CCA Supports

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CCA Supports is our programme that is aimed at supporting emerging artistic practice as well as artists at any stage of their career.

During these unprecedented times we are using this page as a resource to share the latest information on health and safety as well as financial support schemes and creative initiatives that may be helpful for artists and others.

Fridays 3 & 10 Septamber 2021, 10am–12:15pm

CCA is hosting another two-part online crit group for artists and creatives at any stage of their career who are trying something new. The crit group is being held over the two Fridays with eight artists presenting per session. Across the two sessions, eight artists in total will share a piece of their work with the rest of the group facilitated by CCA Public Programmes Curator Laura McCafferty. Participants would need to be available for both sessions. This is a platform for artists to receive feedback and the chance to generate a discussion around your work. The Zoom link for this event will go live and be sent to you on the day.

Free tickets are now available to book through our online shop.

Thursdays 7 & 14 October 2021, 2pm–4pm

Sessions starting at 2pm, 2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm

Our next batch of 1-2-1 surgeries are for artists who want to chat about their work, or receive critical and practical advice from CCA’s Director Catherine Hemelryk. We will have four slots available per day, each lasting for 25 minutes. The Zoom invitation will be sent to participants in advance of their time slots.

Free tickets will be available soon from our online shop.

NI Executive current guidelines recommend that:

If you are showing symptoms however mild, or if anyone in your household is showing symptoms:

  • Self-isolate for 10 days
  • Book a PCR test, which you can do here.

The rules have changed on when to isolate if you are a Close Contact to a positive case, these depend on whether you have been fully vaccinated and your age. For more information on when to isolate following a positive or negative test is available at NI Direct. This link provides information for those on low incomes for financial support available to people self-isolating.

There is still guidance for everyone to stay safe.

  • book a test and self-isolate if you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • wear a face-covering (unless exempt)
  • keep your distance from others
  • limit your contacts
  • avoid large gatherings and busy places
  • spend time outdoors rather than indoors
  • don’t travel to or from places with higher COVID-19 infection rates

Do not

Face coverings

Since 10 August 2020 it is mandatory to wear face coverings in particular circumstances - short periods in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not possible.

Since 10 July 2020 it has also been required that you wear a face covering on public transport.

For more information visit NI Direct.

Volunteering North West are putting people in touch with local organisations who are working collectively to ensure that the most vulnerable are supported. Visit their website to sign up.

Derry Community Drive is a Facebook Group that has been set up for people to ask for help if they need and to support one another. You can join the group via Facebook here.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a package of support measures for businesses and employees on Friday 20th March 2020 and these have been updated in 2021. This package includes support from HMRC for businesses and self-employed people including grants, rates relief, deferring tax, job retention schemes and packages for reclaiming pay for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

Click here for more information on eligibility.

A scheme has been set up to support people who are a self-employed individual or member of a partnership. This package includes a taxable grant, which will be 80% of the average profits up to £2,500 per month. Note: you must make your claim on or before 30 September 2021.

Visit here for more information on eligibility.

The Department for Communities has also published new information on Universal Credit. New claims to Universal Credit can still be made online with additional telephone support available if you need help with a new claim. Click here for more information.

You will find the latest and other recent updates from ACNI on UK Government Advice, how to Plan and Prepare, Arts Council Support, existing funding awards, Applications currently submitted for assessment and New Funding Applications here.

Current ACNI funding Programmes are listed here as they open. Open now are:

Creative Individuals Recovery Programme: deadline 6 October 2021, noon.
The overriding objective of this programme is to help individuals reconnect or maintain their trade, profession or vocation within the creative sector as it emerges from coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Taking account of the diversity of the sector, it is difficult to be prescriptive, but the scheme will typically meet one-off costs that are necessarily incurred and indeed essential to the individual reengaging with or maintaining their practice. The programme will support actions to reverse the erosion of creative practice and loss of skills and experience to the creative sectors.

Minority Ethnic Artists Mentoring and Residency Programme: deadline 4 October 2021, noon.

Programme Aims:

  • Support workforce skill development and career pathways for artists of all ages from minority ethnic and migrant backgrounds.
  • Inspire excellence through the support of high-quality, ambitious, innovative and imaginative opportunities for artists to collaborate with others.
  • Increase the capacity and opportunities for artists to take professional and creative risks.
  • Contribute to a vibrant and diverse workforce across the breadth of the creative and cultural industries.
  • Increase opportunities for young and emerging minority ethnic artists

Specifically, the scheme will fund residencies and mentoring opportunities through which applicants can develop their creative and professional practice.

The ACNI Individuals Emergency Resilience Programme has closed.

The ACNI Emergency Programme for Artists and Performers has closed.

The Freelands Foundation Emergency Fund is currently closed. This information is for reference.

