The Dialogue Arts + Health Project was supported and funded by the Arts Council of Ireland through a one-off special project award.
The Arts Council is the national agency for funding, developing and promoting the arts in Ireland.
Introduction to arts and health
The Arts Council understands arts and health to be a generic term embracing a range of arts practices occurring primarily in healthcare settings, which bring together the skills and priorities of both arts and health professionals. Good arts and health practice is characterised by a clear artistic vision, goals and outcomes. It aims to promote health and wellbeing by improving quality of life and cultural access in healthcare settings. Arts and health can involve all artforms, and incorporate a variety of approaches, including conventional arts production and presentation, arts participation and environmental enhancement. The Arts Council makes a distinction between arts and health practice and the arts therapies. In the former, the primary focus is on the experience and production of art, in the latter, the primary goal is clinical. The Arts Council supports practice where artistic outcomes are prioritised as a means of enhancing health and wellbeing and does not support practice where therapy is the primary goal or outcome.
The Arts Council arts and health policy and strategy outlines the values that underpin its approach to arts and health practice, and strategic actions for the five-year period 2010 – 2014. The policy and strategy was developed following a period of consultation and research with the arts and health sector, which included Vital Signs, a series of arts and health events that took place in October 2009.
Within the Arts Council, arts and health is the responsibility of the Arts Participation Team. Arts participation is a core value across all areas of the Arts Council’s work as reflected in the current mission statement, which commits to increasing public access, participation and engagement in the arts, as well as assisting artists of all disciplines to make work of excellence. This includes artists who base their practice in the area of arts and health.
For further information on financial assistance from the Arts Council for Arts and Health go to: http://www.artscouncil.ie/en/areas-of-work/actions/arts-and-health.aspx#faq2
For further information on research and publications on arts and health go to: http://www.artscouncil.ie/en/publications.aspx