Grants & Schemes

The Arts Department have a number of annual awards and opportunities available to Arts Organisations, schools and Individuals.

These include:

Arts Act Grants 2017

Each year provision is made by Laois County Council for the payment of grants to Laois arts organisations and individuals who meet the artistic and financial criteria set down by Laois County Council and who provided adequate information on their proposed activities. The 2017 awards have been approved by the full Council meeting in March and recipients are as follows:

Individual awards                           

Emma O’Grady                                                 €450

Seamus Morton                                                €100

Saidhbhin Gibson                                             €350

Agnes de Vlin                                                    €350

Pat Byrne                                                           €250

Maeve Collins                                                    €250

Rachel Marum                                                   €200

Amy Guilfoyle                                                   €150

Group awards                  

Yarn Bombing                                                    €400

Durrow & District Pipe Band                           €350

Portarlington Concert                                      €350

Laois Youth Dance Ensemble                          €300

Rebecca Deegan & Chloe Young                     €200

Portlaoise Active Retirement Group               €200

Sing for Joy Group                                           €150

Laois Writers Group                                        €150

Ballylinan Writers Group                                 €150

Rathdowney Panto Group                              €150

Barrowhouse Health & Well Being                €100

Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann                           €100

Arles Art Group                                                €100

Cosy Choral Society                                         €100

Portlaoise Literature Studies Group               €100


Tyrone Guthrie ‌Bursary Scheme

A bursary is made available to enable two Laois artists to spend one week working at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in County Monaghan. The bursary is advertised at the beginning of the year and if you are interested in receiving an application form for 2018 please contact the arts office to register your interest.

The recipients of the 2017 bursary  are writer Fiona O’Connor, Milltown Road, Ballylinan, and visual artist Pat Wallis, Clonin, Mountrath, Co Laois.

Recipients of the award for 2016 were Amanda Kelly Playwright and Gareth Jenkins, Artist.
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Artists in Schools

Grants are made available for artists’ residencies in schools, to include all art forms.   This scheme gives primary and post primary schools the opportunity to select and work with professional artists and explore new arts media. Open to national and secondary schools throughout the county the application is made by the school in partnership with the artist and each application is adjudicated on its overall artistic benefits and ideals. Contact the Arts Office to request hard copy.

The Arts Office are delighted with the success of the Artists in Schools Scheme throughout the years and each year the standard and outcomes of the residencies gets better and better with 2016 being no exception. The scheme benefits both the artist and the students taking part – experimenting, enquiring, designing and creating, inspires confidence and imagination in all.








In 2017 nine schools have been selected by an adjudication panel to take part in a number of creative project during the year and they include:

  • Clonaslee College, Clonaslee with visual artist Aisling Brennan on an art therapy project
  • St. Joseph’s NS,  Borris in Ossory, with artist/architect Alan Meredith on a creative art project
  • Elderfield NS, Castletown with visual artist Lynn Kirkham on a creative art project
  • Paddock N.S., Mountrath with visual artist Mary Slevin on a creative art project
  • St Colmcille N.S., Errill with visual artist Ania Necel Kruppa on a recycle art project
  • Kolbe Special School, Portlaoise with visual artist Hilary Kelly on a collage art project
  • Scoil Bhride Knockmay, Portlaoise with visual artist Saidhbhin Gibson on a mural art project
  • The Swan N.S., The Swan with visual artist Niall Fitzpatrick on a landscape art project
  • Scoil Naisiunta Sandy Lane, Portarlington with pottery artist Finbar O’Hara on a pottery art project.

Some of the above projects have already started and all will be completed by the end of December 2017.

In 2016 nine schools were selected by adjudication panel to take part in this scheme where the artists delivers the project directly into the school.   Some of the schools have already completed the residencies and a number of glowing reports have been sent in to the office from teachers and students taking part.

Participating schoolsand projects  in 2016 include:

  • Gaelscoil Phortlaoise – artist Pauline Hyland 1916 mural project
  • Shanahoe National School – artist Janet O’Grady “Plastic Paradise” using recycled materials
  • Scoil Mhuire Abbeyleix – artist Janet O’Grady Wall Mural using recycled materials
  • Portlaoise Educate Together – artist Ania Necel –Kruppa outdoor sculpture project
  • Abbeyleix South N.S. – artist Fin O’Hara pottery project using different processes with clay
  • Abbans N.S. Maganey – artist Mary Slevin Visual arts project using fairy tales as inspiration
  • The Heath N.S. – artist Aishling Hennessy mural project themed on Past to Present to Future
  • Wolfhill NS – artist Janet O’Grady puppets using recycled materials
  • Cosby NS Stradbally – artist Edyta Szymanska sculpture project using clay and organic materials.

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Residency Schemes
JV8A1481Over the years we have supported artists through a programme of residencies. In general these residencies have asked the artist to undertake work in collaboration with communities, schools and groups.

As outlined in the current Arts Plan we will revise this programme to offer artists-in-residence programmes that focus on the making of new work utilising funding through the Dept of the Environment Percent for Art Scheme. The scope for proposals remains open – it might for instance support an artist making new work – to be presented/performed or exhibited in the county or it may support an artist working with others in developing his/her ideas towards the creation of a new work.
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If you wish to register your name for applications for the above awards and opportunities for 2017 contact the Arts Office by phone 057 8664033/13 or email us