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.
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.
Avril Carr, Finance Administrator
Avril joined Helium Arts in 2009, managing the artist in residence and early years programmes. Prior to joining Helium, she worked as theatre and literature programmer at The Ark before moving to the West and taking on the role of Arts Education & Development Coordinator with Roscommon County Council Arts Office. Avril is the coordinator of Roscommon County Youth Orchestra and has also worked as a freelance administrator / production manager with Monkeyshine Theatre. She has a B.Ed from St Patrick’s College Drumcondra and a postgraduate diploma in Cultural Event Management from IADT.