Recipients of Exploring & Thinking Bursary Award Announced


The four Dublin Local Authorities – South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council, Dublin City Council, and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council are delighted to announce this year’s recipients of the Exploring & Thinking Bursary. The Awards will support individual professional artists to develop their artistic practice working with and/or producing work for early childhood arts. Early childhood arts includes a wide range of different arts practices and creative experiences with / for children aged 0 –5 years in different contexts.

Exploring and Thinking is a collaborative framework for early childhood arts in the Dublin region. It came about in 2016 when the four Dublin Local Authorities partnered for the first time to collectively consider early childhood arts provision in Dublin.

The first Exploring & Thinking Partnership Bursary Awards were allocated in 2019, funding a range of supports for artists such as postgraduate studies, development of an educational resource, travel to a renowned early years programme, practice-based research and workshops. Two of the programme’s key objectives are to reach new early childhood audiences in under-served communities and to support the development of artistic collaborations, professional development and the research and creation of new work.

Commenting on the programme, Arts Officer, Orla Scannell said, ‘Each proposal awarded this year demonstrated a unique line of inquiry and enormous ambition in the area of early childhood arts and we look forward to sharing news with you as these exciting projects unfold during 2021’

Congratulations to the awarded artists, we wish you a very fruitful year: Clare Breen, David Beattie, Mark Joyce, Cliodhna Noonan, Diane Crotty, Helen Barry, Helen Keenan,  Angelica Santander, Mary O’Donnell, Liam McCarthy and Mark Ball. 

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at


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