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Arts Organisations begin new year with boost from Bank of Ireland

16 February 2024

A number of arts organisations across the island of Ireland are beginning 2024 with a funding boost from Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together Arts Fund, delivered in partnership with Business to Arts.

Eight organisations are set to benefit from the fourth round of Begin Together Arts Fund, which has allocated more than €1 million funding to support 100 artists and arts projects in communities across the island of Ireland since 2020.

The fund has provided eight grants of €12,500, totalling €100,000, to organisations across the island, with six recipients in ROI and two in Northern Ireland. For this round of the Begin Together Arts Fund, the projects supported aimed to inspire and uplift local communities by helping arts organisations working with marginalised and vulnerable groups.

The grants will support programmes across arts and health, music, theatre, circus and visual arts that increase inclusion and break down barriers to arts participation.

Paula Murphy, Group Director Brand and Sponsorship, Bank of Ireland said:

“Since the fund began in 2020, Begin Together has provided financial support to a broad range of artists and arts organisations. The fund recognises the important social and economic contribution of the arts and culture sector and its role in connecting and strengthening communities."

“These grants are focussed on supporting artists and organisations from all over Ireland that are helping increase participation in the Arts, ensuring as many people as possible have the opportunity to explore their creativity. We wish the organisations and artists well, as their projects come to life in the coming months”.

Louise O'Reilly, Chief Executive of Business to Arts said:

“It is an honour to work with such a committed partner as Bank of Ireland on this seminal arts fund. It supports and highlights the work of a range of leading arts resource organisations serving diverse audiences in an inclusive way and ensuring a distributed impact across the artists and the communities they serve.”

Begin Together is a key part of Bank of Ireland’s support for building an inclusive and resilient society which will thrive in the challenges of today and into the future. For further information on the Begin Together programme visit

Axis Ballymun

Sm(ALL) Folk - My Space

Axis Ballymun’s Early Years Arts Programme is curated for children from Traveller & Migrant backgrounds and is facilitated by artists whose identity aligns with each of the groups—Chloe McDonagh and Thaís Muniz. This programme reduces barriers and allows for safe, fun and imaginative creative engagement for young people and their carers in small groups.

Sm All Folk

Connections Arts Centre

The Connecting Artists Collective

This programme empowers artists with intellectual disabilities to reshape societal preconceptions and cultural programme norms in the arts and disability community. It mentors these artists by providing an inclusive space to develop their creative practice and help them prepare for the exhibition and sale of their work.

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Galway Community Circus

From Big Tops to Big Dreams

A circus school programme to build confidence, leadership skills, and social connections for youth (11-17) living in Direct Provision in partnership with New Horizon Refugee Support Athlone, it will also provide professional development opportunities for emerging circus artists to develop new competencies to support their future work and employability.

Age15 17 small 3

Helium Arts

Helium Arts empowers children living with lifelong physical health conditions through creativity, arts & play. This arts-in-health programme improves the social connectedness and healthcare experience of the children.

5 FIRST FAMILY SHOWCASE SPRING 2019 Group pose with Treat Stall at Crawford Gallery venividi ie 709x900

Kids in Control

All Doors Open

Kids in Control is a professional theatre company in Belfast that values children and young people of all abilities and backgrounds without discrimination or recourse to selection. This dynamic physical storytelling creative learning programme focuses on participants with impaired intellectual or social functioning, increasing their access to arts activities and improving social skills and confidence.

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Sample Studios

Cork Creative Careers Programme

Sample-Studios is one of Ireland’s largest artist studios, based in Cork City, aiming to launch, support and sustain creative careers. This programme offers TY students and 6th-class pupils in DEIS schools the opportunity to explore their own creativity, and creative career paths and develop new skills through direct engagement with local arts practitioners.

Example of Previous Work Cork Young Curators and Critics Image 1

Sing Ireland

Song Seeking

Sing Ireland is on a mission to enhance lives through singing and build stronger voices throughout Irish communities. This intergenerational singing programme in Direct Provision temporary accommodation settings and local choirs in Tipperary and Clare uses music and singing as a universal language to foster community and cultural sharing and build social connection and cohesion.

Song Seeking singers

University of Atypical

UofA is disabled-led and is the lead sectoral organisation for arts and disability in Northern Ireland. It takes an empowerment-based approach towards d/Deaf, disabled, and Neurodiverse people’s involvement in the arts as artists and audience members.

Artist Julie Mc Gowan and participants in teh Urban Survival Kits workshop

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