A fund offering emergency grants to performers and creative practitioners in Northern Ireland has been established by the country’s Arts Council.
Individuals will be able to apply for up to £5,000 from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Artists Emergency Programme.
It is intended for freelance artists, performers and other creative practitioners and is being funded with £500,000 from the Arts Council’s pot of National Lottery money.
The fund is now open until further notice and the funding body said it hoped to make decisions within two weeks of receiving proposals.
The funding is intended for the support, research and preparation of future work, including helping artists develop their creative practice.
The Arts Council said the emergency grants would provide a lifeline to artists "at a time when the arts sector has been decimated under quarantine conditions".
A survey by the Arts Council has already revealed that individual artists estimate they will lose an average of £3,756 per person between March and May, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Arts Council chief executive Roisin McDonough said: "The Artists Emergency Fund, worth £500,000 of National Lottery funding, will help support artists to develop their vocations and find new ways to bring colour, meaning and inspiration to our lives at a time when many of us need it most.
"The scheme is open for expressions of interest and we hope to see inventive ideas that imagine how artists’ practices can advance in better times, while also engaging in the future with audiences and participants in a meaningful way.”
More information can be found here.