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. Helene began her professional career as a puppeteer in 1997, and was co-founder and partner of the award-winning Púca Puppets until 2002. She then specialised in the dynamic field of arts and health and committed her work practice to exploring the untapped potential of applying the art of puppetry to the unique needs of healthcare communities and their environments. She gained a qualification in Hospital Play Specialism and worked part-time as a member of Clown Doctors Northern Ireland for five years. In 2009, Helene founded Helium Arts in order to overcome the limitations of her own practice, to provide a structure for collaborating with other artists and healthcare practitioners and providers, and to extend the work’s impact to more children and young people 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.