The NEIC Community Arts Co-ordinator

Community Arts, when delivered with commitment and in a meaningful way, can be transformative.  It can empower both people and communities. For us in the NEIC, delivering Community Arts is about defying expectations. In other words yes, it has to listen to narratives, and yes it has to reflect them, but it also needs to create new ones. 

In the NEIC, Community Arts is understood in the context of community development. Community Arts in an area that faces the level of poverty and marginalisation experienced by the NEIC, needs to operate within a principle of Empowerment. We see Community Arts as an integral part of social inclusion, social justice and equality. 

The NEIC has been actively working to support the Community Arts sector in the Northeast Inner City over the past five years. Working with a range of local stakeholders, the NEIC formalised its commitment to Community Arts in 2021 by the appointment of a Community Arts Coordinator. The Community Arts Coordinator reports to the NEIC Community Arts Steering Group, a dedicated group of volunteers who represent a range of voluntary Community, Youth and Arts Organisations in the area .

Upon her appointment in August 2021, the NEIC Community Arts Coordinator, Irma Grothuis, met with many local stakeholders and developed a Community Arts Plan – Joining the Dots. This plan will run until the end of 2022. 

 The programmes currently being delivered by the NEIC Community Arts Programme are as follows:  

Early Years:

In Spring 2022, five skilled Early Years Artists worked across five Early Years Settings in the NEIC: Little Treasures, North Wall, CASPR, Ozanam House, Hold Child School, Rutland Street and Hill Street FRC. Subsequent to a review process, it was agreed that this Autumn the Early Years Arts programme will continue to work with these settings by delivering an Eight Week Early Years Arts Residency in each setting accompanied by a programme of CPD.  

NEIC Community Arts Development Grant:

The intention of this grant is to provide an opportunity for groups to deepen the Community Arts engagement of participants, who have already had an experience of a meaningful Community Arts initiative. In 2022 the Grant has supported the following groups: Scoil Chaoimhín, The Dublin Concert Band, The Hay Project, Lourdes Youth and Community Services, Mud Island, Ozanam House, Swan Youth Service, Holy Child Achool, Rutland Street, Ambi Ireland.

Applications for this grant will reopen in February 2023. 

  • Magic in the Mansions – This is a Visual Arts residency for children that is being delivered by the Artist Orla Kelly in partnership with the NEIC, Cluid Housing and the residents of Mary’s Mansions. The programme takes place in the Community Housing Complex of Mary’s Mansions, Dublin 1.  

  • LYCS Singing and Music Residency – This programme is delivered by the artist Cathy McEvoy in partnership with LYCS and the DCC Arts Office. 

The Try It Out Programme: 

A programme for any group in the Northeast Inner City who would like to explore a specific art form and needs guidance and support to begin. The programme is also open to groups who would like to augment their existing arts programme, by working with new or different artists or art forms.

In Spring 2022, the Try It Out Programme worked with six artists in addition to the Hugh Lane Gallery and Fighting Words and facilitated over 28 different arts programmes with over 350 participants. Try It Out will be delivered again in Autumn 2022.

The Community Arts Programme is also in the process of developing several residencies with Community Organisations that have emerged as a result of the Try It Out Programme that took place this Spring.  

Art and Music Workshops for Adults:

This programme which used the Visual Thinking strategies to encourages participants to respond to the Public Art and Music that is important to them has been delivered in several settings for adults in the NEIC.  and will continue to be developed in Autumn 2022. 

Development of an NEIC Community Arts Strategic Plan:

This Autumn, local stakeholders will be invited to contribute to the development of a two year NEIC Community Arts Strategic Plan via a number of consultation initiatives that will be delivered by the NEIC Community Arts Programme. 

For further information the NEIC Community arts Programme please contact:;