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.



Cloudlands Dublin - artist Rachel Tynan and participant

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.


CanTeen member Lisa Comer lines up a shot with film mentor Alan Brennan at the Helium Arts film camp, IMMA, August 2014. Photo credit Joanne Dunne.

Two Suitcases is an award-winning community film project for teenagers living with chronic illness. Running since 2012, teenagers collaborate with professional artists on developing and making their own films. For the past 4 years, we’ve partnered with CanTeen Ireland, the national young people’s cancer support group. In 2017, we are also embarking on a new national film project with Epilepsy Ireland.



In January 2016, Helium began a new early years theatre project in partnership with the Jack and Jill Foundation to develop multi-sensory performance experiences for children under three with complex needs. The 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. Winner of the Allianz Community Art Prize at the 2016 Allianz Business to Arts Awards.

Helium is currently undertaking an arts, health and early years research project with partners in NUIG to uncover the effect of the performing arts on parent / infant relationships. We have previously worked with children aged 0-3 and their parents in a variety of health settings, including health centres, child development clinics, early intervention centres and community centres. Read more…



Helium’s Professional Development Programme offers training and support to artists and healthcare staff. The programme has most recently included a sold-out workshop on Oily Cart’s Theatre for People with Complex Learning Disabilities and a seminar on Art and Design Strategies in Healthcare in partnership with Create.


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