Arts and Health Co-ordinators Ireland (AHCI) is a voluntary network of professionals who manage arts and health initiatives in Ireland. This year marks 20 years of the continued conversation, support and advocacy for arts and health practice nationally. Members come from a variety of backgrounds, yet all share the same vision of creating greater visibility around the beneficial role of arts and health practice across Ireland.
On 26 September 2023, members gathered in the beautiful grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) to chat and reflect on the past 20 years and to discuss the network’s next 20 years. Hence, the theme of the day was ‘20 Seeds to Grow’. Members also participated in a mending workshop with textile artist Helen Garvey, which generated lovely conversations and got the creative juices flowing.
Formed in 2003, AHCI aims to build capacity and maximise resources for its membership through peer support and networking to create clarity about the role and nature of arts and health practice in Ireland.
Arts and health has evolved considerably over the past 30 years in Ireland. Today, arts experiences are integrated into a variety of healthcare contexts, from hospitals and day care centres, to community settings and health promotion. The benefits of such experiences to healthcare users, staff and the public are widely recognised. These can include stress reduction, improved health and wellbeing outcomes, development of creativity and an enhanced sense of community.
AHCI members are active in influencing policy and the funding environment by advocating at local and national levels for the development of arts and health practice. It will be exciting to see what the next 20 years will bring.
Learn more about the work of AHCI here: https://artsandhealthcoordinatorsireland.wordpress.com/