Friday 01 August 2014


Northern Ireland artists could soon be showcasing their work abroad, thanks to a £50,000 funding scheme.

The Artists’ International Development Fund, a joint initiative between the British Council and the Arts Council Northern Ireland, aims to put local creative talent on the map by giving artists and art organisations the chance to bring their work to international audiences. 

Now in its third year, the £50,000 scheme is available for new international projects across all artforms including visual arts, music, literature, drama and dance, with grants of up to £5,000. 

Belfast curator Claire Hall, took part in the programme in 2013 gaining a residency placement in New York. During her residency, she developed the 88 Days project hosted by the Issue Project Room in downtown Brooklyn, working and developing new ideas with New York film makers, artists and musicians. 

Claire was one of 20 artists and arts organisations from Northern Ireland who got the chance to develop their international profile through the scheme. 

Speaking about her residency she said: “I have benefitted both personally and professionally from receiving this award without which the opportunity to spend three months in New York would have been almost impossible. 

“The residency has given me confidence in myself as a producer and inspired me to push forward with ideas. A highlight was working on the production team for a sound installation on the Manhattan Bridge — I started work at 5am and watched the sunrise over Manhattan from was really special.”

Speaking about the scheme, Colette Norwood, Arts Manager at the British Council Northern Ireland said: “In the arts,  just as in business, ideas and relationships develop best when people have the opportunity to meet face to face and spend time on project development.  

“We hope therefore this is a flexible and useful fund for artists who want to develop their practice internationally and are seeking links with artists and arts organisations abroad.  Collectively,  the fund will enhance Northern Ireland’s international artistic development, reputation and  standing.” 

Online applications for the  Artists’ International Development Fund open on August 4. To apply visit or for more information visit 

The Artists’ International Development fund is one of a host of international opportunities established by the British Council as part of its strategy to enhance the profile and reputation of the arts in Northern Ireland. For more information on opportunities through the British Council visit or email


Notes to Editor

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About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We work in over 100 countries worldwide to build engagement and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people. We work in the arts, education, English, science, sport and governance and last year we engaged face to face with 18.4 million people and reached 652 million. We are a non-political organisation which operates at arm’s length from government. Our total turnover in 2009/10 was £705 million, of which our grant-in-aid from the British government was £211 million. For every £1 of government grant we receive, we earn £2.50 from other sources. For more information, please visit: