Arts and Health practice in Ireland receives funding from a variety of sources. Key funders include local authorities, the HSE, the Arts Council and the Creative Ireland Programme (Source: Mapping Arts and Health Activity in Ireland in 2019, Arts & Health Co-ordinators Ireland, 2021). Funding also comes through sponsorship / philanthropy, foundations, charities, arts organisations, healthcare institutions, private fundraising and the National Lottery.
Sourcing funding for an arts and health project will depend on the nature of the project, who is applying for funding and where it is happening.
Most of the funding opportunities available are for projects in the area of arts participation i.e. where an artist or artists is collaborating with health service users, staff, families or visitors in the creation of work.
Funding from an arts agency or body is normally predicated on an artist or arts organisation (e.g. the arts department within a health setting) being attached to a project. The artist / arts organisation will submit the funding application on behalf of the project and will be the grant / award recipient. In most circumstances, it is not possible for a non-arts professional to apply for arts funding from national arts agencies.
For example, the Arts Council Arts Participation Project Award provides opportunities for artists and arts organisations to collaborate artistically with non-arts professionals such as a healthcare community. While the proposal might be developed in partnership with healthcare professionals, the funding application and grant monies are the responsibility of the arts organisation / artist.
The HSE distributes National Lottery funding to groups and organisations who provide Health and Personal Social Services on an annual basis. Amounts of between €500 and €10,000 are available for suitable projects. Information on criteria and how to apply can be found here.
Creative Ireland, an all-of-government culture and wellbeing initiative, runs a programme called Creative Communities. In each of the 31 local authorities the Creative Ireland Programme has established a Culture and Creativity Team which brings together local expertise in arts, heritage, libraries, enterprise and community engagement, to foster collaboration and spark new initiatives. A local Creative Ireland Co-ordinator has been appointed for each local authority and will be able to advise on funding / development opportunities for arts and health initiatives. Find your local co-ordinator here.
The government’s Keep Well campaign supports a number of initiatives through the Healthy Ireland Fund, with funding distributed via local authorities. There is a specific strand called ‘Switching off and being creative’ providing a range of initiatives to support individual and community creativity in the arts, crafting, culture and heritage. Each local authority, with advice from the Creative Ireland Programme, decides how funding will be allocated. Contact your local Arts Officer to learn about what funding and supports are currently available.
For the latest funding opportunities, check out our Opportunities page. If you need advice or support in writing funding applications, contact the WHAT Team: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 051 842 664.