Arts Grant Funding – Martin Shannon (recipient of a bursary award), Lumen Street theatre at the annual St Patrick’s Day parade in Limerick. Picture: Sean Curtin/True Media.
Limerick artists get funding from new, enhanced Arts Grant Funding programme
By I Love Limerick correspondent Mary Caroline McCarthy
The Arts Council announced that it is offering funding of almost €10 million to 166 artist and arts organisations as part of its Arts Grant Funding (AGF) programme.
The grants are for Artists’ Support, Arts participation, Circus, Dance, Festivals & Events, Film, literature, Music, Opera, Spectacle, Theatre, traditional Arts, Venues, Visual Arts, and YPCE.
The investment includes an additional €2.5 million compared to last year’s AGF programmes, part of an effort to support artists and arts organisations through the Covid-19 crisis.
This has been made possible through an extra investment from the government this year. In total, 166 applicants out of 194 were successful, including an extra forty-two that were not funded in 2019.
The AGF scheme is now in its third year, it was introduced in 2018 as part of our ten-year strategy, making great artwork. The additional investment comes alongside a suite of other new and enhanced funding programmes designed to help the arts sector survive and adapt to the pandemic.
These include enhanced Projects awards, Bursary awards, and commissions across all art forms and areas of art practice, a capacity-building scheme to support organisations adapt and develop new skills and expertise, professional development opportunities, and an Emergency Stabilisation Fund to support some arts organisations facing significant financial difficulties.
“This investment is a vote of confidence by the Arts Council in these artists and arts organisations.”
We are delighted to announce funding of almost €10 million to 166 recipients of our Arts Grant Funding programme.
— Arts Council Ireland (@artscouncil_ie) October 22, 2020
Last week, the Arts Grant Funding was announced and Limerick recipients included the Limerick festival Light Moves Festival Of Screendance, the venue Friars’ Gate Theatre & Arts in Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, Askeaton Civic Trust and dancer Maria Jazmin Chiodi and dancer Angie Smalis.
Angie Smalis trained and worked professionally as a dance artist in Greece before moving to Vienna, Austria in 2001 to join the Viennese Folk Opera (VolksOper Wien). She relocated to Limerick in 2003 to join Daghdha Dance Company. Angie is an independent contemporary dance artist, Artistic Director of Limerick Youth Theatre, and Founder and Director of Patterns Dance Collective, a group of dance artists with intellectual disabilities. Her work focuses on developing a methodology to express contemporary and universal concerns, through a character/place-based dance vocabulary, in collaboration with performing artist Colin Gee (NYC).
Angie said, “I am delighted to be one of the successful applicants under the Arts Grant Funding Award, offered by The Arts Council. The Project is titled ‘Capital’ and it examines the development & decay of social conscience, in collaboration with four dance artists, an actor, a composer, a 3-D Cartographer, a filmmaker, a costume designer, a set designer and a crew team. I would like to thank everyone who supported this application and I look forward to sharing the progress as it unfolds.”
On Friday, October 23, the Visual Arts Bursary Awards were announced for individual artists to research and develop their art form. The purpose of the award is to support professional artists at any stage of their career to develop their art practice. It provides artists with the time and resources to think, research, reflect and critically engage with their art.
The amount of good news being communicated today by recipients of @artscouncil_ie bursaries and arts grants would do your heart good. Proper funding of the arts will see an explosion of work that will entertain and sustain us in the months and years to come https://t.co/p3bIdsd7gj
— Louise Donlon (@LouiseDonlon) October 23, 2020
Various Limerick artists received the bursary including Emma Fisher, a puppeteer, and Martin Shannon, a painter, sculptor, and printmaker.
Emma Fisher is currently in the final stages of her PhD in puppetry at the University of Limerick. Her research explores unconventionally constructed puppets that reflect the disabled body and looks at the history of puppetry to see how it has been applied in a way that transcends the oppression of the body.
Emma is a puppeteer, set designer, and writer who has been working in Arts and Health since 2009 with Helium Children’s Arts and Health. She set up Beyond the Bark, an inclusive puppet and installation theatre in 2007. She was also nominated for an Irish Times theatre award for set design in 2010 for Revengers Tragedy and Don Juan in Hell.
When Emma found out about her receiving of the grant she was obviously delighted, saying, “Feeling so unbelievably grateful to the arts council. Got a bursary fund to work on my stop motion animation shadow films for the next six months. I am over the moon. Well needed good news.”
Martin Shannon was another recipient of the award. Martin Shannon is a painter, sculptor, and printmaker. He holds a master’s degree in fine art Sculpture from the Limerick School of Art and Design. He was selected for Ev+A in 2005, has had a residency in 411 Galleries in China, and has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally.
Martin is also one of the founding members of Lumen Theatre. Lumen seeks to engage with the public by presenting scenes and performances that are visually spectacular, distinctive, and inspiring within the setting of Limericks Urban Landscape.
Martin Shannon shared the good news to his Twitter friends, saying, “Feeling so pleased! Just received word of my successful bursary award to work on my street theatre art practice. I am overjoyed. Good news in a year so full of wrong, thanks for all the support.” Congrats to all!
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