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Arts and Cultural Engagement Officer

Be part of an exciting project to help generate new possibilities engaging the people of Ireland in meaningful dialogue around the difficulties of dying, death, grief and loss using the medium of the arts.

July 2020: Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) seeks to engage the services of a suitably qualified and experienced individual to undertake an eight-month fixed term contract as Arts and Cultural Engagement Officer.

The main objective of the role is to use the power of the Arts to help connect organisations, providers and citizens to manage the difficult topics of dying, death, care and loss felt widely by society. The Officer will manage and create a bespoke programme of events to remember and reflect on dying, death and bereavement. This will include managing seed grants for community responses to dying, death, loss and grief, and the production of a poetry book with illustrations/photography. The Officer will help create opportunities for people to talk about and plan ahead for ill health and death using the many different aspects of the Arts to create, manage and maintain active dialogue and reflection.


Irish Hospice Foundation is one of the seven organisations awarded funding under the Government’s new Creativity in Older Age which will be delivered by Creative Ireland over the next 18 months.

Why is this ROLE needed at this time?

In recent times, COVID-19 has motivated communities to come together with compassion and care to help and support each other. The pandemic has also magnified people’s experiences of dying, death, loss and grief. In a time when the Arts itself has been deeply impacted, COVID-19 has also demonstrated how much we all rely on the Arts, culture and creative responses for meaning, solace and inspiration. The experiences of COVID-19 have generated new possibilities and potential for engaging people in Ireland in meaningful dialogue around dying, death, grief and loss through the medium of the Arts.

Project Aims

  • To create and implement a strategic plan for Arts and Cultural activities for Irish Hospice Foundation
  • The strategic plan will have realistic and tangible milestones and achievements that will demonstrate a real and positive cultural and artistic change for Irish Hospice Foundation
  • Aligned with this is managing the funds for two key projects; the creation of a Poetry Book and managing a community seed grants scheme.

The Arts Officer will use their knowledge to:

  • Mobilise existing IHF resources and networks to use the Arts as a medium for expression especially following the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Help those facing illness, end of life, or who are grieving to explore their feelings, build resilience and perhaps shape their ability to manage crises and other day-to-day challenges that arise now and in the future.


Project/Role expectation:

This is an eight month (four-day week) fixed term contract for an Arts and Cultural Engagement Officer for Irish Hospice Foundation. The main objective of the role is to use the power of the Arts to help connect organisations, providers and citizens of Ireland as a whole and to help manage the difficult topics of dying, death, care and loss felt widely by society.
The Officer will manage and create a bespoke programme of events to remember and reflect on dying, death and bereavement including managing seed grants for community responses to dying, death, loss and grief, and the production of a poetry book with illustrations/photography.

Partner Organisations

Funded by Creative Ireland, the hugely successful State initiative to mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. The Programme drew inspiration from the extraordinary public response to the Centenary and the thousands of largely culture-based events exploring issues of identity, community, culture, heritage and citizenship.


The role should commence by September 2020 and be completed by April 2021 with an interim report to be submitted in early January. These dates may be reviewed if any unavoidable delays occur due to the current health crisis.

Work Programme

The Arts and Cultural Engagement Officer will be expected to:

  • Further shape and lead Irish Hospice Foundation’s cultural strategy for Arts and Cultural events, working across local cultural organisations and communities
  • Develop and implement a SMART delivery plan for the strategy with an accompanying communications plan to include the formal launch of the strategy, the delivery of the poetry book and delivery of seed grants
  • Bring together key cultural stakeholders to deliver activities, share resources and good practice to further the ambitions of the strategy
  • Work directly with artists, local communities and community groups to encourage greater participation in the Arts and cultural activities
  • Work with local education providers to further cultural education opportunities for children and young people
  • Develop strong relationships with the private and commercial sector in Ireland to support the delivery of the strategy
  • Develop a robust long-term plan for the resourcing and delivering of the cultural strategy from 2021 onward
  • Develop an agreed performance framework to monitor and evaluate the success of the strategy
  • Ensure all activities and initiatives are delivered effectively within budget requirements
  • Lead on developing and managing external relationships within the Cultural and Arts sector within Ireland working closely with Communities and members of the Creative Ireland team
  • Lead and broker positive relationships at a strategic and operational level between the Cultural and Arts, Heritage, Education, Public, Voluntary and Community sectors and commercial businesses
  • Lead and act as an advocate for the Arts and cultural learning, promoting the value of the Arts with all partners and encouraging additional involvement and investment. Key contacts will be Community, Voluntary, Public sectors including local councils, schools, youth and age alliance organisations, libraries, museums, arts practitioners and arts organisations. Strategic key partners include Creative Ireland and the Arts Council of Ireland


The Arts and Cultural Engagement Officer will report directly to the Public Engagement Officer

Salary: €25,000 for an eight month contract, working four days a week.

Application process

Applications will be evaluated by a selection panel against the following criteria:


Required Competencies

Knowledge, skills and abilities

  • Educated to degree level or professional qualification in arts, arts administration with up to date knowledge of the Arts and Cultural sector
  • Excellent project management skills
  • An ability to champion change and oversee cultural change within a community
  • An ability to communicate around the difficulties of dying, death and bereavement
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Excellent people skills
  • Establishing and maintaining key stakeholder relationships with internal departments and external partners including local, regional and national specialist organisations


  • Extensive experience of translating strategic plans into tangible actions to meet the ambitions of Irish Hospice Foundation
  • Some experience of working using the arts in the healthcare/caring sector
  • Proven experience of successful bid writing and external funding applications
  • Experience of working co-operatively with communities especially through the arts
  • Experience of marketing and communications in an Arts environment
  • Proven experience of Microsoft suite of software
  • Experience of leading and managing events
  • Ability to work remotely using Zoom/Teams/WebEx

Leadership Competencies

  • Anticipates and positively responds to challenges and opportunities
  • Uses innovation and creativity to identify solutions to challenges in order to achieve the organisations ambitions
  • A team player with a can-do attitude

Engaging People

  • Leads by example, communicating in a straightforward manner with integrity, promoting a working environment aligned to Irish Hospice Foundation’s values
  • Is visible to staff and stakeholders, actively builds and maintains a network of colleague’s partners and key stakeholders to support the achievement of business plan and shared objectives

Delivery of programme

  • Evidence of capacity to deliver agreed projects on time, in scope and on budget


Selection Process

All submissions will be assessed by Irish Hospice Foundation or their chosen representative(s).
Closing Date: August 10th 2020
Applicants will be short-listed on the basis of their submissions. Short-listed applicants may be called to interview (online) 18th/19th August. The selection panel will include representatives of COMMISSIONER/PARTNERS and an independent expert in SECTOR.

Submitting your proposal

Please apply in writing via email and include copies of each of the following:

  1. Letter of application and introduction, telling us how your experience matches the role and responsibilities of the position
  2. Outline suitability for the role: C.V, relevant experience, examples of writing and research publications, and any other information deemed relevant
  3. Please supply supplementary information to support your application via email, for example, a short description of relevant previous projects, copies of photographs/audio or visual documentation, press reviews, publications, etc
  4. Names and contact details of two relevant referees

All the above should be compiled into one PDF document and clearly marked with your name and contact details.

The PDF document should not exceed 10MB and should be emailed to susan.geaney@hospicefoundation.ie
To arrive no later than 5.30PM 10th August 2020
For further enquiries please contact: Rebecca.Lloyd@hospicefoundation.ie 01 679 3188
Proposals received after the deadline of 10th August will not be accepted under any circumstances.

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