Helium Arts works across the healthcare system offering a range of arts projects for children and teenagers led by professional artists. Projects range from once-off events to longer term residencies.
The artist in residence programme sees an artist or artists work with a healthcare community over a number of months in a sustained engagement. Our current artist residency is Fireflies, a three-year project (2015-2018) for teenagers in hospital investigating how the arts can support transition to adult care by promoting independence, decision making skills, communication skills and improved self-esteem. Fireflies is supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation’s ‘Dream Up’ programme.
Two Suitcases is an award-winning community film project for teenagers living with chronic illness. Running since 2012, teenagers collaborate with professional filmmakers and artists to develop and make their own films. Helium Arts partners with patient support groups including CanTeen Ireland, the national young people’s cancer support group, Epilepsy Ireland and Diabetes Ireland. In 2018, we will be embarking on our first film project with teen patients from a Dublin children’s hospital.
Helium Arts’ Pop Up Picnic is our current early years project, a multi-sensory performance experience created for families with young children who have complex needs. Artists visits families in their homes, using music, sound, puppetry, movement and tactile environments to provide families with new ways of bonding with their child. The project was established in January 2016 in partnership with the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation and won the Allianz Community Art Prize at the 2016 Allianz Business to Arts Awards.
Helium’s Professional Development Programme offers training and support to artists and healthcare staff.