RBC Reducing Barriers to Creation Programme. Now Closed

By axisdirector
Tuesday, 8th February 2022
Filed under:

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and axis Ballymun are proud to announce a brand new Artist Support Programme for 2022. The RBC Reducing Barriers to Creation programme aims to create short-term opportunities for artists to explore and develop new ideas through:

  • financial support of €2000 per artist
  • an additional 25% (€500) assistance budget to address individual artist requirements*
  • development space in Axis or remote support as required
  • creative feedback
  • engagement with fellow artists

Classic World Radio Day Instagram Post INSTAGRAM

RBC has supported over 28,000 artists via their RBC Emerging Artists Project. RBC supports organisations that provide the best opportunity to advance an artist’s career trajectory in genres such as visual arts, music, theatre, performance, literature and film. Every year the RBC Foundation donates millions of dollars to hundreds of arts organizations globally to help emerging artists become established.

Over the years, Axis has offered resources and production support to a range of artists, becoming a cultural hub on the Northside of Dublin and a space where artists and the public gather to encounter new work and new ideas. Axis develops and produces new creative work locally, nationally and internationally, while facilitating the growth of hundreds of artists through their many programmes and initiatives, including the Axis Assemble support scheme.

The RBC Reducing Barriers to Creation: Programme 2022 offers artists the chance to invest in making time for their work for a brief period, a dedicated budget to help address some of the barriers experienced in finding that time or accessing development spaces, get feedback, access the facilities of Axis as an Arts Centre, and build their professional network. It is an investment in process. The financial support offered via the programme is not intended as fund training, accommodation, equipment purchase, or productions.

*The assistance budget is intended to contribute towards what would reduce a barrier to you getting the time and space to develop and create. These may be access requirements, logistical/transport costs, childcare costs and any other costs you may identify as relevant.

RBC Reducing Barriers to Creation is for artists who have at least some professional experience or training, but their work need not necessarily have been professionally produced by an arts organisation. This programme is open to practitioners based in Ireland. While the programme is primarily focused on performing arts disciplines, there may be scope to support artists who wish to engage with other art forms.


We are especially keen to hear from artists who identify as having encountered barriers to their creative practice for a variety of reasons.

This could be: 

  • Artists from communities who are underrepresented in Irish arts, and artists who face barriers to accessing opportunities to develop their practice and work including (but not limited to) anyone who identifies as a member of a Minority Ethnic Community within Ireland, including Mincéir/Traveller and Roma Communities.

  • Artists who identify as having a disability. Please note that travel for yourself and/or a carer/personal assistant can be covered under the assistance budget. For more info on Axis’ accessibility, please click here.

  • Parenting artists who may require a more flexible support structure or who wish to allocate their assistance budget towards childcare costs. While we regret that we cannot provide childcare, we do welcome parenting artists who may wish to bring their children to a workshop or development space/session with them. There is no age limit restriction on the age of the child/ren. Axis has child protection policies and procedures in place.

Our aim is to support artists in the best way we can within our resources to develop themselves and their practice. If we haven’t listed a barrier or support here to your application, please do let us know. We will do our best to see how we can accommodate you.

Successful artists may opt to spread their programme out over a long period of time or concentrated into a short intensive period depending on their needs. We understand that your schedule may be subject to change at short notice and we’ll accommodate this with as much adaptability as possible.

Should you wish to nominate someone to draft your application with or for you, please note the application should be in your name. Please tell us also who drafted it with or for you. Please let us know how best to communicate with you in relation to your application.

What you get:

  • Bursary funding of €2000
  • €500 assistance budget
  • Up to €2000 worth of support in kind as follows:
  • Dramaturgical support and feedback with the Axis Pop Up Lit Department (via lead artist Aoife Spillane Hinks) subject to an agreed number of sessions.
  • Mentorship and guidance opportunities from RBC.
  • Development time in Axis studio spaces and/or Theatre (subject to availability and restrictions)
  • Rehearsal space (up to an agreed amount)
  • Hot desk space (subject to availability and restrictions)
  • Advice from Axis production, sales and tech team
  • Technical support for showcasing where feasible
  • The opportunity to share highlights of your work or process via Axis’ online platforms (if you wish)
  • The opportunity to attend a session with Axis’ Pop Up Green lead Artist Maeve Stone re self-scanning your practice with a view to making it more sustainable or adapting its climate impact.
  • Invites to Axis and other productions, artist gatherings, networking opportunities

What can you do in the RBC Reducing Barriers to Creation programme? Some suggestions...

  • write a new play
  • devise a new piece of work (solo/ with a collaborator/ with an ensemble)
  • develop your artistic practice
  • present work in progress
  • choreograph a new dance piece
  • explore a new idea
  • seek advice or mentorship about elements of your practice that you find challenging
  • build supportive relationships with the other participants


Please send the following items, either as a written document or a video or audio file (maximum five minutes via google drive or wetransfer if possible) to axisplayground@gmail.com on or before Monday the 14th of March at 5pm. 

  • An outline of your idea: what are you looking to develop and why?
  • An outline of what you would use the time and bursary for
  • An initial budget - this doesn’t need to be too detailed, but please provide us with a basic breakdown of how you propose to pay yourself and (where applicable) your collaborators and where an assistance budget might help.
  • Sample of the work, or sample of previous work.
  • An indication of your access requirements (if any) and how we can assist with these.
  • If you need assistance in drafting your application, please let us know.

The small print....

  • Applicants must be over 18 in January 2022
  • Applicants may be shortlisted for interview.
  • Successful applicants may be asked by RBC and/or Axis to participate in publicity directly connected with the programme.
  • Axis/RBC will not be able to provide feedback on unsuccessful applicants.
  • In line with our efforts to improve equality and diversity in Axis, if you would like to identify as an artist from an underrepresented community, please let us know in your application. This is not essential or expected. It would help us to understand more about the artists and people we are engaging with. This information has no bearing on your application assessment, it is purely for internal reporting and analysis. Information collected will only be used in an anonymised fashion. In line with GDPR regulations, your information will not be shared with any third parties.

Have a question? Need help? Email axisplayground@gmail.com to ask your question or request a call back. If email is tricky, please phone 01 883 2148 (please note that this phone number isn’t monitored constantly so you may need to leave a message with your name and number and we’ll call you back).

#RBCxAxisBallymun #RBCEmergingArtists