ACNI have announced awards between ÂŁ500 and ÂŁ10,000 as part of the Rural Engagement Arts Programme.

The purpose of the Rural Engagement Arts Programme (REAP) is to provide an integrated, cohesive approach to the needs of local rural communities while recognising some specific issues they face.

The primary theme of REAP is combatting isolation and loneliness and promoting social inclusion. The recent pandemic adversely affected many lives as families and friends were separated for sustained periods of time, resulting in a negative impact on mental health and well-being. This was felt deeply in rural communities, characterised by smaller and more dispersed populations, where isolation can be more acute than in towns and urban areas.

Participating in the arts, and coming together as communities, can make a vital contribution to improving health and wellbeing, building confidence and integrating communities. The Arts Council has worked with local authority community development and arts officers to ensure that information on REAP is available and that this public funding is as widely distributed as possible.

Groups can apply for one-off projects or for a programme of events.  Projects do not have to be new – existing, successful programmes which meet the strategic themes of REAP, are also eligible for support.

While engagement must be targeted at rural communities as defined here, Local Authorities and other groups based in urban areas may apply to fund programmes delivered in rural communities.

Read more and apply here

Deadline Monday 3rd July