How to Apply to Vital Spark

Deadline 31 July 2023

About the Vital Spark Artist Relationship Programme

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children and The Spark Arts for Children are working together to host a transformational, international artist relationship programme.

The Vital Spark Artist Relationship Programme is for underrepresented artists who are interested in developing their artistic practice and processes to make, create and invent exciting new work for young audiences.

The deadline to apply for this opportunity is Monday 31 July, 10am.

What the Programme Includes

We will work with 4 artists based in Ireland and 4 artists based in England. You will be paid for your time to take part in:

  • A 4-day ‘Go and See’ trip to Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, Galway, Ireland in October 2023
  • A 5-day residency of masterclasses & coaching in Leicester, England in November 2023
  • Online coaching sessions
  • Attending a 2-day Vital Spark Symposium in March 2024
  • Becoming part of the Vital Spark and GROW artist communities across the UK and Ireland

You’ll receive training, workshops, coaching and masterclasses at no cost. All travel, airfares and transfers, accommodation, theatre tickets, food and drink will be paid for. The programme is worth €10,000/ £8,500 for each participating artist.

Ideas Fund

In addition to the Relationship Programme, Vital Spark's Ideas Fund will be open to performance artists based in Ireland for the first time thanks to this new partnership. Baboró and The Spark have together created a seed commission fund with the goal of enabling artists to develop early ideas of a new production for young audiences. The fund will provide time for artists to explore their idea with guidance and project support from both organisations, without the pressure of a 'finished' product.

Artists based in Ireland can apply for the Relationship Programme, the Ideas Fund, or submit a joint application to both funds.

How to Apply

Applicants may apply for:

  • The Relationship Programme
  • The Ideas Fund
  • Both the Relationship Programme and the Ideas Fund

To apply please review the information packs below. Then visit The Spark Arts' website to download the relevant application form. Information packs and applications are available in written and video formats.

Information packs:

Vital Spark Relationship Programme Information for Applicants pack

Ideas Fund Information for Applicants pack


Download the relevant application form here

The deadline to apply is Monday 31 July at 10am.

To make the positive change to the PYA sector The Spark and Baboró aim to achieve, this opportunity is open to artists that identify as one or more of the following:

  • African and African Caribbean diaspora
  • D/deaf
  • Disabled
  • Ethnically diverse
  • Irish Traveller
  • LGBTQ+
  • Neurodivergent
  • South, East and South East Asian diaspora

You might be:

  • An emerging artist who is keen to develop their craft in arts and culture for children and families
  • A mid-career artist who has not yet developed their practice specifically in relation to work for children and families.
  • An actor, a musician, a director, a visual artist - in fact any type of artist!

We're looking for 8 extraordinary artists to spend time learning, growing and most importantly developing a relationship with us as part of the Vital Spark and GROW

Regardless of your “experience” you’ll have a commitment, passion and drive to create art (in whatever form) for children and families!


If you require any of this information to be presented in a different way, or if you would like to submit your application in a way that suits you best, or if have any questions about access during the application process, please contact or call +44 (0)116 261 6893.

Application Key Dates

Application deadline: 10.00am Monday 31 July

Meeting with shortlisted applicants:
9,10,11 August

Final decision:
Friday 1 September

Contact Us

To find out more about Vital Spark, you can email or call +44 (0)116 261 6893 to arrange a chat.

Artists based in Ireland who wish to know more about Baboró's involvement as a Vital Spark Partner are welcome to contact Rachel at or call +353 (0)91 562 667.

Click here for application forms.