Commissioning Programme for Creative Innovation – currently closed

Arts Council has designed this programme to support fees for new commissions.  

The primary objective of the programme is to support commissions for specific performance(s) and/or other forms of public presentation.  

There is an expectation that funding from the Programme will lead to some form of meaningful public engagement outcome and / or other forms of public presentation.

This programme prioritises applications that:

  • Propose commissions of high artistic quality
  • Are planned to reach significant audiences through live performance, publication, broadcast, recording, and/or other audience channels
  • Provide for an extended life and/or extended public reach and impact for the work or project that has been created
  • Demonstrate a strong collaborative-engagement process between the commissioner, performers and the commissioned artist(s) and the public in the development and presentation of the new work
  • Demonstrate innovation and deepen the experience and understanding of the artform.

You should only express an interest for this programme if you will be able to confirm who the commission(s) has (ve) been awarded to by 31 March 2020.

What can you request funding for?

You can request financial support for commissioning costs incurred up to 31 March 2020. 

* For Visual Arts the commissioning costs can include the creation of new art work for an exhibition, or other showing.  There needs to be a clear indication of what showing it will be a part of.  

** In Literature, in addition to commissions for individual new pieces of work, applications are admissible for editorial and curatorial commission, as well as (for example) contributor fees to anthologies where these involve the origination of new work.”

*** Equity guidelines regarding commissions in theatre would be expected to be observed by applicants.

Who can apply?

The Arts Council welcomes expressions of interests from professional arts organisations.

Who Cannot Submit an Expression of Interest?

  • Individuals or sole traders
  • Commercial trading companies
  • Companies that exist to distribute a profit
  • Broadcasters (excluding community service broadcasters)
  • Central Government Departments.

How to apply?

Interested eligible professional arts organisations must submit the following by email to or post for the attention of Andrea McKittrick, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Linen Hill House, 23 Linenhall Street, Lisburn, BT28 1FJ by 4.00pm on Friday 17 January 2020

  • Completed Expression of Interest form
  • Your organisation’s Constitution and/or Memorandum and Article s of Association (if not previously stored in the Government Funding Database)
  • CVs of artists to be commissioned to include details of past works
  • A statement outlining your interest in the commission and approach to this new work
  • A separate budget for each commission applied for
  • Previous experience of curating or delivering work of a similar scale and purpose would be important to evidence
  • Equality & Monitoring Information – a template for your completion is available on the Arts Council of NI’s website –

If submitting your expression of interest by email, please clearly identify in the subject line, the programme to which the expression of interest relates.

If you decide to submit your expression of interest by post, please ensure that it is with by 4.00pm on Friday 17 January 2020.  Proof of postage is not admissible.

Go to the link below to the programme page on the Arts Council of Northern Ireland website and download the guidance notes, documentation and templates of Expression of Interest and Equality & Monitoring Information Forms and return by 4pm of 27 January 2020.

Commissioning Programme for Creative Innovation

Deadline for receipt of expressions of interest is: 4.00pm on Friday 17 January 2020

artist forms link
New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.