Calling artists and community arts organisations to apply for funding

The second round of the Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund, in partnership with Business to Arts, has been launched with a call for artists and arts organisations to apply for funding. The all-island Begin Together Arts Fund will make a total of €1 million in arts funding available over three years, awarded to projects that are adapting due to the pandemic, or are inspired by and responding to our recovery.

The Arts Fund supports or commissions artists and arts organisations to develop arts projects that engage the individuals, audiences and communities involved. All art forms are eligible to apply to the fund. With this second round, Bank of Ireland and Business to Arts are encouraging more applications from artists who specialise in fine-art film and craft-related disciplines and from community arts organisations, who were under-represented in round one.

Artists or groups of artists applying must work with a partner organisation (e.g. a venue or event, arts organisation, community/voluntary organisation or another funding agency/organisation). Applicants can request funds between €3,000 – €10,000 / (STG equivalent), and average grants will be €5,000 / (STG equivalent), with maximum grants of €10,000 / (STG equivalent). 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.

Closing date for the second round of applications is Wednesday, 23 June 2021 at 5pm.

During the first round of the Arts Fund over €300,000 was distributed to 36 projects across the island of Ireland. Projects such as ‘Yes, But Do You Care?’, a collaboration between visual artist Marie Brett, choreographer/performer Philip Connaughton, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, and the Dementia Carers Campaign Network that recently launched online via the Irish Museum of Modern Art; Mobile Music Ensemble’s ‘Covid Care Concerts’ which toured hospitals and care homes during 2020 and will continue their concerts in coming months; and ‘Locked up in Lockdown’, a theatre collaboration between the Lyric Theatre, Belfast and members of a young offenders’ centre about their experiences of the pandemic.

Oliver Wall, Chief of Staff and Head of Group Corporate Affairs, Bank of Ireland said, “I’m delighted that the Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund continues to support new work and artistic practice during these challenging times for the arts. It represents an important part of our wider support for communities in Offaly. The projects supported by the Fund will have an important role to play in helping us all to reflect on the last 12 months and look to brighter days ahead.”

Catherine Martin, TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown what we value most into sharp relief. It is both poignant and powerful to see the eagerness with which cultural content is being consumed and craved, as we now look hopefully towards better times.  Thanks to funding provided by my Department, this second round of the Begin Together Arts Fund, in partnership with Business to Arts, will support artists and arts organisations in realising their projects in innovative and engaging ways. I am delighted to see this Fund continue to benefit the sector.”

Andrew Hetherington, CEO, Business to Arts said, “The Begin Together Arts Fund is a vital source of private sector funding for the arts.  The projects funded in round one demonstrate the adaptability and resilience of Ireland’s arts sector. Business to Arts is proud work in partnership with Bank of Ireland as we progress the fund, reach more communities and help realise quality arts experiences for people across the island of Ireland”.

About the Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund:

This Fund provides fees to artists or groups of artists to create new work and help maximise the budgets of partner organisations (e.g. arts organisations, community/voluntary organisations, etc.) for their programme of activity.

To find out more about the Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund, please visit

For information on the application process and to complete the online application form, please visit

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