Arts Council NI – 21 Northern Ireland creatives scoop Arts Council ACES Award

21 artists from Northern Ireland have been announced at the latest recipients of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s ACES award 2015/16.

Awards under the Artists Career Enhancement Scheme (ACES) are made annually to professional artists working in music, visual arts, drama, dance, literature and participatory arts and are among the most prestigious awards bestowed by the Arts Council annually.

The artists include four visual artists, three playwrights, five poets, three novelists, three musicians, a dance artist and two community artists.

In addition to receiving a bursary of up to £5,000 each, many of the 21 artists have been partnered with a professional organisation to help each of them to deliver a major new creative work.

Those organisations include; Golden Thread Gallery, Sonic Arts Research Centre and Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, Replay Theatre, Panarts, Arts & Disability Forum, Maiden Voyage, CCA (Derry), Theatreofpluck, The MAC, Millennium Court Arts Centre (Portadown), Mark Devereux Projects (Manchester), Vital Exposure (London), Dad Festival (Liverpool) and The Performance Corporation (Ireland).

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:

“These 21 artists are already established and highly regarded in each of their fields.

The awards are given in recognition of their work to date and to provide them with support to take their careers to that vital next level.

The ACES programme has been running successfully now for six years and addresses the need for on-going training and skills development within the arts sector.”

The 21 artists include:

  • Fionnuala Kennedy, playwright and theatre-maker
  • Shannon Sickles, playwright
  • Helen Hall, dance artist
  • Miguel Martin, visual artist
  • Chelley McLear, poet and storyteller
  • Darren Anderson, novelist
  • Hilary McCollum, playwright
  • Jacqueline Wylie, visual artist
  • Norma Beggs, community artist
  • Emma Heatherington, novelist
  • Fionnuala Fagan, musician, composer and installation artist
  • Andrew Eaton, poet
  • Colin Dardis, poet
  • Leo Devlin, visual artist
  • Shiro Masuyama, visual artist
  • Larry Cowan, community artist
  • Brigid O’Neill, singer-songwriter
  • Geraldine O’Kane, poet
  • Lesley Richardson, novelist
  • Maria McManus, poet
  • Ciara O’Neill, singer-songwriter

The Artists Career Enhancement Programme (ACES) forms part of the wider Support for the Individual Artist Programme (SIAP) administered by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland annually.

As part of its continuing commitment to supporting the development of individual artists, the Council made 155 SIAP awards to artists in 2015/16 totalling £415k.

Since its establishment in 2010, 100 artists have been supported through ACES.

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