Who and what does Visual Arts funding support?
artists, curators, arts practitioners and arts organisations working within the
visual arts can apply to Arts Council funding awards for financial support. We consider visual arts to include a range of media such as painting,
drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, live art/performance, film, video
or other digital imaging media. You
can learn more about the remit of the Visual Arts supports here.
To be considered a professional arts practitioner you might not earn income continuously or exclusively from your
artistic/curatorial practice, but you must identify yourself, and be recognised
by your peers, as a professional practising artist, curator, or practitioner.
Visual Arts funding supports
independent professional visual arts practitioners to develop their practice
and create new work (Visual Arts Bursary Award, Agility Award, Markievicz Award,
Next Generation Award), and to research, produce and
present new work to audiences within Ireland (Visual Arts Project Award, Open
Call). We also support visual arts organisations to
present work and support the infrastructure of visual arts throughout Ireland, ensuring
its sustainability and vibrancy into the future. (Arts Grants Funding,
Strategic Funding). You can
learn more about available funding here.
Arts Council does not support commercial, charitable or fund raising
How do I know which Visual Arts funding award to apply to?
As a potential
applicant for Visual Arts funding, you should consider what the aims of your
proposal are and what activities you are seeking funding to support. A number
of Visual Arts funding awards are available, and each one is directed towards a
specific area of visual arts activity. For each round of an award that is
offered, a set of ‘Guidelines’ is published on the Arts Council’s website. The
activities that each funding award aims to support are outlined in the
corresponding award guidelines, under the section on award objectives/purpose
and priorities. This section should be read when considering which funding
award is most suited to the visual art activities that you wish to undertake,
and before making your application. See here for a list of all
our awards and corresponding guidelines.
I am an early stage professional artist, what can I apply for?
As an early career
professional artist you can consider making an application to the Agility Award
or the Bursary Award. The Agility Award aims to support individual professional
freelance artists and arts workers at any stage in their careers to develop
their practice, work, or skills. The Bursary Award aims to support professional
artists at any stage of their career to develop their practice. It provides
artists with the time and resources to think, research, reflect and critically
engage with their work. In 2023, you can only make one application to either
the Agility Award or the Bursary Award; you will not be eligible to make an
application to both.
I am an artist / curator / arts practitioner what can I apply for?
Each funding award has a set of specific activities that it
is intended to support. These are outlined in a set of ‘Guidelines’ that are
published on our website for each award. See here for all our awards
and their corresponding guidelines.
Bursary-style Awards (e.g. Visual Arts Bursary Award,
Agility Award, Markievicz Award, Next Generation Award) can support professional visual arts practitioners to develop their practice and make new
work, while more outcome-driven awards (e.g. Visual Arts Project Award) support
the research, production, and presentation of new work to a public audience
Established visual arts practitioners with a
significant track record can also apply for Open Call, a programme for artists
and arts organisations to develop and shift their practice, and create
ambitious new high-profile work on a national scale; and Arts Grant Funding,
which supports organisations and individuals to carry out a series of
activities taking place within a fixed period of time.
We are a visual arts organisation or collaborative group, what can we apply for?
Visual arts organisations can apply to: the Visual Arts Project
Award for support towards the research, production, and presentation of new
work to a public audience; Arts Grant Funding to support a series of activities/multiple
projects over a fixed period of time; or Open Call to develop and shift visual
arts practice and create an ambitious high-profile work on a national scale.
Groups of visual artists can apply to the Visual Artists Workspace
Scheme for support towards the running of their workspaces, and where feasible,
to enable a level of subsidy for the artists working in their spaces.
There are a number of leading key organisations with an
established track record who are supported through Strategic Funding. These
organisations support the essential infrastructure of the Visual Arts
throughout Ireland by developing artists’ practices and ideas, and delivering
excellent arts experiences to the public.
As an artist, how do I support my time developing my practice in the studio?
