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North Coast artists awarded grants to create new work

Two North Coast artists were among 74 d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse artists rebuilding their practices and creating new work with the support of a £148,000 fund, one of the largest grant packages ever delivered by the University of Atypical for Arts and Disability.

The £2,000 grants were collaboratively funded by the Department for Communities and Arts Council of Northern Ireland and support artists across a range of art forms including visual arts, dance, craft, music, comedy, drama, literature and multi-art form through the D/deaf and Disabled Artists Support Fund.

Elvin Simpson from Ballymoney plans to use the funding to focus on the connection between emotional experiences and expressive arts as part of visual art and music work.

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And Portrush craft artist Louise McLean will use the funding for one to one mentoring with Jenny Crisp, a basket maker from Hereford.

CEO of University of Atypical Damien Coyle said: “The past two years had a devastating impact on the arts community. It takes time and resources to rebuild and these grants will help 74 artists to create new work and develop their practices. The grants recognise the value of their contribution to society, the need for creativity and expression.”

D/deaf, Disabled and Neurodiverse artists play an essential role in the culture, arts and heritage sector and reflect the diversity and inclusiveness of our society.

Gilly Campbell, Head of Community Arts and Education, Arts Council of Northern Ireland commented, “The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is committed to improving access to the arts for d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse artists working here and to providing meaningful opportunities for these artists to develop their professional, artistic careers.

“We welcome this critically-needed funding for 74 artists which will help them create new work and support them at a time when many artists have been left struggling as a result of the pandemic.”

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