First Fortnight, Ireland’s annual Mental Health Art & Culture Festival, runs from 2-16 January 2022 with in person and online events spanning art, music, theatre, literature, dance, film, discussion and more. Here are some of our highlights…
Artist Inma Pavon collaborated with UCC students as part of a Glucksman project in 2021, examining aspects of mental health including wellbeing, recovery, awareness, and stigma. These sessions have shaped Inma’s new performance piece, Art Movements, which will be premiered as part of First Fortnight at The Glucksman in Cork on 15 January. Armchair Azure With The Irish Museum Of Modern Art is back (online via Zoom); people living with dementia, their families, friends and carers can explore a selection of artwork from IMMA’s Collection with a team member trained in dementia-inclusive arts programming.
Dance Ireland, in partnership with Galway Dance Project and First Fortnight, are hosting a series of workshops and events focused on dance and wellbeing, taking place live in Galway and Dublin and via Zoom. The programme includes Panic is Part of the Process, a performance lecture with Amanda Coogan, BeDance with Bernadette Divilly, an invitation to meditate, to move our body mind, and to relate through playful dance exchange, and Aloneness and Wholeness, a panel talk with dance artists Amanda Coogan, Paula Clarke, Sander Verbeek and Mufutau Yusuf, exploring their experiences of aloneness and isolation.
First Fortnight’s Conversation Salons bring people from all backgrounds, ages, cultures, beliefs and views together for small group conversations over tea and coffee. Taking place at the Embassy of Lithuania in Dublin on 11 January. The Art of Anxiety, presented by journalist and broadcaster Nadine O’Regan, looks at how artists navigate through and around the issue of anxiety during their careers. Join Nadine and guests on 13 January at The Workman’s Club, Dublin.
Literature / Spoken Word
Ruth and Lisa from the National Library of Ireland will share mindfulness in the poetry of Seamus Heaney and W.B. Yeats in Finding Peace Through Poetry on 13 January. Hosted by No Alibis Bookstore, Sam Thompson – Neurodiversity In Children’s Books sees the Booker-longlisted author reading from and discussing his book Wolfstongue (Little Island Books), also on 13 January. Wellness Cafés across Donegal are hosting Pop Up Peer Poetry, exploring the written word through the eyes of peers with lived experience of mental health.
Time To Sing & Heal is a creative transcultural healing event at DCU School of Nursing on 13 January. Music and open dialogue will support participants of marginalised backgrounds to generate understanding and solidarity through the themes of ‘openness’ and ‘acceptance’. Fighting Words is hosting a songwriting workshop for young writers aged 13-16 in Dublin. Participants are invited to consider the themes of what makes us unique and what brings us all together. Limited places, allocated by lottery.
Filleadh Cholmchille is a Donegal-based arts and health project that harnesses arts participation as a powerful form of self-expression and mental health self care. Led by artist Maria Coleman, this pilot project provides a group of young people in Co. Donegal with instructional art resources to guide the co-creation of collaboratively authored artworks Works-in-Movement that take the creative legacy of Colmcille as inspiration. Winter Tales By Firelight is a programme for service users of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services with artist Duffy Mooney-Sheppard, celebrating the short days and long nights of the winter months through a series of online art sessions.
View the full 2022 programme and ticket information at