Open Call: Catalyst Residency with Create & Fire Station Artists’ Studios

19 February, 2024

Photograph of the photograph taken by Veronica Campelo, Nos/Otras Project. Silvina Sisterna

The Catalyst Residency, offered in partnership between Create and Fire Station Artists’ Studios (FSAS), offers a socially engaged artist from an under-represented ethnic background a one-month residency in Dublin 1 during June 2024. The residency is intended as an artist-led incubation period which allows them to develop their practice and their networks with targeted support from the residency partners.

About the Catalyst Residency
In 2018, Create and the Fire Station Artists’ Studios formed a unique partnership to offer the Catalyst Residency as part of the Artist in the Community Scheme, managed by Create, and the range of residencies offered by FSAS. The Catalyst Residency is aligned with both Create and FSAS’s longstanding commitment to collaborative, socially engaged arts practice; and to supporting communities and artists on the margins of society.

Since 2018, the Catalyst Residency has opened a dedicated space for Create and FSAS to work with and support artists from under-represented ethnic backgrounds. Each year, the Catalyst Residency responds to the specific needs of successful candidates, offering skills and opening relevant networks across the arts sector.

In 2024, the Catalyst Residency will offer artists the opportunity to be mentored by a range of practitioners (see below); it is designed to enable the successful candidate to step away from their everyday responsibilities and immerse themselves in a dedicated period of reflection, mentoring, peer-to-peer conversation and strategic networking.

We invite expressions of interest from artists with a track record of collaborative socially engaged arts practice.

What the Catalyst Residency offers:

In 2024, the Catalyst Residency is artist-led, and it will offer a residential living space for up to one month in June 2024 at FSAS in Dublin to facilitate the following:

  • an experimental / developmental incubation 1 month period, based in an FSAS studio
  • time to network and engage with the wider field of collaborative socially engaged arts field in Dublin, as identified by the artist
  • time to schedule focused work (meetings, research, events) in Dublin
  • a space for reflection and planning for future project and partnership development
  • an opportunity to engage with Dublin’s vibrant art scene (should the successful candidate live outside Dublin)
  • A place on the Create and Counterpoints Arts Summer School on Collaborative Practice and Social Change*.
  • Support from a dedicated Residency Coordinator who will engage with the successful candidate at critical points throughout the residency period, following a preparatory session with Create and FSAS.
  • A stipend of €1,200, with an additional budget for agreed expenses associated with the residency, for example travel to and from Residency or Create Summer School

Please note that this is not a production residency, rather it is an opportunity for learning and unlearning, networking, research and discussion to generate new ideas and perspectives.

* 10-15 June – The Summer School residential will include full board, travel and an appropriate participant allowance to cover additional costs incurred.

What are the expectations and conditions of the Catalyst Residency:

  • We expect the residency to be self-directed. Create, FSAS and the Residency Coordinator will organise one meeting with the successful applicant ahead of the residency to scope out the residency plan.
  • After that, the artist’s main point of contact will be the Residency Coordinator.
  • A final meeting with Create, FSAS and the Residency Coordinator will be organised with the awardee at the end of the residency.
  • We are flexible in terms of the approach/use of the space available (ie. a hybrid approach), however we require applicants to clearly articulate why the residential space, and its particular location, is currently of added value to their practice.
  • We invite applicants to reflect on Create and FSAS and how both organisations’ values, programmes, networks and partnerships are relevant to the development of your work.
  • We require applicants to provide a clear articulation of their collaborative socially engaged arts practice, the preoccupations of the practice and the methodologies they employ when working with, and alongside, communities.

About FSAS Residential Space

The Catalyst Residency will take place over four weeks in June, based in Dublin’s FSAS, one of Ireland’s key residency and resource centres for visual arts. The allocated space is not suitable for more than 1 person as a living and working space. As a residential provider, accommodation in FSAS is a major part of the award, and it should be clearly articulated by the applicant why taking up this element is relevant to their current practice (even in a hybrid manner). Accommodation at FSAS includes a studio space with an open plan kitchen/living area, a partitioned-off bedroom, and a private bathroom. This is not a wet space studio but has capacity for desk-based work. See here for more information on Fire Station Artists’ Studios (Word doc).


1. Who is eligible?

  • Artists with a track record of collaborative, engaged art practice**, in the area of the Visual Arts***
    • **Collaborative arts involve artists and communities (non-arts professionals) working together, often over extended periods, to make art. By facilitating wider participation, collaborative arts expand and diversify public engagement with the arts, enriching its contribution to society. A full definition can be found on Create’s website.
    • ***Visual arts include a range of media such as painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, live art / performance, film, video or other digital imaging media.[1]
  • Any artist based in the Republic of Ireland, who comes from an under-represented ethnic background.
  • The residential element is an essential part of this award, the awarded artist must be available to stay in the provided Studio in some capacity and find benefit in the offered accommodation.

