Artist in the Community Scheme

Artist in the Community Scheme
2018 AIC Scheme Summer School on Cultural Diversity and Collaborative Practice. Credit: Aoife Herrity

Arts Council’s Artist in the Community Scheme

Scéim An Ealaíontóra Sa Phobal

Are you an artist working collaboratively with a community? Are you an artist or community group with an interest in working on a collaborative, socially engaged project?

The Arts Council’s Artist in the Community (AIC) Scheme, managed by Create, offers awards to enable artists and communities of place and/or interest to work together on projects.The AIC Scheme also offers an annual bursary, as well as residencies and a summer school.

The aim of the AIC scheme is to encourage meaningful collaboration between communities of place and/or interest and artists. It is essential that consultation take place between the artist and the community, so that both parties are involved in deciding on the nature of the project’s realisation. Group ownership of the art should be maintained at every stage.

In 2017, working closely with the Arts Participation team at the Arts Council, Create began to develop a programme of work within the AIC Scheme, to increase the capacity and engagement of artists and communities from ethnic and other minorities to access the Scheme. This focus on cultural diversity within the AIC Scheme is also in recognition of the changing demographic of Ireland and in response to the fragile conditions and challenging circumstances of displaced artists.  The residencies and summer school outlined below are new initiatives developed during this time.

This page provides an outline of the awards, bursaries, and residencies offered by the AIC Scheme. Further information, guidelines and application procedures can be found at the links on this page.
A number of case studies of previous projects are also available.



There are two deadlines each year for the AIC Scheme. There are a number of awards available at each deadline. Click the “AIC Awards” link on this page for full details

Research and Development Awards:

Research and Development Award

Research and Development Award (with Mentoring)

Recent Graduate Research and Development Award (with Mentoring)

Research and Development Award with Mentoring for an artist from a minority ethnic or migrant background

Project Realisation Award



Each year, one bursary award is offered through the AIC Scheme. The purpose of the Bursary Award is to support and nurture professional arts practice and it is specifically aimed at an artist who has a track record of working collaboratively with communities of place or interest. The bursary award is offered in a different context or artform each year. The Bursary Award of €10,000 provides the selected artist with time and resources to carry out research and to reflect on their collaborative practice. Please note that in 2020, to mark the tenth anniversary of the AIC Scheme Bursary and in response to the changes brought about by Covid 19, two bursaries will be offered: Collaborative Arts and Cultural Diversity and Collaborative Arts and Human Rights.



In 2018, the AIC Scheme established a series of residencies for artists from culturally diverse backgrounds. These residencies aim to support an artist from an ethnic minority to develop their collaborative and socially engaged arts practice, and are offered through partnerships between Create and a number of arts organisations and festivals, supporting collaborative and socially engaged arts practice.


Summer School on Cultural Diversity and Collaborative Practice

The summer school on cultural diversity and collaborative practice was established in 2018. It is a peer to peer learning space, interdisciplinary both in curriculum and composition of participants, presenters and facilitators. The summer school takes the form of a five-day residential learning space, enabling a ‘think and do’ collaborative approach, utilizing creative workshops, critical and comparative case studies, one-to-one mentoring, international guest speakers including curators, policymakers and activists. This summer school is targeted at artists, activists and thinkers from ethnic and other minority groups, and those working with these groups. Please note that in 2020, in response to changes brought about by Covid 19, the Summer School will be offered in the Autumn, and online.


Arts Council
Previous Recipients
What is the AIC Scheme? (Video)
AIC Scheme: Artists' Perspectives (Video)
Cultural Diversity and the AIC Scheme (Video)