Art is good for your health
An award presented to local charity, Arts Care underlines the Arts Council’s assertion in its current five year plan that contributing to the health and well being of the wider community is one of the ways in which the arts can contribute to a new Northern Ireland.
Arts Care received the top award at the prestigious Blair L. Sadler International Healing Arts Competition in Nashville for its Art and Health evaluation project, Dreams.
Congratulating Arts Care, Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said, “This prestigious award reinforces that art in healthcare settings can play a real part in bettering patients outcome. The Arts Council has a strong track record of public art in hospitals. In recent years we have invested just under £1.2m in a variety of healthcare facilities across Northern Ireland and the award is a welcome recognition that new art works, along with high quality architecture, can enrich the lives of patients, staff and visitors.”
More recently, Arts Care’s work continues to shine on the world stage with its current project in Washington D.C as part of the Rediscover Northern Ireland line-up, this project has also been funded by the Arts Council.
One of the core purposes for the Dreams Project was to assess the value, or otherwise, of participation in visual arts projects by patients, staff and community members associated with the Mater Hospital Trust. The main findings concluded:
Arts Care is continuing to promote the role the arts play in promoting well-being, in the United States with a recent visit to Washington D.C as part of the Rediscover Northern Ireland programme and the Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife Festival. Three artists from Northern Ireland will work closely with the Arts and Humanities Unit in the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Centre to investigate how the arts can assist with aiding patient recovery.
Speaking in Washington at a special Symposium on The Arts and Health, Lorna Hastings, Director of Arts Care said, “Over the years we have observed the benefits of art activities on health. We are delighted that Arts Care and the Dreams Project has not only backed up these observations but has been recognised internationally and we will continue to demonstrate the wider impact of the arts in healthcare.”