Across the last weeks, everyone in the arts has been running around at a frantic pace. At this time of year generally, with the on-coming jangle of sleigh-bells heralding a well-earned rest, the increasingly highly competitive process of making application to funders, not least the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, is well under-way. But this year, and indeed, at this very time, the situation has shifted. The pace is upped. The stakes are far higher. For some, it is a matter of survival, for others, perhaps extinction.