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What we do

The National Youth Council of Ireland’s Arts Programme acts as an advocate for youth arts development in Ireland.

This we do at two levels:


A primary work area is the promotion of appropriate policy development in a broad range of youth and arts organisations/agencies. The programme also seeks to influence policy where appropriate.


NYCI’s Arts Programme endeavours to set standards for quality youth arts work through the promotion and development of models of best practice that are based on practical experience and relevant research.

This is achieved through:


NYCI’s Arts Programme works to encourage and support networks on several levels. We do this within and between the youth and arts sectors at local, regional and national level and develop linkages with appropriate agencies and organisations throughout Ireland and Europe.

Resource development

Much of our work is focused on developing relevant resources aimed at those interested in or already using the arts in youth work. Please see our resources page for a list of resources available.


NYCI’s Arts Programme offers training and professional development opportunities to individuals in the youth sector who are engaged in youth arts practice. NYCI’s Arts Programme coordinates the NUI Certificate in Youth Arts  in partnership with NUI, Maynooth.  

The Artist in Youth Work Scheme

Co-funded by the Arts Council and the Department of Education, Youth Affairs, The Artist in Youth Work Scheme is offered as a means of extending and enhancing opportunities for young people to experience the arts in the non-formal education sector.

The Artist in Youth Work Residency Award aims to encourage artistic collaboration between professional artists and young people. Young people will have the opportunity to work with and learn from practitioners of excellence in their field. Equally, artists will have the opportunity to enrich their own professional practice through the contextual experience of working with young people.

The Youth Arts Development Award is offered to further sustainable development of youth arts practice at a local level. The aim of the Youth Arts Development Award is to encourage the formation of partnerships between relevant agencies and organisations at a local level, to work towards integrated development of long-term youth arts programmes in a specific geographical area.