Who and what does Visual Arts funding support?
Professional 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) and to research, produce and
present new work to audiences within Ireland (Visual Arts Project Award. 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.
Note: The Arts Council does not support commercial,
charitable or fund raising activities.
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 practitioners 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.
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
and the Agility 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 within Ireland. Arts Grant
Funding 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 studio/workspace.
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.
Anyone currently enrolled as an undergraduate
student cannot apply for Arts Council funding.
Applicants can apply as a postgraduate student, but
not for fees or for activities related to their studies.
Applicants are not permitted to re-submit proposals
which have already been assessed by the Arts Council, unless you demonstrate
that you have developed the proposal since previously applying.
You must submit all of the required
supporting material as outlined in the award guidelines with your application
form. ‘Supporting material’ is material that is separate from and
additional to your application form (e.g. CV, images, video links,
project plan, budget, etc.). If your application is missing required supporting
material, your application will not be considered for assessment.
Please note, some Visual Arts awards require
different supporting material for each strand of the award (e.g. Project Award
Strand 1 and Strand 2). Please read the guidelines carefully to ensure that you
submit all required supporting material with your application.
You must be resident in the Republic of Ireland to
be eligible to make an application for funding to the Arts Council. There are
certain exceptions where the Arts Council may deem eligible applications made
by those based outside the Republic of Ireland. The applicant would need to
explicitly outline within the application how the outcomes of any such proposal
would benefit the arts in the Republic of Ireland, and the Arts Council must be
satisfied with same.
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. Bursary style and project awards are assessed at a final stage by a panel of peer practitioners which would usually include a curator and 3 practicing artists.
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 initial assessment of your application, please email the Visual Arts Officer. You can request to see the assessment text for your application
regardless of whether it was successful or unsuccessful. Applications which have been found to be ineligible for assessment will not have any assessment text.
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