Grants to support artists with disabilities

 

The Rehab Group today launched a major grant scheme aimed at supporting those with disabilities working in the arts.

The Visual and Performing Arts Fund will distribute €150,000 over five years to successful candidates seeking to study or forge a career in the field.

It applies to a number of areas including painting, sculpture, graphic art, film, drama, dance and music.

“Rehab has a long history of both promoting the employment of people with disabilities and mental health difficulties and supporting arts which highlight the hugely important and thought provoking input of people with disabilities,” said chief executive Angela Kerins.

It is not the first time the organisation has rowed in behind the industry, determined to promote the subject in a positive light.

In 1989, the groundbreaking film My Left Foot – in which Daniel Day-Lewis portrayed the quadriplegic Irish writer Christy Brown – received its financial support and went on to claim two Academy Awards and universal critical acclaim.

“In this tough economic climate it is more important than ever to ensure that people with disabilities are helped to develop their skills and abilities and participate in economic and cultural life,” said Ms Kerins.

The fund is open to anybody over the age of 17 who fits the criteria with applications for this year closing at the end of next month.

Those seeking the fund’s support will be assessed on the strength of portfolio, originality and potential future development.

The scheme was launched today at Rehab’s Roslyn Park College in Dublin which runs a number of FETAC level training programmes across a range of subjects including, drama, painting, writing and the performing arts.

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