Small Sparks

Call for Artists

Small Sparks is new project, developed under the Creative Ireland programme for Leitrim businesses of any size to host an artist-in-residence programme for three weeks. Artists can be from any arts descipline, there are no preconditions on what the artist might do, and it is not obligatory to have produced anything by the end of the project - though a materials budget is available if required.  The programme is a further development of Spark, which is a 6-month artist-in-residence programme developed by Leitrim County Council’s Arts Office and Local Enterprise Office for companies that are interested in collaborating with artists and promoting creativity within their organisation.

Both Spark and Small Sparks provide artists with the opportunity to work with the company and to undertake work inspired by the company. Quite naturally, this will be clearly influenced by the adopted environment, thus providing a greater interest and involvement in the work from staff and clients/customers. As well as making work, what the artist does may point to new different creative and innovative paths for the company and serve as a catalyst for new thinking.

While the residency lasts for three weeks, this can be taken in one block or spread over a number of months as agreed between the artist and company. However being on-site is a core component of the programme and any elements of the residency that must be carried out off-site should be kept to a minimum.



Image Skillnet is a unique not for profit, enterprise-led training network, formed to support the hair & beauty sector within the Republic of Ireland. Through engaging with employers and employees, our vision is to support and enable enterprises to participate in workforce development and life-long learning in order to build a strong, highly skilled and sustainable workforce within the hair & beauty sector. Our mission is simple – we aim to deliver the highest quality learning and development that is effective and relevant, and has an impact on the participant, the enterprise, the sector, and the wider economy. We currently have seven staff members, please follow the link to our website for further details on our organisation.

Leitrim Organic Farmers Cooperative was established in 1998 to develop markets for members produce and to develop  training and educational opportunities for its members. We have four staff in Drumshanbo and we also have a small community garden adjacent to the offices. We established Carrick on Shannon Farmers Market and among the services we provide are advisory services to organic farmers and smallholders in the county; education programmes for local schools; accounts services to smallholders; and we lobby on behalf of our members. Website

FitKicksFitness is Based out of Mohill County Leitrim where we offer a full range of workout and fitness facilities to the Mohill community. We are committed to providing a fully accessible fitness and workout facility for all and to make this accessible to all. From adult classes and sessions, FitKicks also offers kids, teens and schools coaching along with activity camps & affordable family events throughout the year. Website


How to apply


Artists wishing to apply for Small Sparks should email Leitrim County Council Arts Office to declare their interest in the programme. Artists who have declared their interest are invited to a site visit where they will have the opportunity to meet with the arts office, management and staff at the three companies, leading to a better understanding of the programme and the company involved. While attendance at the site visit is not essential to make an application, it is strongly advised that applicants do so.

To declare your interest in SPARK, emailckelly@leitrimcoco.iebefore Friday the 13th of September.


The site visit will start from Leitrim County Council’s main building in Carrick on Shannon to facilitate those travelling to Leitrim by bus or train. Following a brief talk about the programme, a bus will take artists on a tour of the three businesses which are based in Drumshanbo and Mohill before returning to the Council HQ in Carrick on Shannon, where we will field any outstanding queries.


Following the site visit, artists are invited to propose ideas and approaches for a residency at any of the companies. This document is not a definitive proposal that you would be expected to carry out. Rather, by identifying potential approaches, methodologies or even outcomes, the document provides a vivid insight into your thinking, your understanding of the company, and your capacity to develop an innovative project appropriate to that context. Given that this proposal is only based on a short site visit, while it may serve as a useful starting point, the anticipation is that the residency would differ substantially, if not completely, from this proposal.

This document shouldn’t be sizeable, generally no longer than two A4 pages, but can take any format and can refer to concepts, lines of enquiry, processes for engagement, methodologies for collaboration - and even potential outcomes.

Applicants can be from any arts discipline. While some companies may seem more appropriate to one or other artform, like FitKicks to dance or theatre, all three companies are open to all artists and interested in all approaches.

The proposal should be accompanied by a CV and images, recordings etc. of previous work. Proposals should be emailed using the file transfer platform www.wetransfer.combefore Tuesday the 1st of October to


A panel consisting of representatives of the Arts Office and Local Enterprise Office along with external experts will shortlist applications. A maximum of three proposals will be presented to each company for consideration. One or more of those shortlisted will then be invited to meet with the company.

Applications will be assessed based on the following criteria

-The quality, innovation and artistic merit of the proposal.
-Understanding of the company and the physical, social and cultural context of the work.
-Previous work and track record (or potential) of the applicant.
-Proven understanding of and ability to collaborate successfully.


Closing Date for expression of interest:Friday 13th September
Site Visit:  11am, Thursday 19th September
Closing Date for receipt of proposals:  Tuesday 1st October
Residency Period:    October - December
Artist Fee   €1,500.00
* Materials Budget:   €500.00


*Leitrim County Council will provide a materials budget as indicated above. This does not prohibit the company providing further funding or further funding being sought from other sources. Small Sparks may also give rise to a proposal that would be suitable for the conventional Spark Programme. Should this arise, this will be taken into consideration by the Arts Office and Local Enterprise Office as part of their planning for Spark.


For further information contact Christine Kelly at Leitrim County Council Arts Office on 071 96 21694 or email


Small Sparks is funded by Creative Ireland, a five year all-of-Government initiative to place creativity at the centre of public policy guided by a vision that every person in Ireland will have the opportunity to realize their full creative potential.




  • EU Sturctural Fund
  • European Union