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Surviving or Thriving? Supporting wellbeing in the arts sector: Dance

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An online series from Waterford Healing Arts Trust in partnership with the Arts Council seeking to promote wellbeing in the arts sector.

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Panel Exchange 4: Dance

Thursday 25 March, 10.30am (online)

Chair: Dr Maureen Gaffney

Speakers: Choreographer David Bolger, choreographer and dance artist Catherine Young and choreographer and dance artist Fearghus Ó Conchúir.

Part of an online series of panel discussions, workshops and resources seeking to strengthen resilience, restore confidence and promote connectedness across the arts sector.

Adm free but booking essential. Book your place for the Dance Strand on this page.

See below for info about the entire Surviving or Thriving? programme.

About the speakers:

David Bolger has directed and choreographed over 20 original productions for CoisCéim, including the highly lauded FRANCIS FOOTWORK, THE WOLF AND PETER, BODY LANGUAGE, and the major international co-production THESE ROOMS (Irish Times Irish Theatre Award, London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), TATE Liverpool). His work for the company has been presented at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and Peak Performances in the USA, Spring Loaded (The Place) and the Brighton Festival in the UK, Ten Days on the Island (Tasmania), Arts Centre Melbourne and Sydney Opera House (Australia). David has received numerous choreographic commissions for theatre and opera including Druid (Ireland), Spoleto Festival (USA), Guthrie Theatre (USA), RTÉ (Ireland), National Theatre (UK), Abbey Theatre (Ireland) and Opera Ireland. www.coisceim.com

Catherine Young is a Dance Ireland Associate Artist, a UK BENCH Fellow and has been Dancer in Residence in Kerry with Kerry County Council and Siamsa Tíre for many years. She was also Artist in Residence at the Backstage Theatre and Shawbrook in 2017/2018. Catherine has created work for the Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin Fringe Festival, CoisCéim Dance Theatre, The Big Bang Festival of Rhythm, Féile Fáilte and the University of Limerick, among others. Her company works State of Exception, Ultima Thule, Woman Stood Regardless and Welcoming the Stranger have all been received to critical acclaim, with Welcoming the Stranger opening the Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival in Palestine in 2017. Her new work Floating on a Dead Sea inspired by her time in Palestine will premiere in 2021. Catherine established The Welcoming Project in 2016 - a multi-cultural dance programme that fosters cultural integration and social inclusion of Ireland's new communities through dance. www.catherineyoungdance.com

Fearghus Ó Conchúir is a choreographer and dance artist. Frequently collaborating with experts from across and beyond the arts, he has made film and live performances as frameworks for audiences and artists to build communities together. He’s currently co-leading a project with Micro Rainbow International that he initiated as part of The Casement Project (2016) to support LGBT refugees and asylum seekers through creative movement workshops. From 2018-2020, he was Artistic Director of National Dance Company Wales. Fearghus is Deputy Chair of the Arts Council of Ireland. A founding Associate Artist at Project Arts Centre, Fearghus gained his PhD at the Geography Department in NUI Maynooth with the support of an IRC Employment-based Scholarship. www.fearghus.net

Scroll down or click here for more info on Surviving or Thriving?

WORKSHOP: A follow up workshop with Dr Jenny Elliott entitled ‘Embracing your dance practice and knowledge to support your wellbeing’ takes place on Fri 26 March at 10.30am. More details here. Dr Elliott is a dance artist, choreographer, Artistic Director and CEO of Arts Care, a leading arts and health organisation in Northern Ireland.

Our sincere appreciation to our associate organisation Dance Limerick for their support and guidance in curating this Dance strand.