For artists and freelancers in Northern Ireland in partnership with a-n The Artists Information Company. The Freelands Foundation Emergency Fund is supported by the Freelands Foundation, as part of a landmark commitment of £3m towards emergency funds for artists and freelance creative practitioners across the UK affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Funds will be available for Northern Ireland based practitioners. Applications opened on Friday 25th September 2020.

Who can apply: Freelance creative practitioners based in Northern Ireland who work in the visual arts and are experiencing severe financial hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
What: Grants of £1,500 – £2,500
Deadline for applications: Applications are accepted from 2:00pm on Friday 25th September 2020 and decisions will be made on a monthly basis. You can apply at any time. Applicants will be informed of decisions within approximately 5-6 weeks of submitting an application. We encourage applicants to make a submission early due to the limited funds available.

Enquiries: [email protected]
Visit the website for more information here.

The Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund, in partnership with Arts & Business Northern Ireland, was launched on 21 September. The Fund will support or commission artists and arts organisations to develop arts projects, enhancing the wellbeing of the participants, audiences and communities involved. All art forms are eligible and the aim is for the projects to benefit a range of audiences. The Fund will also support arts projects that have been adapted due to COVID-19, or are inspired by / respond to COVID-19.

Applicants can request funds between c. £2,500 – £8,400, and average grants will be £4,200, with maximum grants of £8,400. Arts projects with larger budgets that have secured funds elsewhere are encouraged to apply. With each grant round, the Fund aims to provide funding to an arts project in each county on the island of Ireland.

This fund has now closed and successful applicants will hear by 31 August 2021. For more information click here.

VANI have moved online. For the latest list of events keep an eye on their website here.

The Help-Desk online will be running online every Wednesday. These 30-minute web chats are free for VANI members, £5 for non-members. Booking is available here. For VAI events visit here for further information.

Support freelancers: “Create an emergency fund to support freelancers with Coronavirus income loss.” A petition launched by Creative Industries Federation.

Public Health Agency guidance: click here

UK Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) action plan: click here

Independent Arts Projects:
Covid-19 Links to Advice and support for Arts Workers

HM Treasury: Budget 2020 – Support for those affected by COVID-19

Bread & Butter Fund: a crowdfunder to offer ‘gig’ fees of £200 to artists affected by COVID-19. This project is still live here.

The Department of Economy has partnered with the Open University and are offering a wide range of free training to those who have become unemployed or who on furlough leave due
to Corona virus. Some of the areas include:
– Digital skills
– Cyber Security
– Communication
– Leadership
– Essential skills – English and Maths.

You can undertake training during Furlough without it creating a break in the furlough leave, just a reminder that when undertaking training you must be paid at least the national minimum/living wage rate.
Here is the link to access the training here.


To help the museum and gallery sector recover from the Coronavirus pandemic, the Art Fund has launched a new funding round of their Reimagine Grants Scheme. Small grants of between £5,000 and £15,000, and large grants of between £15,000 and £50,000 will be awarded to museums, galleries, historic houses, archives, libraries, agencies and festivals across the UK to help them as they reimagine their activities following the pandemic, and build expertise, capacity and connections within and outside the sector. Applicants must address at least one of the Art Fund’s four priority areas for support: collections; digital; engagement; and workforce. The deadline for applications is the 23rd August 2021.

https://www.artfund.org/supporting-museums/programmes/reimagine-grants

The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has announced plans to distribute £12 million from its Coronavirus Appeal to a range of charity partnerships offering support to some of the UK’s most at risk groups. Just over £2 million of funding will be distributed in a first wave to Disability Action NI and LGBT+ Consortium to support these disproportionately impacted groups which the NET believes may not have received adequate support through the pandemic. Funding will support helpline services and organisations providing specialist advice and hands-on support to at risk individuals. Decisions on how these onward grants will be awarded will be made by people with lived experience of the issues faced. Further funds to be distributed to additional partners and consortia will be announced in the coming weeks.

https://nationalemergenciestrust.org.uk/first-new-charity-partners-to-enhance-support-for-at-risk-groups/

In response to the coronavirus, The Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland is making emergency funding available to registered charities and constituted groups which have been adversely affected by the crisis. The Small Community Grants Programme will provide funding of up to £2,500 to help organisations react to the pandemic, prepare to reopen or adapt services accordingly, and to restore/renew in order to enable ongoing service provision. Funding can be used for projects which must commence within the next three months, and can be used to cover core costs such as salaries, administrative costs and general running costs of projects. Organisations must have an income of less than one million. Applications can be made on a rolling basis.

https://www.halifaxfoundationni.org/programmes/community-grant-programme

Visual Arts Ireland has put together an information page the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment available to those experiencing loss of income: click here.
There is information that tells you if you are eligible and how to apply.

Arts Council for Ireland’s survey has closed. Current funding opportunities are available here.

For the latest Culture Ireland grants, click here.