Northern Ireland news

Deaf and disabled artists awarded £94,000 to help support them through Covid

Painter Ciaran Magill from Newcastle was one of the recipients of the Deaf and Disabled Artists Support Fund 2020/21
Marie Louise McConville

DEAF and disabled artists in Northern Ireland have been awarded £94,000 in funding to create new work and support them through the Covid-19 crisis.

The University of Atypical, on behalf of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities, has awarded the grants from the `Deaf and Disabled Artists Support Fund 2020/21', at a time when artists’ potential to generate income has been seriously impacted by the closure of art galleries, theatres, music venues and other creative outlets.

The 44 awards were made to individual artists with 41 receiving grants of £2,000 each.

Three artists received grants of £4,000 each in recognition of the quality of their professional practice.

These included composer, Ruth McGinley, from Derry, film-maker Jamie Baker, from Comber, and painter Ciaran Magill, from Newcastle.

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey, said: "Our local arts sector is so important in terms of the contribution it makes socially, creatively and economically to the lives of individuals, communities and wider society.

"I am therefore delighted that this funding has been awarded which will provide our local deaf and disabled artists with much needed financial assistance throughout the current crisis," she said.

"The support will help enable the artists to invest in developing their careers, improve their skills and buy equipment and materials."

Damien Coyle, CEO of the University of Atypical, said the funding was of "vital importance as it provides much needed assistance to deaf and disabled artists who are struggling for financial survival.

"This support underpins the role University of Atypical plays in facilitating career enhancement opportunities for and in promoting the work of deaf and disabled artists," he said.

"The awards recognise the important contribution deaf and disabled artists make to our society and they will create a legacy beyond the current pandemic as the visual arts and crafts works produced through the commissions go on display at public venues across Northern Ireland."

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