_77205438_artcouncilA call for more funding for the arts because of its importance to society has been made by the Arts and Disability Forum.

It coincides with the start of the groups’ disability and deaf festival on 28 August.

It is the third year of Bounce! which features music, theatre, comedy, circus, dance and art from some of the UK and Ireland’s top artists.

The call comes two weeks after the Arts Council warned of budget cuts.

The Arts Council faces a 2.1% immediate cut and a proposed further 2.3% cut in October.

Thirty seven affected organisations have been told to plan for potential cuts of 5% from the budgets they have already been granted, almost half way through the financial year.

They include the Ulster Orchestra, theatres like the Lyric and the Mac in Belfast, companies such as Tinderbox and a number of art galleries.

The Lyric has been told to work out how it could save £50,000 while the Belfast circus could lose £4,000.

The main venue for the Bounce! festival is the Lyric Theatre and performances will also be held in the Black Box in the city’s Cathedral Quarter.

Events will run from 28 to 31 August.

BBC News