Mermaid's Associate Artist Scheme

TRANSFORM 2023/24 - Call for Applications

***Applications are now closed***

Associate Artist Role

Mermaid is committed to finding exciting, meaningful, sustainable and democratic ways to work with artists and communities. This scheme is, in part, a response to discussions that we have had with artists and freelancers since 2020 and also the wider conversation happening across the sector about how we can build an arts sector that is fairer, more adventurous and inclusive.

This is the third iteration of the scheme. Through what we’ve learned from the artists and about our own working practices over the course of the last two years we have moved from initially supporting 4 artists in years 1 and 2, to supporting 2 artists in the coming year. One of our 2022/23 cohort will stay on for a second year and will work alongside our new recruit.

This is not a standard bursary or residency. This is about what happens if creative practitioners and artists are embedded in organisations and have enough paid time and brain space to work on their own practice.

Role Title: Associate Artist

Number of roles available: 1 part-time role

Hours of Work: 20 hours per week

Contract type: Freelance or PAYE fixed term for 1 year (22 May 2023 to 17 May 2024)

Salary: €17,000 per annum, incl. holidays

What can the successful candidate expect from the role?

This is an experiment, and we will be working flexibly with the appointed artist during the year to shape how the role will work. The successful candidate can expect:

● Weekly wages for 12 months from May 2023 to May 2024.

● Pay based on part-time hours (estimated at 20 hours per week).

● A flexible approach to contracting: we envisage these roles being PAYE (with associated holidays and contributions) but we can facilitate pay arrangements for self-employed artists where required or preferred.

● Access to the human and physical resources available at Mermaid such as space, technical team, and equipment, where availability allows.

● To continue with your own practice as you might have before, but with less financial pressure. There will be no obligation to share work publicly, though there are opportunities for this if Associate Artists wish to consider those.

What will Mermaid expect from the successful candidate?

● Regular attendance at and contribution to staff meetings (approx. 1 hour), either online or in-person.

● Contribution to strategic discussions about Mermaid’s future as required.

● That the artist would work closely with Mermaid’s Artistic Director to create a support structure which empowers Associate Artists to interrogate, explore, and create their best work.

● Regular attendance at TRANSFORM meetings with Artistic Director and our other associate artist, either online or in-person.

● Participation in the ongoing evaluation of the scheme. This is the third iteration of the scheme so the process is an evolving one. Mermaid is committed to being responsive and reactive to the needs of Associate Artists during the process, and this will require dialogue from all involved.

Who are these roles for?

Mermaid seeks an outstanding professional artist to join our team, which includes one other professional artist who is embarking on a second Transform year.

The scheme is open to individual, professional artists, including: Actors, Architects, Choreographers, Circus/Street Arts Performers, Composers, Creative Producers, Curators/Programmers (working in an arts context), Dancers, Designers (e.g. set, costume, lighting), Directors, Dramaturgs, Facilitators (participatory arts, youth theatre), Film Artists, Literary Writers (e.g. novelists, poets), Musicians, Playwrights, Picture-book Illustrators, Singers, Visual Artists. The applicant does not have to earn their living exclusively from their work in the arts, but they must self-identify and be recognised by their peers as a practising professional artist. If you are unsure whether your artistic practice makes you eligible, please get in touch with us at

This role is for an individual:

● who has created and presented/shared/exhibited work in a professional context in the past 5 years or as recently as personal circumstances allowed.

● whose practice lends itself to collaboration and participation and who has an idea of who their work speaks to, is created for or is created with.

● who is based in Wicklow and is interested in building a strong relationship through their practice with the Arts Centre and its staff and other stakeholders.

● who want to be supported to have dedicated time to continue their creative practice over the course of a year and have a clear vision for their own projects and practice.

● who want to use this time to build things which can support the sustainability of their career in the future.

Essential Requirements

● Professional experience of making and creating engaging creative artwork and/or experiences for audiences, participants, clients or others

● Some understanding of Mermaid Arts Centre and its work

● Based in and committed to working in County Wicklow

● Openness to new ideas and different points of view

● Excellent listening and reflection skills

● Ability to communicate about your creative practice

Desirable Experience

● Managing budgets, no matter how big or small

● Leading your own professional development

● Working with a diverse range of people

● A commitment to sustainability

● Embedding well-being into your practice

We particularly encourage applications from members of groups who are underrepresented in the cultural sector. Mermaid County Wicklow Arts Centre is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from people of all genders, nationalities, races, cultural backgrounds, ages, religions, languages, different abilities, sexual orientations or socio-economic statuses. Mermaid is committed to equality and diversity in the workplace, and to supporting our team with ongoing career development opportunities.

***Applications are now closed***

How to apply.

Please use the information in this pack to help inform your application.We are asking interested individuals to submit a short application via this Google Form, including your CV AND 1 side of A4 or a short film or audio file (max. 3 mins) that tells us about your creative practice and why you are interested in this role at Mermaid Arts Centre.

If you have any access requirements or additional needs, please let us know and we will find a way to support and facilitate your application. We are committed to providing as much support as possible to individuals. If you have any questions or have any access requirements or concerns, please contact us via

You must submit your application by 5pm on Tuesday 2nd May 2023.

Recruitment Process

From the list of applicants, Mermaid’s Artistic Director, and two members of Mermaid’s team, will read, assess and debate all applications to create a shortlist. In the selection process we will be looking for (amongst other things) track record and/or potential demonstrated, balance of emerging and experienced artists, a balance where gender, race and socio-economic background are concerned, a diversity of artistic practice and which artists might most need this support.

Shortlisted candidates will then meet a panel for interview, which will include Mermaid’s Artistic Director, a member of Mermaid’s board and an artist colleague as an external panellist. During this process we will establish if this is the right opportunity for the individual and Mermaid, and after which, we will appoint our Associate Artist.


● Friday 14 April – applications open

● Tuesday 2 May - applications close

● Wednesday 3 - Wednesday 10 May – shortlisting process & invitation to interview to selected candidates

● Wednesday 17 – interviews

● Week commencing 22 May - contract commences

Mermaid is core funded by Wicklow County Council and the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.