Home > Our Services > Arts and Recreation > Arts > Grants, Awards & Funding

Open Call to Professional Creative Practitioners* (all creative art forms)


The Decade of Centenaries was initiated in 2012 with a focus on the many significant centenaries occurring over the period 2012–2016. The Centenaries Programme complements the on-going programme of annual State commemorations with special commemorative events on the centenary of key historical events. The aim of the State centenary commemoration programme for the years from 2021 – 2023 is to ensure that this complex period in our history, including the Struggle for Independence, the Civil War, the Foundation of the State and Partition, is remembered appropriately, proportionately, respectfully and with sensitivity.


Westmeath County Council Culture and Creativity Team, with funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media’s Decade of Centenaries Programme, invites submissions for a special residency working with the theme of ‘The Big House’; looking at Westmeath Big Houses through the lens of their local Communities’.

The dramatic burning of Moydrum House, Lord Castlemaine’s Residence, in July 1921 is the anchor for this project, which will seek Westmeath stories and look at opportunities to reach out to big houses in the county and tell their stories and their communities’ stories in a creative way (be that music, performance, film or another form).

Project Outline

The aim of this commission is to enable a Creative Practitioner to engage meaningfully with relevant individuals, communities and groups and respond to the theme of ‘the Big House’; exploring the perspective of both the residents and the wider communities by creating work that capture the themes and stories which emerge during the project.

The Creative Practitioner in Residence will be one of three facilitators working on the Decade of Centenaries Programme in Westmeath. The others include an Historian in Residence and Digital Coordinator for the Centenary Programme of the First Everest Expedition led by Howard- Bury of Belvedere House. The Creative Practitioner in Residence is encouraged to liaise with the aforementioned facilitators, where relevant, to ensure historical accuracy and complimentary programming.

The successful applicant will liaise with the project steering group (which may include the Heritage Officer, the Arts Officer and staff from Westmeath Library), who will review progress of the project and approve associated budget spend.

The Creative Practitioner will be engaged for a residency (June – November 2021), with an award of €15,000 (to include all project costs, materials, travel, etc.), to be paid in three instalments.

A current tax-clearance certificate will be required. The successful applicant will be required to hold their own insurance cover, including Professional Indemnity.

All digital outputs generated as part of this project will be considered the property of the Westmeath County Council.

During Covid-19 health restrictions, the residency can be conducted on a virtual/online basis through regular contact with the Decade of Centenaries Coordinator and community participants.

We hope to be able to facilitate some in-person artistic engagement (activity, show, performance or other output) over Winter / Spring 2021-2022, depending on public health guidelines.


Requirements for applicants:

  • Proficiency in the use of social media and digital technologies.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including experience in hosting meetings/webinars on zoom or similar platforms.
  • The successful candidate will demonstrate ability to deliver and coordinate the project by means of prior experience and/or proven track record.
  • There may be a requirement, on occasion, to go to Westmeath locations (any such visits must be in line with Covid-19 Regulations).

Applicant proposal should include the following:

  • Knowledge of theme proposed
  • details of proposed engagement,
  • details of creative practitioner’s own practice, supported by CV and including referees/references where relevant
  • specific ideas on work and methods of engagement on the themes’ details and an outline of proposed outcome/s
  • illustration of capacity to work digitally in the current environment,

Note: Applications should illustrate clearly how the Community Engagement aspect of the stated approach will work.

Applicants are encouraged to illustrate a county-wide approach to capturing a breadth of stories from those within communities who have knowledge of the ‘Big House’ in their location.

The above details should be included in a written submission of interest which outlines your proposed approach to the role (1,000 words maximum) and should include images where relevant.

Please send application and a current CV marked ‘Creative Practitioner in Residence’ by email to: heritage@westmeathcoco.ie

The deadline for completed applications is 5pm Tuesday 25th May 2021.

Any queries should be addressed to Melanie McQuade, Decade of Centenaries Co-ordinator via heritage@westmeathcoco.ie

Applications will be assessed under the following criteria:

Criterion Mark
Project proposal – quality of proposal 30 Marks
Experience/proven track record on comparable projects and capacity to deliver the project within the required timeframe. 30 Marks
Demonstrate good communication skills including proficiency in the use of digital platforms 20 Marks
Demonstrate familiarity with and interest in the subject matter. 20 Marks
Total: 100 Marks

Westmeath County Council reserves the right to shortlist candidates and interviews may be held with selected candidates prior to the final evaluation.

This residency is funded under the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media’s Decade of Centenaries Programme. The objectives of this programme are set out on the Department website.site.

*A Creative Practitioner for the purposes of this scheme is defined as: A person who is actively pursuing a career as an artist in any art form, and who considers their arts work as their main profession or career

Open Call to Professional Creative Practitioners