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The Arts Council announces a new Arts and Disability policy and strategy

The Arts Council has published a new policy and strategy in the area of arts and disability, which will assist it to address issues of equity, access and participation for artists and audiences with disabilities over a five-year period. The new policy outlines the Arts Council’s support and understanding of arts and disability practice and the make-up of the sector. The policy is built on a set of key values including a commitment to equality and inclusion and recognition of the complexity and diversity of the people and practices involved. The strategy takes a holistic approach with measures designed to mainstream access alongside a series of strategic targeted supports and a programme to build capacity both within the Arts Council and across the arts sector. The publication of the policy and strategy follows a period of development and consultation with key stakeholders over a period of years, which broadened and intensified in 2012 as a means of capturing a wide range of perspectives. It is envisaged that the Arts Council and the sector will work together over the coming years to maximise the effects of the strategy and to inform wider policy and practice. 

The policy is available to download in word format below:

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Artist in the Community Scheme 10 Year Celebration

A diverse range of artists and community groups came together in IMMA on 27 November to celebrate ten years of the Arts Council's Artist in the Community Scheme under the management of Create, the national agency for collaborative arts in social and community contexts. 

The scheme has seen hundreds of projects come to fruition across the country, enabling countless artists and community members to work together to create new work. The Director of the Arts Council, Orlaith McBride gave the opening address at the start of a busy day of discussions, presentations and performances, and commented on the importance of collaborative practice in keeping the arts fresh and relevant.  Create launched a new Artist in the Community Vimeo Channel, which should provide a valuable resource to artists and communities interested in working together in the future. 

There was a lunchtime performance by The Sense Ensemble, featuring George Higgs (composer), Sean Carpio (percussionist), and girls from St. Mary's School for Deaf Girls. The day was rounded off by a performance of Good Works, a unique 'Art Service' with John Byrne, the singers from Carlow Choral Society, The Dublin Bach Singers and their director Blanaid Murphy.

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Updating Arts Council policy in Arts and Disability

A discussion paper and invitation to submit responses

The Arts Council is currently in the process of updating its Arts and Disability policy to reflect developments in provision and practice, and to take ongoing account of the requirements of disability and equality legislation. It is hoped that he development of such a policy will provide clarity and continuity for the Arts Council and the sector over the next five years. Following a process of ongoing consultation and communication with key partners, the Arts Council recently organised two days of policy-related discussion with a broad range of invited arts and disability stakeholders including artists, activists, and individuals working in arts organisations, local authority arts offices and venues.  The group was invited to review the Arts Council's current thinking and provision in the area of Arts and Disability, and identify the key strengths, gaps and opportunities that it would like the Arts Council to consider when updating its policy and strategy. The diverse make up of the consultation group reflected the complexity of the sector, and succeeded in bringing a valuable range of perspectives to bear on the ways in which art is made, presented and supported across different contexts and artforms. 

The Arts Council would now like to broaden and deepen this conversation further. A document has been drawn up outlining the background to this work and containing the findings/proposals of the consultative group. We hope you will take time to read the document and we would welcome your response and any additional submissions you would like to make in this regard. To facilitate this, both the document and a feedback form are available to download below. Please return completed feedback forms to Jennifer Lawless at jennifer.lawless@artscouncil.ie. The closing date for responses is 5pm on 7 September. 

Download documents

Arts and Disability Revising and Developing Arts Council Policy and Strategy - Discussion Paper (138 KB, WORD)

Arts and Disability Revising and Developing Arts Council Policy and Strategy - Discussion Paper pdf (3.33 MB, Adobe PDF) 

Arts and Disability Discussion Paper Feedback Form (145 KB, WORD)

Arts and Disability Discussion Paper Feedback Form pdf (0.35 MB, Adobe PDF) 

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Whose culture is it? Seminar in Kilkenny

A seminar will take place on Friday 11 November 2011 on the theme of Social Inclusion and Cultural Diversity in Ireland's Cultural Spaces. The event, at The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle is from 10am to 4pm and tickets are €15/€10 (concessions) including lunch. To reserve a place please contact Renaud at education@nch.ie.

This seminar is organised by the Council of National Cultural Institutions' Education and Community Outreach Committee.

