March 21st and these are for individual projects in the areas of music, dance, film, arts, traditional arts and theatre, with a cap of between €35,000 and €100,000 on individual projects, depending on the areas concerned. So where the most immediate deadline is to support artists and their development, this is for specific projects.

    In addition to these, there are four ongoing schemes that have no specific deadlines but run throughout the year. These are the Writers in Schools scheme, the travel and training awards, the visual artists in prisons scheme, and the writers in prisons scheme.

    Culture Ireland supports Irish arts projects internationally. Applications under its regular grants scheme are accepted in March for projects taking place in May onwards, in August for projects from November onwards, and in November for projects in February 2014 onwards.

    The organisation is currently in the throes of a major promotion of Irish arts and culture to tie in with the Irish presidency of the Council of the European Union, which has also led to a number of spin-off projects.

    County councils and local area councils also administer their own arts schemes, and each has different deadlines. So get in touch with your local council and ask to speak to their arts officer, if they have one, and get details from them directly.

    The Irish Film Board is the main funder of film in Ireland. Again it has no specific deadlines, but decisions are made on a rolling basis. It’s a huge area covering all disciplines of film from development and training, to film funding to production costs. Decisions are made on a rolling, project-by-project basis.

    FÁS Screen Training Ireland operates a Bursary Award Scheme that takes two forms: it funds people who want to attend full-time training courses and workshops abroad; and it also funds those who want to participate in a work programme within international companies and organisations.

    You need three years’ full time experience in a relevant area to apply for this and there is no specific deadline, but you must apply a minimum of four weeks before the programme you are planning to attend.

    The Association of Irish Composers and the Contemporary Music Centre have announced a new artistic residency with the Soundscape Festival in Italy. The residency will be awarded each year to an Irish composer or performer of contemporary music.

    Soundscape is a contemporary music festival and summer school that takes place over two weeks each year in Maccagno in the Italian Alps. The festival features daily concerts and seminars from faculty, students and guest artists. Students of the summer school receive regular one-to-one tuition in contemporary music performance and composition. Most importantly, artists from all over the world meet and work together there.

    The recipient will be provided with transport, accommodation and expenses to the festival and they’ll be asked to curate or perform a concert of contemporary Irish music. The deadline for that one is January 28th, and the festival takes place from June 30th to July 13th.

    MAKE is a residential laboratory open to Irish and international participants, where theatremakers are selected to go to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Co Tyrone for a week of development. This isn’t a training workshop, it’s a place for artists to develop their ideas with mentorship and support from three international artists. The deadline for application for this year’s programme is next Monday, January 14th and the lab itself takes place from Saturday March 2nd to Sunday, March 10th. This does cost €200 to take part in, but this includes food and accommodation, and the calibre of productions that have come through the Make Lab speaks for itself –its alumni include Grace Dyas, Tom Creed and Wayne Jordan.

    The mentors this year are Richard Gregory the co-founder and artists director of Quarantine, and Florian Malzacher, artistic director of Impulse Theater Biennale in Germany. A third mentor will be announced soon. If you need an absolute bluffer, lads, I’m free that week. I’m just saying.

    Rehab is providing funding for young people for arts projects and career development worth €150,000 over the next five years. Awards from its new Visual and Performing Arts fund will range from €1,000 to €10,000, and applications are open to people with disabilities or with mental-health difficulties working or studying across all the art forms. It’s got a wide remit: applicants need to be over 17, and they can apply for funding for a particular artistic idea or work, or to support undertaking a residency or a course of study. The closing date for this year is February 28th.

    The Wellcome Trust has a series of arts awards, which support imaginative and experimental arts projects exploring biomedical science. Funding can be applied for at two levels: small and medium-sized projects (up to and including £30,000) and large-scale projects (more than £30,000). The next deadline for the Small Arts Awards is January 25th, 2013.

    Yeah! Young Earopean Award (yes they are really spelling it like that) is aimed at orchestras, ensembles, composers or venues and is looking for imaginative and innovative programmes of music that engage children or young people. There’s a total of €40,000 in prize money and ideas can be tendered until January 31st.

    One of the many programmes marking Ireland’s presidency of the European Union is the 2013 West Cork Chamber Music Festival’s Young Composers Bursary Scheme. This is open to composers under the age of 30 who are of Irish nationality, born in Northern Ireland or resident on the island of Ireland, or of Austrian nationality (it’s run in conjunction with Music Information Centre, Austria). Composers are invited to submit works for string quartet of between five and eight minutes’ length that are based on or derived from the works of William Bunting.

    Three Irish and one Austrian or Austrian resident composer will be selected to have their works performed and will receive a bursary of €500. Deadline is March 22nd.

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