Spark - Arts & Business Collaborations


Spark - Call for Companies

Spark is a project where each year three Leitrim businesses of any size and function are provided with the opportunity to work with an artist for three weeks to explore areas of common interest or opportunities for how creative activity can carry benefit for both the company and the artist.

There are no preconditions on what the artist (who may be from any arts discipline) might do, and it is not obligatory to have produced anything by the end of the project – although a materials budget is provided – the project is perhaps best described as Action/Research.

Why would I get involved?

Small Sparks can be valuable for companies that wouldn’t normally work with artists to dip their toe in the water and to see what can be gained from doing so. The artist works closely with management and staff, and what comes out of the projects quite often points to different, creative and innovative paths and serves as a catalyst for new thinking.

The Arts Office also organises a longer and more focussed 6-month residency programme that does have defined outcomes. Companies that have completed the 3-week project and discovered valuable areas of common interest may put their names forward for this longer opportunity.

Spark responds directly from within a company, developing a platform for creative collaboration appropriate to that context, providing alternatives to the current view, and making connections and linkages where they may not have existed previously. Spark takes from international models of best practice which have shown that there is a real demand not only by companies needing creativity, but also by artists wanting to interact in broader fields than strictly within their artform. The programme is important for developing ideas about creativity and the exchange carries equal benefit for both the artist and the company.

The initial residency lasts for three weeks. This can be taken in one block or spread over a number of months as agreed between the artist and company. While off-site and on-line interaction can be part of the programme, conventional on-site contact is key in order for a residency to achieve its full potential.

What happens then?

After the closing date for expression of interest, we advertise the programme and company profile information to professional artists across the country. The Arts Office organises for interested artists to take part in a tour to visit all three companies. Artists are then invited to prepare and submit proposals for what they would propose to do as part of a three-week project at their chosen company.

These are not definitive in-stone proposals that the artist would be expected to carry out. Rather, by identifying potential lines of enquiry of interest and processes, the proposal provides a vivid insight into the applicant’s methodology as an artist, their understanding of the company, and a demonstration of their capacity for developing innovative projects appropriate to that company. Given that this proposal is only based on a short site visit, while it may serve as a useful starting point, the anticipation is that the residency would differ substantially, if not completely, from this proposal.

An independent panel shortlists a maximum of three proposals that are presented to management for final selection.

The artist’s fee and a materials budget are provided by Leitrim County Council’s Arts Office and Local enterprise Office with the support of The Arts Council.

So if you manage a business in Leitrim and would like to get involved in Spark, please complete the expression of interest form below before Sunday 5th May or for further information, email

Register Here

 What businesses have said about SPARK...

‘Our Company was fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in the Spark Program. It was an uplifting, fun and mutually beneficial experience for everyone involved - -  Joe Dolan, The Bush Hotel.

"The SPARK programme provided creative inspiration for staff, students and customers" - John Mannion, Mohill Enterprise Centre & Mohill Computer Training

"The Involvement of the Leitrim Association of People with Disabilities in the Spark project gave us new energy and challenged us to look at what we do for members. It also reflected back to us the positive benefits we bring to members and the wider community." - Rosaleen Kielty, Leitrim Association of People With Disabilities