The aim of the Visual Arts Bursary Award is to support
individual professional artists and curators to develop their artistic practice
with funds to sustain an extended period of time developing and working in their
The Next Generation Award can also support artists
with time to develop their practice in the studio. This once-off and
exceptional award is designed to support emerging artists at an early but
pivotal stage in their career to develop and advance their practice.
Before applying for any award, please ensure that you
read the most up-to-date award guidelines on our website.
Can I apply for financial support towards the cost of studio rent?
Yes. The aim
of the Visual Arts Bursary Award is to support individual professional artists
and curators to develop their artistic practice, and it emphasises the value of
extended periods of time spent engaging with your work in your studio/workspace.
Requests for support towards the cost of renting a studio/workspace can be
included in your Bursary application.
visual artists can apply to the Visual Artists Workspace Scheme for support
towards the running of their workspaces, and where feasible, to enable a level
of rental subsidy for the artists working in their spaces.
I am an artist/curator and want to travel abroad to undertake a course, training or residency. Can the Arts Council help me?
Yes. While the
Travel and Training Award is currently paused, artists, curators and arts
practitioners can apply to the Agility Award. This award is open to
applications specifically intended to develop practice, skills or work. This can
include development opportunities abroad and costs relating to international
travel for the development of artistic practice, skills or work.
Note: It is not the remit of the Arts Council to support study abroad or the exhibition
of artwork abroad. In the case of the latter, you can contact Culture Ireland via their website www.cultureireland.ie
Where do I begin when preparing my funding application?
Read the guidelines carefully; the guidelines for each funding
award include everything that you need to know; from the activities that the
award supports, to what supporting material you need to include in your
application, and the criteria your application will be assessed against.
Check that your
proposal is suited to the specific objectives of the award that you are
applying to. Each funding award has a set
of specific activities that it is intended to support, these are outlined in
the ‘Guidelines’ that are published on our website for each award. See here for all our awards
and for their corresponding guidelines.
Be clear about what you want to achieve with
the funding support that you are applying for, and include in your proposal how
the activities that you have outlined meet the objectives and priorities of the
award you are applying for.
Ensure that your supporting material is of good quality; provide good-quality visual and/or written examples
of your work that demonstrate your practice to date and are relevant to your
What are the eligibility restrictions for making an application in 2023?
Each funding award has a specific set of criteria in relation to eligibility. These can be found in the guidelines for each award.
Here is an overview of some general eligibility restrictions for making an application in 2023:
How long does it usually take to get a decision?
On account of the large volume of applications received by Visual Arts,
the assessment and decision-making process usually takes approximately ten to
Why didn’t I receive funding?
The Arts Council has a finite budget
compared with the number of applications it receives. Due to this, and the
competitive nature of the awards, it is not possible to fund all eligible and
good applications. Eligibility and compliance with criteria for assessment
alone does not guarantee receipt of an award. All awards are made in a
competitive environment focusing on the criteria outlined for the award.
Remember that being unsuccessful does not
exclude you from applying to future rounds or other awards from the Arts
Council. However, please note that you may not apply for activities that have already
been assessed by the Arts Council unless you demonstrate that you have
developed the proposal since previously applying.
Can I see how my application was assessed?
Every eligible application is assessed
by a Visual Arts Advisor and/or the Visual Arts team. Each application is
assessed against how it meets the assessment criteria for the award. The
assessment criteria for each award is included in the relevant award guidelines
under the section titled ‘How we assess your application’.
If you would like to read the
assessment of your application, please email the Visual Arts Officer and we will send you a copy of
your assessment. You can request to see the assessment of your application
regardless of whether it was successful or unsuccessful.
Can I contact the Visual Arts team with more questions?
Yes, if your
question has not been addressed here, you can contact the Visual Arts Assistant
Justine Harrington at Justine.Harrington@artscouncil.ie
Is it possible for me to meet with someone from the Visual Arts team?
Unfortunately due to time constraints the Visual Arts team is not in a
position to meet with individuals other than in exceptional circumstances.
However, you can email or phone us any time with questions and we will get back
to you as soon as possible and do our best to assist. You are advised to look
at the Arts Council website first, where most standard questions about the
application process can be answered, and where there is information about all