Project Partners

Dialogue Arts + Health was funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and steered by a group comprising of representatives with a significant interest in the development of the Arts and Health sector nationally, including Arts and Health Coordinators Ireland, the Assoc. of Local Authority Arts Officers, Cork Arts + Health Programme, CREATE, Helium, West Cork Arts Centre, the Arts Initiative in Mental Health, Waterford Healing Arts Trust and an artist representative with significant experience in the field of Arts & Health.

Arts and Health Coordinators Ireland (AHCI) is an all-Ireland support network of professionals who are responsible for managing Arts and Health initiatives. AHCI was formed in 2003 and currently has a membership of 21 coordinators working in the sector throughout Ireland, North and South.

AHCI works to:

• Take a lead in building the capacity of the sector

• Raise public awareness of A&H

• Maximise resources for members

• Build capacity for members

The network members coordinate a range of Arts and Health activity, including environmental enhancement, visual art, sculpture, performance etc., participatory and collaborative arts practice, professional development for artists and staff, artist-in-residencies, health promotion and arts and health research.

The Association of Local Authority Arts Officers (AOLAAO) is the representative body for local authority Arts Officers in Ireland. There are 34 arts officers in City and County Local Authorities across Ireland. AOLAAO is a forum for discussion and a support for the development of its members’ work within their respective local authorities and other partners. Arts Officers seek to deliver equitable access by all of the many and diverse communities to excellent arts practice, as practitioners, participants and audience members. This applies to work in all disciplines, all contexts, voluntary, community and professional, nationally and locally.

Cork Arts and Health Programme (CAHP) is a Health Services Executive (HSE) initiative based in the South Lee Community Work Department. CAHP developed out of a partnership between the HSE South and Cork 2005: European Capital of Culture, which facilitated the delivery of 32 arts projects in over 40 healthcare settings in Cork City and County during 2005. CAHP was established to build on that work; it works across all departments in the health service and with the voluntary and community sectors to develop and deliver participative arts activities, research, training and networking initiatives.

CAHP is involved in supporting arts projects in mental health settings, residential facilities for older people, day care centres, respite centres, and the programme has recently become involved in a collaborative initiative with early years providers and the city and county councils to develop arts + health work with the under-3 age group. The ethos of CAHP is to work collaboratively with other stakeholders to support arts and health initiatives and to promote collaborative working across the sector as well as to promote the value of this work within the HSE.

Create is the national development agency for collaborative arts in social and community contexts. It provides unique support and advisory services to the sector in order to develop the practices, discourses, infrastructure and audiences for collaborative arts. Create provides a bridge between artists and communities and plays a critical role in fostering the ongoing exchange, dissemination, and interpretation of diverse collaborative arts practice in social and community contexts. In 2009 Create, in partnership with the Arts Council, presented Vital Signs, a one day international conference and curated exhibition on Arts and Health. Create is a member of the Arts Council’s Arts and Health Policy and Strategy Working Group. In 2008, in partnership with Adelaide and Meath National Children’s Hospital and IADT, Create delivered a Professional Development Modular Course for Arts and Health Practitioners. Create supported the establishment of the national network of arts in health care co-ordinators. In partnership with WHAT and the National Irish Visual Arts Library at the NCAD, Create provides a dedicated Arts and Health resource section of its Reading Room.

Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT), based in Waterford Regional Hospital, Ireland, WHAT supports healthcare environments and the wider community by providing multi-disciplinary arts experiences and services. WHAT is housed in the Centre for Arts and Health, the first of its kind in Ireland. WHAT is also a National Resource Organisation for the development of Arts and Health in Ireland and, as such, provides Continuing Professional Development opportunities for artists working in the A&H field in partnership with other agencies, advice clinics for newcomers to the field and an Arts and Health library. In partnership with the Health Service Executive South (Cork) Arts + Health Programme and with financial support from Arts Council Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, WHAT commissioned the development of Participatory Arts Practice in Healthcare Contexts – Guidelines for Good Practice for artists and health professionals engaged in Arts and Health work from the Centre for Medical Humanities at Durham University.

Helium is a new Arts and Health company for children, operating nationwide. Helium is committed to nurturing and honouring creativity as a natural resource for a child’s well-being. Helium supports a dynamic, child-friendly, family centred, holistic approach to children’s medical provision, within community, primary, and acute healthcare contexts. It produces creative arts interventions for, with, and by young people which respond appropriately and adequately to their needs. Its services are participatory and collaborative. Helium works with Artists-in-Residence to develop meaningful, arts engagements at a local level. They work with respect to the healthcare setting as a community, responding to patients, families, visitors, and staff and facilitate partnerships between departments. Helium aims to uphold Arts and Health as a creatively charged environment with which artists can engage, where art-forms can be challenged, enriched and extended to produce ground-breaking, inventive new work which engages with the development of children’s arts. As a researcher, developer, and innovator of arts in children’s hospitals and other healthcare settings it will strive to break new ground on both an artistic and a clinical level, blending science with art.

Arts Initiative in Mental Health (AIMH) was established in 2003 as a programme of the Mental Health Services, Sligo and Leitrim. The initiative places artists in various care and community settings to work creatively with people whose lives have been affected by mental health difficulties. Art sessions are held in a relaxed atmosphere, where participants are encouraged to engage freely and without fear in ‘making their own mark’. AIMH engages artists to work collaboratively with services users and coordinates environmental enhancement, research and professional development opportunities for artists and healthcare professionals.

Arts for Health is a partnership programme based in West Cork which was initiated in 2002 and first implemented in May of 2005. The programme is supported and steered by a partnership which includes West Cork Arts Centre, Cork County Council, West Cork VEC and (HSE) West Cork Community Hospitals and Day Care Centres. The AfH (Arts for Health)
Partnership recognises the importance of a participant centred approach based
on principles of partnership, inclusion, life-long learning and quality. The
AfH Partnership respects the right to cultural access for residents of the
community hospital and is committed to regular evaluation and research to
inform and support the development, sustainability and quality of the
programme. A team of artists from different disciplines are responsible for the delivery of a two stranded programme in Bantry General Hospital, Skibbereen, Schull, Dunmanway, Clonakilty and Castletownbere Community Hospitals
and five West Cork Day Care Centre.  The programme managed by West
Cork Arts Centre is ongoing and includes participatory workshops, exhibitions,
celebratory events and one to one creative supports for participants, workshops
for care staff, artist team meetings, professional development programmes and
networking opportunities for artists.

Lucia Barnes is a visual artist based in Dublin, whose art practice centres around Arts and Health. She has a background in nursing and completed a B.A. and M.F.A. at the National College of Art & Design. Her work explores themes surrounding aspects of human physiology, perceptions of pain, food analysis, and abstract concepts of cellular growth. Lucia works in mixed media, but predominantly in video and photography. She has collaborated with diverse groups of patients, carers and healthcare professionals in numerous arts and health related projects. She has exhibited widely in Ireland, in group and solo exhibitions, and received a number of commissions, residencies and awards. She is currently artist in residence at The Dialysis Unit of the Adelaide & Meath Hospital, Dublin.