For more information please click here

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Arts and health website launched

06 October 2011

The independent, national arts and health website www.artsandhealth.ie was launched yesterday by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan T.D at Dublin Dental Hospital, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2.  Other speakers at the event included Pat Moylan, Chairman of the Arts Council and Dr. Nazih Eldin, Head of Health Promotion at the HSE.

Artsandhealth.ie is an independent, national arts and health website developed by the Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) and Create (the national development agency for collaborative arts in social and community contexts). The development of the website was initiated and funded by the Arts Council as an important element in implementing its Arts and Health Policy, which was published in December 2010.

The new website provides a resource and focal point for the emergent field of arts and health in Ireland via information, support, advice and news, and generates discussion between artists, arts organisations, health service users, carers, healthcare professionals and others interested in the dynamic area of arts and health.

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Arts and disability resource pack launched

The arts and disability resource pack - Shift in Perspective (PDF, 1.43 MB)  was launched  by playwright, author and director Peter Sheridan on Monday, 13 December 2010, at The Sean O'Casey Centre in East Wall.

The resource pack is the result of a partnership between the Arts Council, Arts & Disability Ireland (ADI), Mayo County Council, South Tipperary County Council, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). It grew out of the partner organisations’ work to develop innovative approaches in high quality contemporary arts and disability practice, and to make arts venues more accessible to artists and audiences with disabilities.

The material is based on three specific initiatives: the Arts and Disability Networking Pilot, the Altered Images exhibition, and an audio description and captioning programme for theatre. The resource pack aims to capture the learning from these initiatives and share its practical application with artists and all who work in professional and community-based venues, galleries, theatres and related arts organisations.

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The Arts Council announces the development of a new independent national arts and health website
Following a selection process, the Arts Council are delighted to announce that Waterford Healing Arts Trust and Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts, will jointly develop a new independent national arts and health website.

This is in keeping with the Arts Council’s commitment to developing arts and health resources at national level on an incremental basis and in partnership with the appropriate agencies and organisations. The development of a national independent arts and health website is an important first step in this regard.

The new website will provide a resource and focal point for the arts and health sector, providing information, support, advice and news, and generating discussion between artists, arts organisations, health service users, carers, healthcare professionals and others interested in the dynamic area of arts and health in Ireland. It will be launched in September 2011.
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The Arts Council publishes new arts and health policy and strategy
Following a period of consultation and research with the arts and health sector, the Arts Council has today announced its new arts and health policy and strategy. The policy and strategy document outlines the Arts Council’s support and understanding of arts and health practice and the values that underpin its approach to arts and health practice. It also outlines strategic actions for the five-year period 2010-2014.

The Arts Council understands arts and health to be a broad term that embraces a range of arts practices occurring primarily in healthcare settings, which bring together the skills and priorities of both arts and health professionals. It recognises good arts and health practice as that which is characterised by a clear artistic vision, goals and outcomes, and aims to promote health and wellbeing by improving quality of life and cultural access in healthcare settings. 

The values that underpin the Arts Council’s approach to arts and health practice include: long term strategic partnership and planning; integration into the healthcare environment; engagement with professional artists and high quality arts experiences; inclusive, participant centred approaches; monitoring and evaluation; high quality and appropriate documentation and dissemination. The Arts Council promotes practice that has clear artistic vision, goals and outcomes and demonstrates a commitment to these values. 

The Arts Council arts and health strategy aims to address some of the key needs identified by the arts and health sector including: information and advice, professional development, advocacy and resources. It outlines a series of actions that aim to: promote arts and health at national level; develop strategic resources and supports; and foster partnerships. 

Mary Cloake, Arts Council Director said "the Arts Council recognises the value of arts and health on a number of levels, most particularly from a social inclusion perspective and as a means of encouraging artistic innovation. It is aware of the complementary support that comes from the health sector and the vital role played by individual champions up and down the country. It is hoped that the excellent relationships built between the Arts Council and these individuals can be maintained and strengthened in the coming years, and that a more comprehensive partnership can gradually be developed at a policy level."

The Arts Council arts and health policy and strategy is available to download from the Arts Council website. 
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Photograph of the launch of Shift in perspective: an arts and disability resource pack
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Launch of Shift in perspective (PDF, 1.43 MB): an arts and disability resource pack. 

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