Ballymoney artist receives arts funding

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Ballymoney visual artist and musician, Elvin Simpson, is one of fourteen deaf and disabled artists from Northern Ireland to have been announced as recipients of the iDA (Individual Disabled/Deaf Artists) scheme.

The scheme is delivered through the Arts & Disability Forum (ADF) and funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, which allows them to develop their professional artistic careers.

Elvin will use the funding award to create an installation combining visual art and music.

Awards under the iDA scheme are made annually to Deaf and disabled artists working in a range of art forms. The bursaries allow each artist to produce a new creative work or receive training or professional mentoring. The 2016 artists include eight visual artists, two theatre practitioners, one dance artist, a poet and two musicians. The artists have impairments ranging from physical disability, visual impairment, mental-ill health and learning difficulties.

Managed by the Arts & Disability Forum (ADF), awards under the iDA scheme are made annually to Deaf and disabled artists working in a range of art forms. The bursaries, funded through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, will allow each artist to produce a new creative work or receive training or professional mentoring. The 2016 artists include eight visual artists, two theatre practitioners, one dance artist, a poet and two musicians. The artists have impairments ranging from physical disability, visual impairment, mental-ill health and learning difficulties.

Chris Ledger, Chief Executive, Arts and Disability Forum, commented; “Disabled and deaf people can have fruitful and successful careers in the arts and the grant scheme recognises this and supports artists to develop work of extremely high artistic merit. The scheme is open to artists in all artforms and with all types of disability including unseen conditions such as diabetes, dyslexia, epilepsy and mental health conditions.”

Fionnuala Walsh, Head of Participatory Arts, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added: “Congratulations to all fourteen artists. These grants are given in recognition of the artists’ work to date and to provide them with the necessary support to take their careers to the next level. The Arts Council is pleased to support this important programme, which encourages the creation of new, high-quality artistic work and addresses the need for disabled and Deaf artists to have on-going training and skills development within the sector.”

Through the ADF’s support, deaf and disabled artists have developed unique artwork of extremely high artistic quality, some progressing to a level where they have received international recognition. The iDA scheme’s purpose is to identify, encourage and nurture individual talent amongst disabled practitioners. The 2016 artists include eight visual artists, two theatre practitioners, one dance artist, a poet and two musicians.