Creative Ireland - Open Call

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Creative Ireland Open Call 2022 - Round 1

Deadline for applications: Midnight, Friday March 4th, 2022.

A central theme of Creative Ireland is collaboration in order to facilitate an ecosystem of creativity and to nurture the creative imagination through active engagement with the arts and culture. The Creative Ireland Programme defines 'creativity' as the capacity to transcend accepted ideas and norms and by drawing on imagination to create new ideas that bring additional value to human activity.

Who can apply?

Any group within the community (or a venue or organisation working with a group) can look to develop a project with professional practitioners in any creative or cultural arena such as visual or performing arts, literature, cultural heritage or any other culture and creativity area. A group may approach the professional practitioner with a view to developing a project or visa-versa. While the application will most often be in the name of the community group, in some cases, such as where the applicant is an arts organisation or agency, it may be more appropriate for that organisation to be the applicant. In all cases, it is vital that the project is a collaboration and that both the voice of the artist and the voice of the community members is evident.

We particularly welcome project proposals that involve groups that have had little or no previous involvement in creative projects for whatever reason; and in such cases we will endeavour to give whatever advice and assistance we can to ensure such projects can achieve the best possible experience for everyone involved.

The approach, purpose or subject matter of a project can start from any interest that the applicants share. It can be about the nature of the applicants themselves: being young; being old; being from a particular place. It can be to do with an interest shared by the group and artist for our future; our past; the environment; technology; for how we interact with each other, and how or whether people have the opportunity to express themselves.

First time applicants may decide to apply initially to research an idea for a project, rather than commit to a longer, more involved and complex process. In these instances, the Creative Ireland programme can cover the costs of doing that, particularly the costs of professional practitioners to work with groups, who can then go on to develop and submit a further application for a longer project in a subsequent round.

* It is important to note that while the creative practitioner/s can be from anywhere in Ireland, the community benefiting from the project must be based within county Leitrim.

Social Practice Toolkit

The process that a group and professional practitioner/s undertake to develop a creative project can be very exciting, empowering, and rewarding on many levels. It can also be complex and requires good communication, respect and understanding. To assist artists who wish to work with groups in this way Leitrim County Council has worked with Cork City Council to develop a Social Practice Toolkit, which provides guidance, resources and best practice examples of how such projects can best reach their potential. While the toolkit is written for creative sector practitioners who would work with groups, it carries the same value for any group leader or member.

For all applicants, but particularly valuable for applicants with little previous involvement in creative projects, we ask that each project develops a 'Memorandum of Understanding' between the group and the practitioner/s. The Memorandum of Understanding (or MOU) helps ensure that everyone shares a clear understanding about what the project is about and what everyone’s roles is within that. We have developed a simple MOU template which you can download and guidelines that will help you complete it.

We’re here to help

If you have an idea for a project or need assistance or further information just to get started, please contact Alice Dixon, Creative Ireland Projects Manager, on or contact Leitrim County Council on 071 96 21694.

Projects are primarily measured on the extent to which participants’ creative capacity is enhanced. To be eligible for this funding it must be made clear about who the beneficiaries are and how they are benefiting. Groups making further applications that build on previous ones should indicate how this project differs from or builds upon its predecessor. While one application may build on from a previous one, each application should be considered as a distinct project with its own beginning, middle and end. The programme cannot be used as a means to fund ongoing or repeatedly recurring programmes that ought to mainstreamed by the applicant organisation.

While there is no requirement for co-funding for first time applicants, returning applicants that are in receipt of core funding from any local or national government department or agency are required to provide for 50% of the project costs, 25% of which may be benefit in kind.

What would a project look like?

Projects are measured on the extent to which participants’ creativity is enhanced and should address one or more of Leitrim’s Creative Ireland Strategies as follows -

Creative PotentialProjects under this pillar should seek to provide children and young people with opportunities to explore creative expression. Projects should be designed with young people rather than for them and be led by professionals with high levels of skills and experience of working with young people in creative and cultural arenas.
Creative CommunityProjects under this pillar should seek to provide opportunities for any group to explore their own creativity – particularly hard-to-reach groups – or any group who for whatever reason have had less opportunity to explore their creativity.
Projects under this pillar should seek to understand or explore place in a creative way. Projects may explore our cultural, built or natural heritage as a source of inspiration for contemporary creation and innovation, and strengthen the interaction between the heritage sector and the creative sector.
Creative ConnectionsProjects under this pillar should seek to support Leitrim’s creative sector to grow its national and global footprint through national and international linkages. Projects may look to develop collaborations or exchanges with counterparts in other countries, or to develop opportunities with Leitrim diaspora organisations.
Creative EnterpriseProjects under this pillar should seek to strengthen and develop Leitrim’s capacity as a creative hub and enhance development and sustainability in the Creative Sector. This might include the development and testing of new creative industries and other innovations in the creative sector. Projects may also focus on how the creative sector can impact on other areas of industry or enterprise.

How are applications assessed?

Once developed all applications will be assessed using the following criteria -

-Quality, innovation and creativity of the planned project.
-The extent to which the project helps people explore their own creativity.
-The extent to which the project helps achieve one or more of the strategy’s priorities.
-Level of skills and expertise of culture/creativity professionals engaged with the group.
-Ability of the applicants to undertake and manage projects and feasibility of project within the timeframe and budget.

The nominal amount awarded to any one project will typically be between €500 and €5,000. While there is no fixed number of awards, there will generally be a larger number of lesser value awards and a small number of higher value ones. The quantity and value of awards will depend on available funding, number of applicants and the quality of applications.

Payment to successful applicants will be made by electronic fund transfer only. Recipients of awards in excess of €1,000 may drawdown 50% of the award immediately following selection. Following completion of the project, the all successful applicants must complete a short report and provide evidence that the event has taken place (photographs, press reviews etc.), final accounts, and receipts for the full costs.

How to apply

Read the information sheet and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) guidelines - see links below, and download the application form and MOU template. Once you have completed the application form and MOU and gathered all the appendices you need to attach to your application, you can apply online though the link below.

Please note that the following attachments are essential, and you will need to have them ready to upload for your online application to be submitted successfully.

-Completed Application Form
-Completed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
-Income and Expenditure Budget
-CVs for each professional practitioner facilitating the project
-Copy of Child Protection Policy (if project involves working with children)


Download Application Form
Download Information Sheet
Download MOU Guidelines
Download MOU Template
Download Leitrim County Council Culture and Creativity Strategy

Apply Online


For further information contact Alice Dixon, Creative Ireland Projects Manager at






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