Lagan Press Poet is an Arts Council Ace

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Lagan Press poet Matt Kirkham has been named one of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland's most talented rising stars of the art world

Picture for blog story Lagan Press Poet is an Arts Council Ace

Lagan Press poet Matt Kirkham is celebrating today after being named as one of Northern Ireland’s most talented rising stars of the art world.

Co Down-based poet Matt is one of 12 people to have been awarded grants from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, under the Artists Career Enhancement Scheme (ACES), made annually to professional artists working in music, visual arts, literature and participatory arts and are among the most prestigious awards bestowed by the Arts Council each year.

In addition to receiving a bursary of £5,000 each, the 12 artists have all been partnered with a professional organisation to help each of them to deliver a major new creative work.

Along with Matt, the 11 artists are Sid Peacock a composer and music producer from Bangor, Lesley Cherry a visual artist from Belfast, Ian Cumberland a visual artist from Portadown, Alissa Kleist a Belfast-based curator, Pauline Burgess a Carryduff-based author, Nathaniel Joseph McAuley a Belfast-based poet, David Quinn a performance artist from Dungannon, Kenneth Gregory a fantasy fiction author from Crumlin, Jan Carson a writer from Belfast, Kate Guelke a music director and producer from Belfast and Anthony Quinn a Dungannon-based writer.

The Artists Career Enhancement Programme (ACES) was launched by the Arts Council in 2010 to provide development opportunities for career artists. Since then, the programme has provided significant financial support to 57 artists at a critical stage in their professional careers, providing them with the means to develop their skills and portfolio of work.

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