Meet our fantastic team! We believe in the power of the arts to transform the healthcare experience of children and those who care for them.
Helene Hugel, CEO and Artistic Director
Helene Hugel is CEO and Artistic Director of Helium Arts. She has an Honours BA Degree in English from Trinity College Dublin and a qualification in Hospital Play Specialism during which she won the Eve Latimer Award for her dissertation. She was co-founder and partner of the award-winning Puca Puppet Theatre Company until 2002. As an individual arts practitioner developing arts and health for children between 2002 and 2008, she was awarded multiple Arts Council grants and bursaries to develop her practice working with children in hospital. She is the recipient of both a Level 1 and Level 2 Social Entrepreneurs Award and in 2009 she founded Helium Arts in order to provide a structure for collaborating with other artists and healthcare practitioners to extend the impact of arts and health practice to more children and young people living with illness across Ireland.
Anna McCarthy, Development Manager
Anna McCarthy joined the Helium team in 2014. Anna studied event management before undertaking a BA in Sociology and French. In 2009, she established Luminous Live Events, providing a platform for creative expression and social engagement among creative communities. In 2012, an interest in organisational sustainability and self-sufficiency became the focus of research carried out for UCD’s MA in Cultural Policy & Arts Management. As part of the course, she completed a placement in Business to Arts, gaining insight into strategies for fundraising and revenue generation in the nonprofit arts sector.
Olive Power, General Manager
Olive Power joined the Helium team in June 2019, as General Manager. While she has a Certificate in Workplace Management from the National College of Ireland and two decades experience of setting up and managing family support projects, her love of Art brought her back to UCD as a mature student and she graduated with an Hons B.A. in English and History of Art in 2007. Having trained to work with the National Council for the Blind as a Technical Officer she also served on the Board of Rialto Youth Project and worked as a FAS Supervisor with Fatima Groups United and Youth Work Ireland adding to the experience she brings to her work with us.
Emma Eager, Project Manager
Emma Eager joined the Helium team in 2011, first as Helium’s Communications Officer and now as Project Manager, co-ordinating the community and early years programmes and managing the development of Helium’s new website in 2018. Emma loves working on the ground with young people, artists and healthcare professionals, exploring new ideas and ways of collaborating. Emma is also the editor of artsandhealth.ie, the national website for arts and health in Ireland. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a B.Sc. in Communications: Film and Broadcasting and with an M.Phil. in Popular Literature.
Monica Flynn, Project Manager
Monica joined Helium Arts in 2017 as Project Manager on the Fireflies Artist in Residence project at Temple Street Children’s University Hospital. Over the last couple of years she has supported work by artists Siobhan Clancy and Rachel Tynan and project managed the Fireflies Toolkit a set of creative tools for young people transitioning from paediatric to adult health services. She enjoys working directly with artists and seeing young people blossom creatively in the collaborative process. A visual artist in her own right Monica has an MA in Visual Arts Practices from Dun Laoghaire IADT and H.Dip. in Arts & Cultural Management. From U.C.D. She also works part time for the artists representative body Visual Artists Ireland as their Professional Development Officer.
Mitzi D’Alton, Project Manager
Mitzi D’Alton is a freelance cultural producer with 8 years experience in theatre, festivals, events and cultural community projects. She joined Helium in January 2019 as Project Manager of Pop Up Picnic. Over the years she has worked with a number of arts and cultural organisations including Dublin Fringe Festival, The Ark, Dublin Theatre Festival, National Gallery of Ireland, and Dublin City Council led festivals alongside independent projects with a variety of artists and theatre makers. She graduated with First Class Honours in Business with Arts Management from IADT.
Anna Mielewczyk, Finance Administrator
Anna Mielewczyk joined the Helium team in May 2019, taking on the role of Finance Administrator. She’s very detail-oriented and enjoys problem solving and working with numbers. Anna is also a college administrator in the International College of Personal and Professional Development in Athlone. She earned her BA in Business and Office Management, before going on to work as a bookkeeper for three years. Having spent the past 15 years in Ireland, establishing professional roots and starting a family, she is delighted to now call it home.
Gemma Rattigan, Arts Administrator
Gemma Rattigan joined Helium Arts in June 2019. She has a major award with an overall distinction in Advanced Business Management, and also has an award in both Business Studies and General Studies, which includes payroll and accounts. She has an excellent working knowledge of Ms office & Payroll Software and loves working with Helium Arts.
Maria Jervey, Marketing and Event Coordinator
Maria joined the Helium Team in 2018, as the marketing and public event coordinator. She enjoys getting the opportunity to interact with the public, and get people excited about Helium’s work. Coming from an international education background, having worked with both Emerald Cultural Institute as a summer centre manager and International Studies Abroad as a resident director, she is well versed in working with young people. Outside of the office, Maria is a playwright, and has earned an MFA in Playwriting from the Lir Academy as well as an M.Phil. in International Peace Studies from Trinity College Dublin.