Image shown: The Wishing Balloons Project by Brigid Teehan

‘One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.’  Goethe

As a species we are programmed to create – sometimes, though, we forget to. It is often not until a film resonates with our personal story or a piece of poetry succinctly expresses exactly how we feel or music reaches into us and lifts our spirit that this creative instinct is reinvigorated.

Well, a new joint initiative between Garter Lane Arts Centre and Waterford Healing Arts Trust, aims to explore and celebrate the benefits of participation in the arts for each individual and the whole community. It will run from 7-12 October incorporating World Mental Health Day on 10 October during which daytime events will be free to attend. Music, poetry, performance art, film and theatre will be on in Garter Lane Arts Centre and Waterford Regional Hospital and throughout the city.

Would you like to experience the cathartic bliss of song writing or maybe you’d like to launch a helium balloon containing a special wish into the atmosphere? The Well festival, based in Waterford, is your opportunity to become immersed in a huge variety of arts activities which will focus on the proven benefits of the arts to the human spirit.

For music and dance enthusiasts the festival offers a song writing workshop and live performance from John Spillane, Sing and Sign with Waterford’s Bealtaine Choir and Jordan’s Rigout in Waterford Regional Hospital as well as Best Foot Forward dance session with Libby Seward.

Visual art lovers can look forward to Another Expanse performance art with Dominic Thorpe, Brigid Teehan’s Wishing Balloon Project in John Robert’s Square, Cupan Tae exhibition by WHAT’s Open Studio group and The Bigger Picture, artwork by patients from the Department of Psychiatry, WRH.

Those keen on theatre and cinema will enjoy Love is All You Need with Pierce Brosnan, Mitch Albom’s Tuesday’s with Morrie, A Prescription for Happiness with Dr. Mark Rowe, and Solpadine is my Boyfriend. These will be on at Garter Lane Arts Centre along with Seriously Now with Petra Kindler and Three Men Talking About things They Kinda Know About with performance poets Colm Keegan, Kalle Ryan and Stephen James. Trip to Space virtual theatre is presented by Soul Gun Warriors and is available for patients of Waterford Regional Hospital throughout the week.

Creative Writers will love Wordsfail/Wordswell by Jeffery Gormley and We haven’t seen an earthquake lately…looking on the bright side through poetry and prose is an evening of pick-me-up poetry. Finally a continuing professional development workshop – bluSCI: social entrepreneurial approaches to arts and mental health with Stuart Webster is also part of the festival. 

Take a look at what’s on offer, decide which one is the one for you and then take the leap back into creativity. You’ll feel well (!) when you do!

For more information see
Bookings: 051 855038 and


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