Bank of Ireland has committed to provide €1 million over the next two years to support artists and arts projects across the island.
The money will be provided by the Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund, in partnership with the Business to Arts organisation. It brings the bank's community investment through its "Begin Together" programme to €3 million.
The bank will support or commission artists and organisations to develop projects. All art forms are eligible and the fund will also support projects that have been adapted due to Covid-19, or are inspired by or respond to the pandemic.
Commenting on the funding, Francesca McDonagh, group chief executive of Bank of Ireland, said: “Our wellbeing as a country depends on our rich culture and heritage continuing to thrive. Through this fund we are building on Bank of Ireland’s long history of supporting the arts. There is no better time than when artists, like communities across the island, are struggling in the face of the pandemic. This programme is part of our wider contribution to helping the recovery of communities and businesses across Ireland.”
Andrew Hetherington, chief executive of Business to Arts said: "We are acutely aware of the impact that Covid-19 is having on the revenue sources for the arts sector. The establishment of this fund with Bank of Ireland sets a new way for businesses to support arts projects in their local communities. We look forward to... seeing the arts projects that have been supported by the fund realised throughout 2021."
The fund will provide fees to artists or groups of artists to create new work and help maximise the budgets of arts organisations, and community/voluntary bodies for their programme of activity.
Artists applying must work with a partner organisation, and can request funds of €3,000-€10,000 or the sterling equivalent.
The bank aims to provide funding to projects in each county on the island via every grant round. The closing date for the first round of applications is November 4th, with a second round to open in April 2021.