The Arts Council and Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) have launched an online series designed to support the wellbeing of arts professionals in Ireland, with particular relevance to the present Covid-19 pandemic. Surviving or Thriving? will take place over three weeks from 15 March to 01 April 2021, with the aim of strengthening resilience, restoring confidence and promoting connectedness across the arts sector.
The series will include panel discussions, workshops and podcasts, which are open to all those working in the arts in Ireland and are free of charge. Panel exchanges will be 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? 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. 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.
Monday 15 March, 10.30am
Panel Exchange 1: Literature
Chaired by Dr Maureen Gaffney, with guest speakers writer Anne Enright, writer Helena Close and poet Stephen Sexton.
Tuesday 16 March, 10.30am
Workshop 1: Literature
Slowing Down as a Source of Creativity, facilitated by poet Lani O’Hanlon
Thursday 18 March, 10.30am:
Panel Exchange 2: Visual Art
Chaired by Dr Maureen Gaffney, with guest speakers artist Brian Kielt, artist Miriam O’Connor and artist and educator Austin Ivers.
Friday 19 March, 10.30am:
Workshop 2: Visual Art
Sustaining the Self, facilitated by artist Marie Brett.
Monday 22 March, 10.30am:
Panel Exchange 3: Collaborative Arts
Chaired by Dr Maureen Gaffney, with guest speakers visual artist Deirdre O’Mahony, choreographer/ curator Ruairí Ó Donnabháin and dance artist Tobi Balogun.
Tuesday 23 March, 10.30am:
Workshop 3: Collaborative Arts
Building a Culture of Care: Anti-burnout practices for socially engaged artists, facilitated by trainer, researcher and activist Dr Krini Kafiris and artist Kate O’Shea.
Thursday 25 March, 10.30am:
Panel Exchange 4: Dance
Chaired by Dr Maureen Gaffney, with guest speakers choreographer and dance artist Fearghus Ó Conchúir, choreographer and dance artist Catherine Young and choreographer David Bolger.
Friday 26 March, 10.30am:
Workshop 4: Dance
Embracing your dance practice and knowledge to support your wellbeing, facilitated by Dr Jenny Elliott, dance artist, choreographer, Artistic Director and CEO, Arts Care, a leading arts and health organisation in Northern Ireland.
Monday 29 March, 10.30am:
Panel Exchange 5: Music
Chaired by Dr Maureen Gaffney, with guest speakers songwriter and performer Eleanor McEvoy, composer Jennifer Walshe and Tony Sheehan, Director, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork.
Tuesday 30 March, 10.30am:
Workshop 5: Music
Nurturing the Creative Mindset: Time and tools to support resilience and forward thinking, facilitated by Grainne Hope, musician, Director of Kids Classics and Atlantic Fellow Global Brain Health Institute at TCD.
Thursday 01 April, 10.30am:
Panel Exchange 6: Theatre
Chaired by Dr Maureen Gaffney, with guest speakers theatre maker Louise Lowe, actor and director Aaron Monaghan and costume designer Catherine Fay.
Thursday 01 April, 12.30pm*
Workshop 6: Theatre
Working in the Arts: How to live on the edge of chaos, facilitated by Chartered Psychologist and musician Louize Carroll.
*Note: Different time for this workshop