Community organisations and voluntary groups from County Derry~Londonderry are urged to avail of grants of up to £3,000, for innovative arts and culture projects, from the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland’s Acorn Fund
Supported by the Big Lottery Fund, the grants are part of the Acorn Fund’s City of Culture Legacy programme and are available to projects that use arts and culture within their communities to create social networks, encourage talent, develop skills and strengthen inclusive activity.
Stage Beyond received a legacy grant in 2015 for a touring production of Rashomon, a Japanese influenced play performed by adults with learning difficulties. Describing their experiences one of the participants said:
“Acting with Stage Beyond changed my life. The people who called me names growing up now speak to me and understand that I was different because of a learning disability.”
Frank Hewitt, the Big Lottery Fund’s NI Chair, said: “We are delighted to see the impact that theAcorn Fund’s Legacy Grants programme is having by supporting a range of diverse and exciting projects that are making a real difference to people’s lives. This funding is helping groups to continue to build on the legacy of the UK City of Culture.”
The next round of the Acorn Legacy Grant fund wi
The Acorn Inspire Bursaries programme will also open on Tuesday, October 18 for applications. Funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, grants are offered to young people with disabilities to help them pursue training in their chosen arts. Successful applicants will receive mentored support during and following their award period from the Acorn Fund, and will in turn act as mentors for future bursary recipients.
Since 2014, 14 young people have received bursaries of between £2k and £3k, and have been mentored in acting, singing, filmmaking, drumming dancing and horticulture.
Last year’s recipient, Sean, used his bursary to help him learn the drums, join a band and is now working towards achieving his first grade in drumming. It has given him and his grandparents a positive focus for his future.
The bursary is part of the Acorn Fund’s aim of tackling issues such as social inclusion, rural isolation and marginalisation. The programme will close on Tuesday, November 8 for applications.
More information on both grant programmes are available from the Community Foundation NI’s website www.communityfoundationni.org/
Shauna Kelpie,AcornFundDevelopment Officer said: "I’m really encouraging groups, organisations and individuals from across County Derry to apply for these grants. We’ve already seen how a small
amount of funding can make a real difference to local communities and we’d like to support moreprojects that are focused on encouraging creativity and giving people the opportunity to celebrate, explore and showcase their talents.”
More information on all Acorn Fund grants can be found on www.communityfoundationni.o