Wednesday 8 November 2023







Festival in a Van is hosting an online seminar exploring the transformative power of the arts in healthcare settings, with a focus on their Vital Signs tour with Poetry Ireland.

A mobile live arts event, Festival in a Van has been bringing live performance to towns, villages and doorsteps around the country since 2020. Established initially as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Festival in a Van promotes wellbeing and quality of life for all citizens by bringing free cultural events to diverse audiences.

The Vital Signs tour took place in Louth, Dublin, Waterford, Monaghan, Cavan, Longford, and Roscommon during August 2023. The tour featured many of Ireland’s best-known poets and musicians, offering a series of new gigs that focused on health, healing and wellbeing.

The tour stops took place in community and healthcare settings with a goal of reaching audiences who might sometimes feel marginalised from the arts, and providing an intervention to the loneliness that can so often come with the experience of being unwell.

What to expect
For this one-hour online lunchtime seminar, Martin Dyar, poet, editor, and curator of the Vital Signs tour, will be joined in conversation by Ger Walsh (Mental Health Ireland), Enda Wyley (poet) and Emer Mayock (musician) to share their experiences of bringing the arts into healthcare settings.

The speakers will discuss how music and poetry can positively impact patients’ wellbeing and aid in their healing process. Space will be made to share the challenges and sensitivities around this line of work, and key learnings from the tour. This event will also feature a Q&A.

Who is this event for?
This event is for all who are interested in sharing and discussing the complex but immensely rewarding work of bringing the arts into healthcare settings. Audiences who might benefit from attending include  but are not limited to artists who are already professionals in this area; those interested in entering the field; arts professionals and arts officers; community workers; and activities co-ordinators.

Register your place here.

Festival in a Van are very grateful to the Arts Council, Poetry Ireland, Louth County Council, Dublin City Council, Waterford City & County Council, Monaghan County Council, Cavan County Council, Roscommon County Council and Mental Health Ireland.


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