PLATFORM 31- Opportunity for Artists

Local Authority Arts Offices and the Arts Council of Ireland announce PLATFORM 31, a nationwide artist development scheme by the 31 Local Authority Arts Offices, in collaboration with the Arts Council. This is a national opportunity for artists to develop their practice and test new ideas of collaboration, research, audience development, place-making and sharing their work.

Platform 31




Designed to support and offer career development for 31 mid-career artists (one artist in each of the 31 local authorities around Ireland), there are two elements of support for participating artists in the scheme: financial and developmental. Participating artists will receive an €8,000 bursary to invest in themselves and their practice, combined with participation in an advisory and developmental framework and a peer network. 



For over 35 years Local Authority Arts Offices have worked directly with artists to ensure the arts thrive in all communities.  Working in a grass roots and foundational way has allowed Arts Officers to identify and to respond to the needs of artists, keeping the arts and cultural agenda focussed and relevant in changing environments.


“We embrace the opportunity in our communities to inform and lead new ways of working collaboratively towards cultural development”, said Jenny Sherwin, Wicklow County Council Arts Officer. “At the heart of all of this are artists, the real animators of the arts in Ireland -  the writers, musicians, actors, performers, dancers and filmmakers. We envision this pilot scheme as a platform for these creatives to value their time, to showcase their work and their collaborations, sharing their learnings locally and nationally as a legacy of the project.” 


“The bursary seeks to provide artists with the time and resources to think, test new ideas, research new approaches and to reflect and engage with their artistic practice”, said Maureen Kennelly, Arts Council Director. “The Arts Council is delighted to partner with local authorities, who are responding thoughtfully and ambitiously to the challenging environment for artists. The carefully considered support network built into Platform 31 sets this bursary scheme apart.” 


The scheme will establish a peer networking framework for participating artists, introducing them to a pool of critical thinkers to share their work and learnings, and encouraging a national conversation about creating work in local contexts. The exact nature of this artist support framework will be informed by the proposals and interests of the 31 artists selected.


The award is open to artists of any discipline and practice, based in Ireland, as well as multi-disciplinary practice and design of all kinds. It is designed to support mid-career artists who must have been in receipt of support/investment from a Local Authority Arts Office or the Arts Council within the last three years.  


Applications open from November 9th - 30th. For more information email or visit here.










Quotes from artists on the impact of Local Authority funding:


Little John Nee

"I am no longer surprised but still in awe at the wealth of great artistic work to be found in every corner of this country, sometimes in the least expected places; there is  genius and long term commitment that might go unnoticed and unfunded were it not for local arts officers. I am excited by this amazing pilot scheme in the knowledge that good use will be made of this funding and the benefit of it will be felt all over, may it grow."


Anna Newell

“Wicklow Arts Office’s repeated willingness to fund experimental projects has made a massive contribution to the exponential development of both my artistic practice and my artistic profile over the past 4 years, taking me to a very different place than I found myself in 2016 on arrival in Bray.”


Application Info


The Platform 31 scheme is open to:

·       Artists living in any of the 31 Local Authority regions in the Republic of Ireland.

·       Artists working in any medium and practice, as well as multi-disciplinary practice and design of all kinds.

·       Artists who have received Local Authority Arts Office or Arts Council funding within the last 3 years (2018, 2019, 2020).

Please note: this scheme has been put in place to support and benefit mid-career artists. While several schemes exist to support emerging and debut artists, this pilot scheme is designed to support more experienced artists who require time and space to focus on their practice, and access to expertise that will benefit their continuing careers. 


Stage 1 selection: December 2020

Eligible applications are compiled and sent to the Local Authority Arts Officer of the region in which the applicant lives.

Each relevant Local Authority Arts Officer will engage the assistance of an external assessor of their choice to assess the applications on the basis of the scheme’s selection criteria. Up to three artists from each Local Authority region will be recommended for consideration in Stage 2.


Stage 2 selection: January 2021

Up to 93 recommended artists – three from each Local Authority region - will be considered by a national selection panel (composed of four Local Authority Arts Officers and up to two arts practitioners).

Selected artists will be contracted by Wicklow County Council. The scheme will run until Autumn 2021. 


Related News

Dance Connects in Rural Border Regions

Dance Connects in Rural Border Regions

Published on: 28 November 2023

ARTIST PANEL2023 - 2026

ARTIST PANEL2023 - 2026

Published on: 27 November 2023



Published on: 14 October 2023



Published on: 12 October 2023