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Deis is a traditional arts funding scheme which was established under the Arts Council’s Traditional Arts Initiative, 2005-2008. It is a proposal based scheme which is aimed at encouraging and facilitating the traditional arts community to seek funding from the Arts Council for a range of projects. Proposals are for both traditional arts projects, and projects involving the traditional arts in collaboration with other artforms, that are in line with the Arts Council’s policy on the traditional arts.

Since its introduction in September 2005, Deis has funded over 200 separate projects to the tune of almost €1.5 million. Due to the flexible nature of the scheme it has succeeded in attracting a wide variety of projects, from educational development tools, to live performance. It has also managed to embrace and encourage the innovative movements in the traditional arts while realising the importance of recording and archiving the achievements of long-established practitioners in the Traditional Arts.

Awards have been made to such projects as workshops in a storytelling festival on the island of Cape Clear, sean-nós dance and hip-hop collaboration in Ballymun and the development and publication of a tutorial book for learning the Irish Flute.
The passing on and preservation of skills has been encouraged through projects such as the study of the historical playing techniques of the Early Irish Harp and the study of 19th century reed-methods for the Uilleann pipes taken on by individuals with particular knowledge in these areas.

The exploration of International relationships with traditional arts in other areas has also emerged as an area of relevance within the traditional arts with links being nurtured with Breton, Canadian and American music, to name but a few.

The Deis scheme has also maintained an awareness of the need to encourage the development and growth of the traditional arts in areas not usually associated with, or classified as being strong-holds of the tradition. This is evident in the geographical diversity of the projects which have taken place from Kildare to Kerry and Cork to Cavan.

It is important to note that Deis is a flexible scheme which operates on an ongoing basis and proposals are accepted on a continual basis. All proposals will be assessed within 6-8 weeks of the date of receipt. Deis is an inclusive scheme that depends on a pro-active response from the traditional arts community for its success. It is hoped that through this scheme the Arts Council will get a real sense of what the traditional arts community needs. This will then inform future opportunities for the traditional arts within the Arts Council.

For further information please contact, Niamh McCabe at the Arts Council, Tel: 01-6180282 or

Permalink - Posted: October 2, 2007 at 2:32 pm