Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has released Pound 2.7million to support creative people impacted by the pandemic.
Minister Hargey said:
"I am delighted that my Department, through the Arts Council, will be awarding grants to 1,433 individuals to help encourage them to remain within the creative sector here.
"This sector has been seriously impacted by Covid restrictions as it relies heavily on people's ability to get together. We cannot afford to lose our creative talent and it is vital that we safeguard the sector for the future."
The awards are being made through the Creative Individuals Recovery Programme (CIRP) which Minister Hargey launched in September. The scheme is being delivered by Arts Council NI.
This fund aims to help individuals with costs of reactivating, maintaining and enhancing their creative trade, vocation or profession; preventing them from leaving the creative economy; and re-establishing their contribution to the benefits the sectors deliver for everyone.
The CIRP will provide grants to a range of creative professionals who have been impacted as a result of the public health restrictions on the sector. There is evidence that the creative sector relies heavily on self-employed and freelance individuals and that many have already left the sector because of the pandemic, with those remaining facing unaffordable costs relating to re-establishing their creative practice.