21 Artists for the 21st Century

A Centenary Cultural Mentor Programme

A mentor programme designed for 21 outstanding young artists across the full creative spectrum (painters and photographers, film-makers, poets, playwrights and short-story writers, composers and musicians, actors, directors, producers, singers and song-writers) to develop their artistic skills and creative expertise. A host of Northern Ireland’s most talented creatives will nurture and guide young participants, providing crucial career and business guidance to set them on their way to a successful career. 

In addition to creative mentoring, artists will have access to a number of workshops addressing their collective development e.g. sessions on career planning, legal and financial advice etc. 

The successful artists will each be assigned an experienced mentor (carefully matched to their own needs) to help them bring a creative project to fruition. Each student will develop a piece of work with their mentor, and in  collaboration with their group produce a completed piece to be showcased within an exhibition or concert.  

Produced in collaboration with David Grant, a Senior Lecturer in Drama in the School of Creative Arts at Queen’s University, Belfast.  David, a former Managing Editor of Theatre Ireland magazine, Programme Director of the Dublin Theatre Festival, and Artistic Director of the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, continues work as a theatre director alongside his academic work, and has a long standing association with youth and community-based arts, notably devising Days in the Bay with the Tigers Bay Men’s Group in Belfast. 

21 Artists for the 21st Century is supported by leading Northern Ireland actor and filmmaker Sir Kenneth Branagh, who sent us this message:

“For younger artists, the advice and support of more experienced colleagues can be an invaluable resource. I know from experience how much I gained from working alongside such inspirational figures as Judi Dench and Derek Jacobi (to name but two) at the beginning of my own career.

“So I greatly welcome this imaginative programme, which will connect twenty-one young Northern Ireland artists across a range of creative disciplines with experienced mentors. It is especially timely, given the more limited opportunities available to the young people emerging from schools and universities in the last two years because of the global pandemic.

“This has been a difficult time for everyone working in the creative industries, but it has also been marked by a great collective determination to ensure that all working in the arts receive the support they need to sustain their livelihoods. I feel sure that this initiative will provide great encouragement to a new generation of emerging young artists in Northern Ireland and am pleased to offer it my support.”

Kenneth Branagh

To apply for the 21 Artists for the 21st Century Programme, please read our Terms and Conditions and then complete the form below. You will be asked to agree to the Terms and Conditions as part of your application.