Rural Engagement Arts Programme
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Rural Engagement Arts Programme (REAP) aims to address the unique challenges faced by local rural communities while providing an integrated and cohesive approach to combat isolation and loneliness, and promote social inclusion within these communities.
The recent pandemic had a significant negative impact on the lives of many individuals, as families and friends were separated for prolonged periods. This situation had adverse effects on mental health and overall well-being. Rural communities, characterised by smaller and dispersed populations, experienced a particularly acute sense of isolation compared to towns and urban areas.
Participation in the arts and fostering community engagement can significantly contribute to improving health and well-being, building confidence, and integrating communities. The Arts Council has collaborated with local authority community development and arts officers to ensure that information about REAP is widely available and that public funding is distributed as inclusively as possible.
Groups have the opportunity to apply for one-off projects or programs of events. Existing successful initiatives that align with the strategic themes of REAP are also eligible for support. By supporting art initiatives and encouraging community participation, REAP aims to create a positive impact on the well-being and social fabric of rural communities.
See link below for further details.