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> > > Spirit of Achievement Arts and Culture Challenge Fund is now open

Spirit of 2012 (Spirit) has launched the Challenge Fund to empower and enable disabled people’s participation in arts and culture. The Open Grant round is looking for project applications across the UK, which create participatory opportunities for disabled people of all backgrounds, individually and with their families and friends.

The Spirit of 2012 logo

The Challenge Fund is open for arts and cultural activity projects in the broadest sense, including visual art, craft, writing and literature, music, dance and performance arts.

Grants will be between £100,000 and £250,000 to be spent over 2 -3 years; applications will be assessed by Spirit’s Achievement Panel, chaired by Paralympian Susie Rodgers and made up of figures from the world of arts, culture and sport.

Spirit intends to award at least one grant to a project in Northern Ireland, provided that applications successfully meet our assessment criteria and are approved by our Spirit of Achievement Panel for funding. Applications are welcome from partnerships, across sectors or countries.

Spirit uses the Social Model definition of disability which includes those with learning disabilities, mental health problems and long term life-limiting conditions.

Challenging perceptions of disability and empowering disabled people are fundamental to Spirit’s mission;  building on the success and inspiration of the London 2012 Paralympic Games by supporting projects that increase participation in a range of activities across the UK.

Spirit invests to ensure we’re more inclusive and positive, as individuals, communities and society as a whole. Funded projects recognise and celebrate disabled people’s contribution to sports, arts and culture, and volunteering.

International artist Rachel Gadsden (who sits on the Spirit of Achievement Panel) says:

 “Without the kind of opportunities which the Challenge Fund is offering I wouldn’t have been able to be the artist I am today. I think it is really important that people like myself, who live with disabilities all of their lives, have the opportunity to live the most fulfilling lives. The Challenge Fund helps make that happen so is absolutely critical to everything I care about. I look forward to receiving the applications”.

For all interested organisations, there will be an opportunity to ask questions via Skype. Check website and Twitter @So2012Trust for details. 

Visit the Challenge Fund page for more information. Deadline for applications is 20 April 2015