Wednesday 02 March 2022


Northern Ireland arts organisations have secured funding through the British Council’s new International Collaboration Grants, helping them to develop digital, face-to-face and hybrid artistic projects internationally.

Research group, the Northern Irish Arts Network, has received funding to work with the African Artists' Foundation (AAF) in Lagos, Nigeria for their project ‘Written by us, Not about us’, which aims to address the lack of critical discourse surrounding the arts, particularly visual arts, in Northern Ireland and Nigeria. 

While Outburst Arts, Northern Ireland’s annual Queer Arts Festival, secured funding to build on their work with LGBTQI Arts organisations in Brazil (RISCO Festival) and Argentina (CasaBrandon, a LGBTQ+ Arts venue). Together, they will create a cultural exchange project embracing virtual reality, the written word, performance, and visual arts. 

The Northern Ireland projects were named today alongside 48 other projects from across the UK, with each successful grant having at least one UK and one overseas partner, with large grants of £20-75K or smaller grants of £5-20K awarded.

The Northern Irish Arts Network is co-lead by Anna Liesching (Curator of Art, National Museums NI) and Clare Gormley (Head of Programmes and Partnerships, Belfast Photo Festival).

Speaking about their project, Clare Gormley said:  "We're delighted to receive this grant from the British Council to work with African Artists' Foundation on a project aimed at developing and strengthening critical discourse around the visual arts in Northern Ireland and Nigeria."

Congratulating the recipients, Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland said: 

“We are delighted to see Northern Ireland recipients in this new International Collaboration fund. These projects will help develop and sustain vital international links between Northern Ireland and the rest of the world, supporting artists and organisations to share ideas, explore new ways of working and reach new audiences. We look forward to following the progress of the Northern Ireland grantees, and hope that their projects can inspire, educate, and engage wider society.”

Further International Collaboration Grants featuring Northern Ireland organisations will be announced in the coming months. The grants build on the success of the British Council’s 2020 pilot Digital Collaboration Fund, which supported organisations to sustain international collaborations digitally during the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Information on future funding rounds of the grants programme will be shared in the spring/summer of 2022. To find out more about International Collaboration Grants, visit: To find out more about British Council’s work in Northern Ireland visit or follow on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Notes to Editor

For information please contact - Claire McAuley, Senior Media and Campaigns Manager,: T +44 (0) 28 9019 2224 | M +44 (0) 7856524504 Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. In 2019-2020 we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 14.5 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.