Surviving or Thriving? Arts Council and Waterford Healing Arts Trust announce innovative online series to support the wellbeing of the arts sector in Ireland

The Arts Council/An Comhairle Ealaíon and Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) have announced details of an innovative new online series designed to support the wellbeing of arts professionals in Ireland, with particular relevance to the present Covid-19 pandemic. Entitled Surviving or Thriving?, the series of panel discussions, workshops and podcasts, which is open to all those working in the arts in Ireland and is free of charge, aims to strengthen resilience, restore confidence and promote connectedness across the arts sector. The programme features panel exchanges chaired by psychologist Dr Maureen Gaffney, with guest speakers from a range of art forms, including writer Anne Enright, musician Eleanor McEvoy and artist Austin Ivers, in addition to follow-up workshops and online resources exploring self-care and wellbeing. Surviving or Thriving? takes place over three weeks from 15 March to 01 April 2021, with podcasts and other online resources available ongoing. Admission is free, but booking is required. Further details and booking links for all events from www.artscouncil.ie and www.waterfordhealingarts.com

Surviving or Thriving? has been developed in response to the cessation of arts activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 has had a profound professional and personal impact on artists and arts workers, with major structural impacts for organisations. Artists and arts workers from across the arts sector in Ireland provided a myriad of real-life examples of the effect the pandemic has had on their wellbeing to the Arts Council for its report Survive Adapt Renew. Among its recommendations the report included commitments to building resilience, inclusion and sustainability in the sector as it faces into the future.

Each element of Surviving or Thriving? seeks to inspire and support, while acknowledging current challenges and realities. Recognising the need to break through the saturation of online events available and to offer real value to the target audience of arts professionals, WHAT has been liaising with national and regional art form and development organisations who have offered their expertise and guidance in developing the programme and putting together a high calibre line up of speakers. These organisations include Music Network, Visual Artists Ireland, Theatre Forum, Words Ireland, Create, Age and Opportunity, Minding Creative Minds and Dance Limerick.

Speaking at the announcement of details, Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council, said: “These past 12 months have been extraordinarily difficult for people across the arts landscape. Alongside their own cares and concerns for family and friends, they have been dealing with the shocking cessation of activity and the resulting loss of income. We continue to support individuals and organisations through various schemes and initiatives, and we hope that this new programme with WHAT will provide further vital support to this brilliant profession.”

Claire Meaney, Director of Waterford Healing Arts Trust, added “Waterford Healing Arts Trust is very pleased to be working with the Arts Council on this important initiative to support the wellbeing of arts professionals in Ireland. The overwhelmingly positive response we have received over the course of planning Surviving or Thriving? indicates the need that exists for this type of support. We are extremely grateful to all of the associate organisations who have so generously worked closely with us to present a strong programme which participants can engage with at different levels and which, we hope, will not only lift spirits but will nourish and encourage artists and arts workers to restore their confidence, foster their resilience and fall in love with their creativity all over again.”

About the Arts Council: The Arts Council /An Comhairle Ealaíon is the Irish government agency for developing the arts. We work in partnership with artists, arts organisations, public policy makers and others to build a central place for the arts in Irish life. We provide financial assistance to artists, arts organisations, local authorities and others for artistic purposes. We offer assistance and information on the arts to government and to a wide range of individuals and organisations. As an advocate for the arts and artists, we undertake projects and research, often in new and emerging areas of practice, and increasingly in cooperation with partner organisations. artscouncil.ie

About Waterford Healing Arts Trust: Established in 1993, Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) is based at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) and brings arts experiences – music, creative writing, painting – to the bedsides of patients at the hospital and other healthcare settings in the community. WHAT believes that exposure to the arts softens the clinical environment and reduces anxiety and stress for patients, families and staff. WHAT believes the arts contribute to the wellbeing and vitality of society as a whole, including within healthcare settings, and that engaging with the arts stimulates the participant’s sense of identity and creativity. WHAT is a leader in the national development of arts and health in Ireland and manages the highly regarded resource website www.artsandhealth.ie

The organisation operates from the WHAT Centre for Arts and Health, the first of its kind in Ireland, on the grounds of UHW, enabling the org anisation to bridge its work between the acute hospital setting and the wider community. WHAT is a registered charity and is core funded by the Arts Council, HSE and Department of Social Protection. Additional funding is provided by Waterford City and County Council, Punchestown Kidney Research Fund, the Ireland Funds and the National Lottery. WHAT raises additional funding through sponsorship and fundraising initiatives. www.waterfordhealingarts.com

ENDS

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