The Arts Council has announced the reopening after a three-year hiatus of a funding stream for groups that work with young people aged between 12 and 18. The ARTiculate Programme gives a voice to young people through drama, music, visual arts and literature activities and over £170,000 is available.

There's a particular focus on including young people experiencing higher levels of disadvantage or exclusion and more vulnerable groups, such as those living with a mental health condition, eating disorders or addiction. Applications for up to £10,000 from groups are open until October 11 and details are on the Arts Council of Northern Ireland website. 

Meanwhile, Emma Berkery currently Associate Artist with Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, is gearing up to open her exhibition – ‘Making Space to Soar’ – at the Nicholas Gallery as part of the Visual Arts programme of the 60th Belfast International Arts Festival.

There will be a special ‘Meet the Artist’ launch event from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, October 8 when Emma will be on hand to discuss the role of abstraction in her work. "This is a wonderful opportunity to present my work to the public here in Belfast during BIAF," she says. "The Nicholas Gallery has amazing artists represented and it is a privilege to be exhibiting my work here. I am very much looking forward to the Meet the Artist event, and everyone is welcome. It is always lovely to talk to people about my work face-to-face and to see their reaction."

Emma’s abstract work can be read on many different levels, from the sheer reaction to fluid abstract forms to reading a more political or spiritual meaning of light fighting the darkness.

The Nicholas Gallery is at 571 Lisburn Road Belfast and the exhibition runs from October 5 to 22. 

When thinking of crafts, paper as a material may not immediately jump to your mind. Yet, as the organisers of a new exhibition point out: "Paper has been with us from ancient times to the present, a constant companion recording our art, our ideas, our transactions and, sometimes, quietly changing the course of history itself. We take this flat, flimsy and ephemeral material for granted, yet it also has the power to be transformed."

Five artists have been selected for the exhibition including Susan McKeever with her series of collage using the Child of Prague as a motif, Jayne Cherry with a surprisingly beautiful and delicate series of headpieces, and Sue Cathcart , who has the largest pieces to be included, among them a papier maché hypnotic rabbit. She says the bunny demanded to have the words ‘We are all doomed’ emblazoned on its belly as she read all the negative stories in the newspapers she was using for raw material.

The exhibition features papier maché sculptures, collages and large-scale mixed media pieces and highlights unique techniques such as Momigami – a Japanese paper kneading technique using oil which transforms paper into a fibrous material which can then be stitched.

Paper Magic at Craft NI Gallery, 115-119 Royal Avenue, Belfast is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm.