Applications are now being accepted for the Exploring and Thinking Award 2023

Exploring and Thinking is a collaborative framework for early childhood arts in the Dublin region. It came about in 2016 when the four local authorities South Dublin County, Fingal County, Dublin City and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County partnered for the first time to collectively consider early childhood arts provision in the Dublin region.


  • To support artistic ambition in cross-artform collaborations, professional development and the research and development of new work in early childhood arts
  • To reach new early childhood arts audiences in under-served communities and neighbourhoods
  • To stimulate dialogue between Dublin Local Authorities, artists, early childhood educators and organisations
  • To build on current research investigating practice across artforms, professional disciplines and context
  • To generate advocacy in early childhood arts


  • Access with an emphasis on under-served communities and neighbourhoods
  • Quality of practice that is evidence and standards based
  • Positive impact on artistic practice and the wider early childhood sector
  • Focus on Artist that is responsive to emerging and established practitioners
  • Sustainability with actions that are achievable, realistic and measurable

Applications must be made through You may be required to accept cookies when creating log in details

Call out: 7th November 2022
Closing date for receipt of applications: 2pm – 12th December 2022
Assessment period: Week of the 9th January 2023
Success applicants notified: Week of the 30th January 2023

Click here to access the Exploring and Thinking guidelines

All applications must be mad through If you have any queries, please contact Maire Davey on mdavey@DLRCOCO.IE

The Bursary Award is open to:

1. individual professional artists who wish to develop their practice in early childhood arts
2. artists practicing in all artforms
3. artists resident in Ireland

Artists do not have to be based in the Dublin region, but the bursary proposal should articulate how this support in turn, will impact existing early childhood arts practice in the Dublin region.

All successful bursaries need to be completed by year end 2023. We reserve the right not to allocate funding and to allocate partial funding. The fund is limited, and all eligible applications will be evaluated on a competitive basis against the criterial set out in this document.Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. All applicants must show awareness of the challenges of the ongoing pandemic and be prepared to adhere to all Public Health Guidance.

Date Posted: 10 November 2022
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