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Open Mon - Fri 10am - 6pm Sat & Sun 10am - 5pm

The LAB Gallery
Foley Street, Dublin 1

+353 1 222 5455

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Programmes for Children & Young People

Dublin City Arts Office is working to increase opportunities for children and young people to access quality arts experiences through partnerships with City departments and complementary arts and cultural organisations.

Call for Applications

The four Dublin Local Authorities (Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and South Dublin County Council) are working in partnership to invite applications for the creation of new artwork(s) of ambition, scale and depth for an early childhood audience.

This opportunity is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland’s Invitation to Collaboration Scheme and the four Dublin Local Authorities.

Objectives of the Commission

• Support artistic ambition in the research and development of new work in early childhood which can be presented in different contexts – including festival, professional arts space, library and childcare settings.

• Reach new early childhood audiences.

• Stimulate dialogue between the Dublin Local Authorities and with artists, early childhood educators and organisations.

• Build on current research investigating practice across artforms /professional disciplines/ contexts.

• Consider how engagement with audiences may be influenced by the presentation of the commission in the different contexts.

• Generate advocacy in early childhood arts.


Each Dublin Local Authority supports early childhood arts practice, provision, partnership and policy that is responsive to local motivations and need.

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council delivers residency programmes and with their local County Childcare Committee, building artists’ practice through longer-term residencies and co-commissions in childcare settings.

Fingal County Council produces an international early childhood arts festival that includes professional development for artists and educators; and is a partner in completing action research residencies in music and the visual arts in two creche settings in association with Trinity College Dublin.

Dublin City delivers a Children’s Art in Libraries Programme and Project 20/20 in Dublin 1, and will pilot an early childhood CPD programme with Preparing for Life in Coolock in 2016/2017.

South Dublin County has identified early years practice as an area for development in its new Arts Plan and is building resources and relationships with the County Childcare Committee.

Closing date: Thursday 24 November at 12 noon.

For more information see supporting documents:

Briefing Document

Support Document

Drawing Day

Drawing Day for children at The LAB as part of Project 20/20 with artist Helen Barry on Saturday 21 May 2016 from 11:00 to 13:00

Project 20/20 focuses on unlocking children’s voices as citizens—what they tell us about their lives, connections with family, teachers and community, how they learn and develop—by integrating visual practice into local childcare and primary schools.

No child without an adult. No adult without a child.

For more on this, our free exhibition s and events, visit our website or click the tab for The Lab on the left of this page.

Children’s Art in Libraries Programme

Children’s Art in Libraries Programme (CAL) is an initiative of the Dublin City Arts Office and works in partnership with Dublin City Public Libraries to deliver innovative programming for children across a broad range of art forms. More about the Children’s Art in Libraries Programme

Drama in Schools Toolkit

The Drama in Schools Programme was developed and delivered by Dublin City Arts Office from 2003 - 2013 and during that time over eight hundred and seventy five children participated in the programme.  We have created this web resource with the aim of passing on that knowledge and continuing to support teachers to successfully deliver drama education in schools. Download Drama in Schools Toolkit (PDF)

Project 20/20

Project 20/20 is an arts in education project, an action-research piece of work into contemporary art and children living in Dublin 1.  It is a project that is building over time, focusing on developing the visual literacy of a specific cohort, shining a light on the cumulative effect a long-term, focused, dedicated project can achieve. 

Public Art Engagement Programme with Schools

The Beyond Pebbledash project included the ‘construction’ of a house in the central square of one of Dublin’s National Museums, the publication of a book (also titled Beyond Pebbledash) and an Arts Council-funded engagement programme, targeting young people and Transition Year students.

In the 2015 Dublin Ships project, fourth and sixth classes from Dublin schools questioned, explored and responded to Dublin Port as a fascinating area of Dublin City, and to how artist Cliona Harmey developed the public artwork Dublin Ships.

Youth Arts Partnership - Dublin City Council and the City of Dublin Youth Service Board

Dublin City Council and the City of Dublin Youth Service Board have been working together since 2002.

In partnership, we work to increase opportunities for access to quality arts experiences in a youth work context. We are maximising resources and capacity to sustain and develop existing and new initiatives.

With young people, youth work organisations and artists and art organisations, we work to programme effective and imaginative, with particular emphasis in recent years on film, drama and music. 

Dublin City Arts Office believes in young people's right to engage in the arts, physically and intellectually, throughout their life. 

Young Dublin - Young Artists & Young Arts Audiences

Dublin City Arts Office,  axis Arts Centre, the National Association for Youth Drama (NAYD) and City of Dublin Youth Services Board have come together in partnership to support of young artists to develop original artistic projects and welcome their artistic voice and participation in 1916/2016 Centenary Programme Celebrations.

St Andrews Resource Centre/Talk About Youth Project - Pearse Street - 'Letters in Motion’ is developing a youth led street arts performance in visual arts, dance, drama exploring local history and eyewitness accounts of the 1916 rebellion in the Pearse Street area.  

D.I.T. Ballymun Music Programme -  'A Tri-Coloured Ribbon’ a professional composer and young musicians create a 10 minute musical score and film using songs from the 1916 era as a stimulus for an original composition and performance.  

Brú Youth Service - Crumlin  - 'Rising Reflections' - a youth led digital media and photography project  involving 20 young people documenting their reflections of 1916 and its impact on their lives today.  

Dublin Youth Theatre, Dublin 1 - young members undertake a three day intensive workshop with Dr Helena Enright, of the University of Bath exploring the role of young people in the 1916 Rising using verbatim theatre and theatre of testimony. 

Coisceim Broadreach, Dublin 1 a collaborative dance/film project ‘Where are we now?’ in Dublin’s north inner city for a group of up to 30 young people.

Following a call for proposals in 2015, that demonstrated a strong interest in youth arts in Dublin city,  these projects were selected based on the quality of the artistic vision, young people’s  ownership within the project development, and  overall feasibility of the proposal. Showcasing and discussion of work in progress will take place at LIFT Youth Arts Festival, Ballymun, in March 2016. 

For more on Dublin City Arts Office’s commitment to arts access and provision for the children and young people of Dublin, download the The Arts Plan.