Grants of up to £5,000 available for disabled and deaf artists in Northern Ireland

Playwright, Shannon Yee and performance artist Sinéad O’Donnell have previously received individual disabled/deaf artists awards

NORTHERN Ireland's disabled and deaf artists are being offered grants of up to £5,000 to develop their work. The iDA (individual disabled/deaf artists) awards scheme is for original proposals for bold and challenging work by musicians, writers, visual artists, theatre and dance practitioners.

The scheme, run by the Arts and Disability Forum with funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, has helped the careers of many artists who have gone on to achieve international recognition.

Chris Ledger, chief executive of the Arts and Disability Forum, said the purpose of iDA was to provide a flexible process supporting disabled and deaf artists to produce exciting new work and gain new experiences.

She added: “The grant scheme is open to proposals from artists with all types of impairment or disability. This is a developmental scheme so we welcome applications from emerging talent as well as from more established artists but decisions are made on artistic merit, talent and ambition.

“iDA grant recipients have gone on to all kinds of big opportunities. Shannon Yee's award-winning immersive theatre piece, ‘Reassembled … slightly askew' was seed-funded via the iDA grant scheme and has been touring in the UK and overseas pretty much continuously since completion, with the most recent activity being an extensive tour in Canada.

“Along with performance artist, Sinéad O'Donnell, who is also a previous iDA grant recipient, Shannon was selected this year by the Arts Council for a Major Individual Artist award.”

The Arts & Disability Forum is looking to grow this highly successful area of work and this year a partnership residency with Digital Arts Studios in Belfast will be available.

The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Thursday April 12. Projects can begin in June 2018 at the earliest and are expected to be completed by May 2019.

:: Artists can download criteria and guidelines from; more at and twitter @adf011

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