Arts Council Funding: Amateur and Voluntary Practice Pilot Scheme

Round 2 of the Arts Council’s Amateur and Voluntary Practice Pilot Scheme are now open.

Closing date for applications is Thursday, 28 October 2021 at 5.30pm.

The Arts Council’s strategy recognises the distinctive role of amateur arts practice, its important contribution to the vitality of the arts in Ireland, including music, theatre and musical theatre, and its many personal, social and artistic benefits.

This pilot scheme is offered as a once-off, action-research opportunity, and seeks enhanced engagement, mentorship and advocacy between the amateur and professional theatre, music and musical-theatre sectors.

This work links to the actions outlined in the Arts Council three-year plan, 2020–22;

To deliver these supporting actions, the Arts Council will:

  • Create professional-development opportunities for artists who are interested in developing their skills and sharing their expertise in working with children and young people, and in community-engaged practices.
  • Support voluntary and nonprofessional participation in the arts through working with a range of agencies and organisations, including the Creative Ireland programme.

The pilot aims to support the employment of professional artists to work with and develop the capacity of the amateur and voluntary sector.

All awards are informed by the Arts Council’s ten-year strategy (2016–25), Making Great Art Work: Leading the Development of the Arts in Ireland (see


The award aims to support theatre and musical-theatre national amateur and / or voluntary resource-and-support organisations for programmes that develop, by working with professional artists, the performance and technical skills of local-organisation members through training, mentorship or other innovative ideas. It envisages that such programmes could be centrally organised and provided.

It is further envisaged that such programmes could be either conceived as in-person or online programmes or both.


Priority will be given to applications that:

  • Are from national-level amateur and/or voluntary-practice support-and-resource organisations (including membership-based organisations) with a proven track record
  • Demonstrate a focus on excellence and accessibility of development experience for participants
  • Demonstrate their feasibility by providing a clear and realistic budget (including evidence of appropriate and equitable professional payment rates), a clear and feasible operational plan, and additional sources of support
  • Demonstrate ambition and vision in creating a considered, imaginative and structured approach.

Note : as this is the second round of the 2021  pilot scheme, organisations who made eligible applications to round one may not re-apply.

Closing date for applications is Thursday, 28 October 2021 at 5.30pm.

For further information and to apply, please see

Please note: You must be registered with the online services website to make an application for any Arts Council funding. If you are not already registered, we recommend you register for online services as far in advance of the deadline as possible, as it may take five days for your online services registration to be processed.

We also urge anyone, before starting your application, to reach out to the relevant contact within the Arts Council at