The Irish Hospice Foundation’s Seed Grants Scheme is now open for 2022 applications. The grants aim to support groups, organisations and individuals to explore creative, tangible ways to mark their response to the universal realities of dying, death and bereavement, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IHF, with the support of The Creative Ireland Programme, began an Arts and Creative Engagement initiative in the early stages of the pandemic. With all of us affected by loss, deprived of the normal customs of grieving and our care staff fraught, the programme offered a way for people to find meaning in a difficult time.
The extended 2022 grant will lead to a broader engagement with communities across the country. There will be 26 micro Seed Grants for communities to support self-directed creative explorations of grief and seven Compassionate Culture Network programmes run over 12 weeks.
Priority for the micro-grants will be given to creative initiatives that take innovative approaches to reflection and remembrance. The grants aim to help start new local art projects, or to support existing projects in gaining momentum – this may involve artists, craftspeople or coders. It may be a group or simply an individual who has a good idea.
To support the application process, the IHF will hold an awareness briefing clinic online on 19 October.
Closing date for applications: Friday 29 October at 5pm
Compassionate Culture Network
The Compassionate Culture Network programmes are local workshops exploring loss in the pandemic and are aimed at establishing a training programme for creatives working in arts and health, within a peer-to-peer framework. Seven artist-facilitators, along with support workers, will work in seven venues around Ireland and invite local communities to explore ‘loss’ as ‘un-lockdown’ happens. The aim is to use creative practice to establish places where people can talk about loss. For information on what’s happening near you visit the IHF’s Compassionate Culture Network page.
The Creative Ireland Programme has also supported the publication of the IHF’s Reflection, a combination of interviews and poems detailing how people on the frontline coped during the early days of the pandemic and the impact of dying, death, grief and loss on them. Reflection is the first in a series of IHF-led creative initiatives into learning from the pandemic.