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West Cork Arts Centre

Mission / Aims

Arts for Health (AfH) is a partnership programme based in West Cork. The programme is supported and steered by a partnership which includes West Cork Arts Centre, with Cork County Council,  Cork County Education and Training Board and (HSE): Cork Arts + Health Programme, Primary Care and Community Hospitals.

The partnership:

  • recognises the importance of a participant-centred approach based on principles of partnership, inclusion, life-long learning and quality
  • respects the right to cultural access for residents of the community hospital.
  • is committed to regular evaluation and research to inform and support the development, sustainability and quality of the programme.

The Community Hospital Arts Programme aims to implement a programme into the culture and practice of all long-stay units as a core activity and to deliver an appropriate and meaningful arts programme for the patients and staff of the hospitals

The Day Care Centre Programme aims to deliver a number of projects with the staff and service users of the centres which develop the participant’s capacity to work at the limits of expressive capability and to develop a balanced and complementary relationship of creative exchange between the artists, staff and participants.

Areas of activities

A core team of  artists and occasional guests from different disciplines are responsible for the delivery of the programme. The programme has two strands; the Community Hospital Arts Programme and the Day Care Centre Arts Programme.

  • The Community Hospital Arts Programme (approximately 168 participants) is ongoing and is delivered in Bantry General Hospital and 5 West Cork Community Hospitals; Skibbereen, Schull, Dunmanway, Clonakilty and Castletownbere. Initiated in 2005, it centres on a consistent structure of delivery for the benefit of the participant. It involves a weekly group workshop and regular one to one support to encourage and develop individual creative ideas. The content of the workshops evolve and change responding to the exchange between the artist and the participant.
  • The Day Care Arts Programme (approximately 92 participants) is project-based and delivered in five Day Care Centres; Skibbereen, Dunmanway, Clonakilty and Bantry. Developed in 2010, this programme is relatively new. Each Day Care Centre (DCC) is allocated 16 x 2hr sessions with an artist from the AfH team. The artist and the DCC co-ordinator develop a schedule for delivery. The outcome is a variety of projects varying from short artist led to longer participant led.

Both programmes are supported by monthly artists meetings, online workspace (wiki) for collating documentation and journaling progress, placement opportunities for artists, professional development programme for artists and care staff workshops.




Justine Foster
Education and Community Co-ordinator


West Cork Arts Centre
North Street
County Cork


028 22090



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