Image shown: Puppets made at a workshop given by Emma Fisher and Anna Rosenfelder at the symposium

Where are we now? – a symposium examining arts for children in hospital within the context of the Puppet Portal Project, was hosted by Helium, in collaboration with Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership, at The Ark, Dublin, on October 28th.

Perspectives on the Puppet Portal Project were given by Helene Hugel of Helium; Paula Hicks of the Centre for Health Informatics, TCD; and Mary O’Connor, CEO of Children in Hospital Ireland. Sally Maidment and Una Jordan co-presented from the perspectives of an artist and a healthcare professional working together and artist Siobhán Clancy reflected on her personal experiences of interacting in the hospital environment. Artists who took part in the Puppet Portal Project gave workshops on the day and an exhibition showcasing the project took place in the downstairs theatre.
Martin Drury, Arts Director at the Arts Council chaired the panel, which included Dr. Emma Curtis, Medical Director of the New Children’s Hospital; Dr. Veronica Lambert, Lecturer in the School of Nursing at DCU; Denis Roche, Curating Artist of the Open Window project at St. James’s Hospital; Dr. David Vaughan, Directorate of Quality & Clinical Care at the HSE; and Ray Yeates, Dublin City Council Arts Officer.
Documentation of the symposium, including presentations, videos, photographs and testimonials can be viewed here For more information on the Puppet Portal Project go to
This symposium was part of the 2011 International Puppet Festival Ireland and was supported by the Arts Council. Helium would like to gratefully acknowledge the in-kind support of The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children, for providing the venue for this event.


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