Dublin City Council recently granted an annual increase in Arts Grant funding from €550K to €800K. This increase was on foot of a review of Arts Grants in 2023 and an agreement by the Elected Members that this increase should be targeted on capacity building in the area of Arts programming in local communities.

The City Arts Office wish to conduct a two year pilot scheme to allocate this amount of €250k with a view to empowering Arts organisations and Artists to continue to programme meaningfully and effectively in community settings while simultaneously supporting community development practitioners and organisations to engage with the Arts and the benefits it brings to local communities. After the pilot scheme concludes the main Arts Grants in Neighbourhood Grants will be increased by the €250K in question with incorporation of the learning that has taken place. To this end the City Arts Office invites Community development practitioners and community development groups and organisations as well as Artists and Arts Organisations to collaborate in joint applications to this pilot scheme fund.

€50K will be allocated to each Administrative Area of Dublin City Council (see map) and applicants may apply for a minimum of €5K and a maximum of €20K. For the purposes of this application Community development refers to the process of empowering and improving the quality of life within a specific group or neighbourhood. It involves collaboration and collective action among community members, organizations, and local authorities to address social, economic, and environmental challenges.

Community development aims to enhance the well-being, resilience, and self-sufficiency of the community by promoting social cohesion, economic opportunities, sustainable infrastructure, and access to essential services. It often includes initiatives such as education and skill-building, healthcare, affordable housing, job creation, environmental sustainability, and cultural enrichment.

The Arts refers to the production and expression of the nine Art Forms set out in the Arts Act 1973 namely, arts” means any creative or interpretative expression (whether traditional or contemporary) in whatever form, and includes, in particular, visual arts, theatre, literature, music, dance, opera, film, circus and architecture, and includes any medium when used for those purposes.

Although some Artists are already involved in socially engaged practice, Artists are not always primarily focused on the community development outcomes of their project or programme. For the purposes of this grant scheme the combination of Artistic development and community empowerment is sought in the project or programme proposed. Dublin City Council understands that community development can be expressed in many different ways from youth work to local enterprise and does not wish to restrict any form of community based activity or any innovation approach from applying. Moreover Artists and Arts organisations may wish to innovate in their approaches to community settings and should feel free to propose new or original ways of working.

In essence Dublin City Council want to stimulate the partnership and synergy of the Arts and Community Development so that new initiatives and collaborations can emerge. Dublin City Council understands that this is not a new idea in itself and that such initiatives have been successfully implemented by individuals, organisations and agencies over many years.

There are three main elements that this pilot grants scheme wants to encourage. Local audiences, local participation in the project or programme, secured through the involvement of professional artists working closely with community development professionals and/or voluntary organisations.

Applications will take place on Submittable, in keeping with Arts Office practice, the first applications round will be as easy as possible on the applicant.

Application form below.

The criteria on which the first Round of Applications will be assessed are:

  1. The Quality of the proposal and how it combines the elements of Community Development and the Arts. (40%)
  2. The track record of the applicant(s) and their experience. (30%)
  3. The feasibility of the proposal including its financial feasibility. (20%)

There will be Zoom Question and Answer sessions with the Arts Office on June 25th at 11 a.m. and June 26th at 4p.m. where the Arts Office Team will talk through the form and the questions asked and explain more about the scheme. Please register by choosing a session below.

Zoom Question and Answer Session – Tuesday 25th June 11 a.m.

Zoom Question and Answer Session – Wednesday 26th June 4p.m.

The application form will go live on Submittable on Monday 29th July.  The deadline for the scheme is 12 noon on Friday the 6th of September. 


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