2. Who is not eligible?

Previous recipients of the Artist in the Community Scheme Artist Residency Award are ineligible.

3. How to apply and Deadlines

Step 1 – Expression of interest
Deadline: Monday, 8 April

You are invited to submit:

  1. a) A short expression of interest (500 words max) with:
  • a brief summary of your collaborative arts practice– how you work with/collaborate with other people/ communities (note: we acknowledge that artists often collaborate with other artists but for this residency we are interested in how you collaborate with people/ communities who do not identify as artists)
  • why you want this award and why the residency interests you,
  • why you think your practice fits the purpose of the Artist Residency Award (see About the Award) and
  • what your artistic goals and ambitions are during the residency, for example the areas of your practice that would benefit from time to reflect and focus, that critical discussion, and more support and development would help.
  • why the residential space, and its particular location, is currently of added value to your practice and briefly outline your approach/use of the residential space available
  1. b) Your CV or Biography to give a sense of previous projects and your interests
  2. c) Up to 5 images or examples of recent projects with short descriptions. If you have relevant links to images and videos, please include them.

All applications must be made using the online form (see section 4)

Step 2 – Short presentation on your practice
Date: Thursday, 25 April

If eligible and shortlisted, you will be invited to meet FSAS and Create and an external selector for a brief and informal discussion of what you think the residency would achieve for you.

In this short meeting, we want to hear about you and your practice, why the residency will contribute to the development of and/or consolidate your collaborative arts practice and an opportunity for you to ask questions.

Step 3 – Notification

The result of your application will be sent by email and feedback can be requested.

4. Making your application

All applications must be made using the online form, which you will find on the Create website.

Use the previous and next buttons to navigate through the form. However, please note that you cannot advance through the form without completing all compulsory questions.

Uploading application and supporting material

Please upload:

  1. a) A short expression of interest (500 words max)
  2. b) Your CV or Biography to give a sense of previous projects
  3. c) A Word or PDF document which includes up to 5 images or examples of recent projects with short descriptions. Links to relevant videos or audio should be included in this document.

5. How can we support you?

We aim to make the application process accessible to all.  We provide supports to remove barriers for artist applicants to this Residency. These may include translation from other languages or transcription of audio and video files. We will use all reasonable endeavours to assist applicants eligible under the conditions of the Residency. To find out more, please contact Create (info[at] at least 2 weeks in advance of the closing date. If you feel your needs are not outlined here, please contact us and we will do our best to support you.

The open call is being advertised through the usual visual arts channels, informal networks and complementary fields of development, such as agencies who support refugees or migrants in Ireland.

If you have any questions about the award:
Point of contact in FSAS: Julia Moustacchi at
Point of contact in Create: Áine Crowley at

About Create and Fire Station Artists’ Studios
Create is the national development agency for collaborative arts in social and community contexts. Create supports artists across all artforms who work collaboratively with communities in different social and community contexts, be they communities of place or those brought together by interest. They seek to foster current and future potential for collaboration between artists and communities, encouraging art projects that reflect the exciting ways in which collaborative arts represent a complex range of ideas and approaches.  As a resource organisation we offer supports for artists working in social and community contexts. These include professional development, mentoring, project development support, commissioning and project opportunities as well as research and training. Create believes that by working together, artists and communities can purposefully explore how collaborative arts engage in distinct, relevant and powerful ways with the urgent social, cultural and political issues of our times.

Fire Station Artists‘ Studios
Located in the north east inner city area of Dublin in Ireland, FSAS was established in 1993 to provide support for professional visual artists. The main aims of the FSAS’s programmes, resources and facilities are to support artists to diversify, upskill and engage in critical thinking within their practice in a unique and intimate environment outside of the formal education system. FSAS provides subsidised combined live / work studios for Irish and international artists, large scale sculpture workshop facilities and training opportunities for artists to include state of the art digital media and film resources that include 3D Printing and VR technologies.  FSAS hosts international curators and master classes for reflection on Contemporary Art Practice and Curation, most particularly on collaborative and socially engaged work.  Over the years, FSAS has commissioned a significant number of ground-breaking socially engaged and public art projects in partnership with agencies and companies.  International connections are built through all our curated programmes of artistic activity especially through stimulating critique and debate around art practice through publications, talks and seminars. FSAS projects take place in Ireland and internationally including Europe and Ethiopia.  FSAS’s commitment to the area of arts and disability is especially important, as we seek news ways to support the professional development of visual artists with disabilities.

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