Additional support

Support for individual artists

The Arts Council also provides funding for artists working with children and young people through a range of awards such as commissions, bursaries, project awards and travel and training.  For further information visit our available funding page.

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Young Ensembles Scheme

The primary purpose of this award is to support groups of young people between the ages of 12 and 23 to create ambitious and original work together in any art form (e.g., circus, dance, digital media, film, music, theatre, literature, visual arts, or any combination of the above). For further information please click here.

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Arts Council schemes and initiatives run in conjunction with external agents

The Children's Laureate / Laureate na nÓg

The Innagural laureate for children's literature was announced by President of Ireland Mary McAleese on May 10th 2010.  This unique honour was awarded to author Siobhán Parkinson.  Siobhán Parkinson writes fiction for children and young people (and occasionally for adults).  She has published more than twenty books since 1992, and her work has been translated into as many languages.  The position as Laureate na nÓg will be held by Siobhán Parkinson for a period of two years.

The Children's laureate is an initiative of The Arts Council with the support of the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Children's Books Ireland and Poetry Ireland.  You can read more about Laureate na nÓg on the dedicated website.

Artist in Schools Scheme (Local Authorities)

The Artist in Schools Scheme facilitates a professional artist to make a series of visits to a school in his/her local county, to work with students on a specific project. Projects can range across artforms.

Most local authorities run this scheme. Please contact your local arts officer for more information.

Writers in Schools Scheme (Poetry Ireland)

The Writers in Schools Scheme is one of the longest running arts-in-education programmes in Ireland. 2007 marked the 30th anniversary of the Scheme, run by Poetry Ireland and funded by the Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

The Scheme part-funds visits by writers and storytellers to primary and post primary schools throughout the Republic of Ireland. There are over 250 writers and storytellers for schools to choose from on the Writers in Schools Web-Directory of Writers.

For more information please visit the website of Poetry Ireland at

Artist in Youth Work Residency Scheme (National Youth Council of Ireland - NYCI)

The Artist in Youth Work Residency is offered as a means of extending and enhancing opportunities for young people to experience the arts in the non-formal educational sector. The aim of the Residency is to encourage artistic collaboration between professional artists and young people.

Youth Arts Development Award (National Youth Council of Ireland - NYCI)

The Youth Arts Development Award is offered as an extension of the Artist in Youth Work Residency Scheme, to further sustainable development of youth arts practice at a local level. The aim of the Youth Arts Development Award is to encourage the formation of partnerships between relevant agencies and organisations at a local level, to work towards integrated development of long-term youth arts programmes in a specific geographical area.

For more information on both schemes please visit the website of the National Youth Arts Programme (NYCI) at or contact Fiona Smith at 01 478 41 22.

Music Capital Scheme (Music Network)

The Music Capital Scheme, managed by Music Network, focuses exclusively on the area of music instrument purchase. The fund includes support for the purchase of rehearsal equipment and instruments for use by youth and community groups.

There are three categories of support under the Music Capital Scheme aimed at highly skilled performing artists, non-professional performing groups/ensembles and those working in youth or community organisations supporting musical practice.

For more information please contact Music Network at 01 671 94 29 or visit their website

Artist in the Community Scheme (Create)

Twice yearly, the Arts Council offers grants to enable artists and communities of place or interest to work together on projects. The scheme covers all art forms. The Artist in the Community Scheme is managed by Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts.

The aim of the scheme is to encourage intense collaboration between communities of place and/or interest and artists, culminating in an artwork or a project in which the members of the community group and the artists work together in order to realise an artistic project or an event. It is essential that meaningful consultation take place between the artist and the community group, so that both parties are involved in deciding on the nature of the project. Group ownership of the art should be maintained at every stage.  

There are two phases to the scheme:

Phase One, Research & Development, is open to artists who wish to research and develop a project in a community context. Maximum time frame is 3 months. The maximum amount awarded in Phase One is €1,000.

Phase Two, Project Realisation, is open to communities of interest or place (or their representative organisations), planning a project of between 6 weeks and 5 months with a maximum award of €5000, and those who are planning a project of between 6 months and 9 months with a maximum award of €10, 000.

For further information, application forms or to book an advisory session, contact Katherine Atkinson, Project Support & Professional Development, 01 473 66 00.

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EU funding

Léargas - Youth in Action

The EU Youth in Action programme aims to develop the needs of young people (aged 13 to 30) in over 30 countries by providing funding and support for development of specific activities and objectives through non-formal learning with young people and their youth workers/leaders.

For more information please visit the Léargas website or contact Léargas at 01 873 1411.

European Cultural Contact Point Ireland - Culture Programme

The EU Culture Programme supports cultural co-operation in all fields of the contemporary arts and cultural heritage, with the exception of film and cinema, which is supported by the MEDIA Programme. The Culture Programme runs from 2007-2013, with annual calls for proposals, and aims to promote transnational mobility of artists and people working in the cultural sector; transnational circulation of artistic and cultural works and products; and intercultural dialogue.

For more information please contact Niamh McCabe, European Cultural Contact Point Ireland at

Study on youth access to Culture in Europe

On 13 September 2010, the Directorate-General for Education and Culture presented the Study on Youth Access to Culture in Europe carried out by the Interarts Foundation, following a call for tenders for the study by the European Commission.  For more information click here.


Links on the new strategy for youth policies adopted by the European Commission

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Common Ground
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Common Ground (Photo: Derek Speirs)

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