Grant is awarded to local star of The Voice

Winner of The Voice, Andrea Begley, is one of 11 d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists to be awarded £1,000 by a new grant programme run by the University of Atypical.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 2:38 pm
Andrea Begley

The Creating Time Awards is the first in a series of grant programmes funded by Unlimited and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to support Northern Ireland’s d/Deaf and disabled artists to develop their work and enable them to reach new audiences.

Talented singer songwriter Andrea from County Tyrone and niece of Irish Country singing legend, Philomena Begley, said the grant would help her develop her audience reach and generate new products.

She explained: “As a visually impaired artist there are some things that I struggle to do and this grant will afford me the time and expertise of someone who is sighted to collaborate with me. Many online and digital platforms aren’t built in an accessible way, so a task like setting up an email marketing list for my fans is impossible for me. With the grant, I also plan to develop designs for merchandise that can be sold along with CDs; it’s something I’ve wanted to do for some time.”

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The Creating Time awards are designed to provide d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists with funding to access mentoring to enhance knowledge or skills, develop new ways to promote their work or simply to buy the time needed to continue with their professional practice.

Awards were made to artists in the following disciplines: Dance, Literature and Language Arts, Drama and Theatre, Music and Opera, Visual Arts, Film, TV and Combined Arts. The next programme, the Chris Ledger Legacy awards, opens in May 2021 and is named after the former CEO of University of Atypical who sadly passed away in the summer of 2020.

Sean Fitzsimons, Chairperson of the University of Atypical, said: “Covid 19 has caused great difficulties for many people in our community – especially the d/Deaf and disabled artists - but thanks to the generosity of Unlimited and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, we are able to provide much needed funding to help d/Deaf and disabled artists continue working and to facilitate career development opportunities. The awards recognise the contribution d/Deaf and Disabled Artists make to the arts sector and to the community.”