Claire Meaney (Chair) - Réalta

Claire Meaney is an artist, curator and arts manager. She is the Director of Réalta (formerly Waterford Healing Arts Trust) and was Assistant Director from 2007 to 2016. She has a BA in Fine Art, DIT (2002) and a Certificate in Youth Arts, NUI Maynooth (2006). In 2010, she completed an MA in Arts and Heritage Management at WIT. Her minor dissertation is titled The Artist’s Perspective of Making Collaborative Art in a Hospital Context in Ireland. In 2010, she was awarded an Arts & Health Bursary Award from the Arts Council to develop her arts participation practice.

Alison Baker Kerrigan - Arts and Health Co-ordinators Ireland

Ali Baker Kerrigan is the Arts Officer in Tallaght University Hospital (TUH), a large academic teaching hospital in Dublin. Her role is focused on managing the Hospital Arts and Health Programme for the National Centre for Arts and Health (NCAH at TUH). Her work is keenly informed by her background in fine art photography, passion for curating art and working alongside fellow arts and health co-ordinators in Ireland. The hospital arts programme features a number of national innovations and strives to promote best practice in arts and health, through professional development, evaluation and research.

Ann O’Connor - The Arts Council

Ann O’Connor is Head of Arts Participation with the Arts Council. Ann previously held the position of Arts and Health Advisor to the Arts Council and worked as an independent arts consultant, specialising in the area of arts and health and arts participation. Ann was Arts Coordinator with the Health Service Executive in Cork (2006 – 2009) and managed the Cork 2005 European Capital of Culture | Culture and Health Strand (2005 – 2006). She was Arts Development Worker with Blue Drum (2003 – 2005) and Sligo County Council (2000 – 2003), and was Cross Border Development Officer with Irish Rural Link (1997 – 2000).

Claire Flahavan - Healthcare Professional Representative

Claire Flahavan originally trained in medicine, and graduated in 2004 from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She went on to specialize in psychiatry, working across a range of mental health settings for over a decade. Claire completed an MA in Art Therapy at Crawford College (Cork) in 2013, and now works full-time as an art therapist. She is based primarily at St Louise’s Unit (CHI Tallaght, Dublin), a service for young people who have experienced sexual abuse or sexual assault, and also holds a post at the National Maternity Hospital. She enjoys teaching and writing about her work as a therapist.

Damien McGlynn - Create

Damien McGlynn is the Executive Director of Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts. Damien has worked in the cultural sector across Ireland, the UK and Europe for 15 years. He was previously the Ireland Director of Creative Lives, where he managed major public engagement projects and played a leading role in a number of Creative Europe and Erasmus+ projects. He is a trustee of Waterford Healing Arts Trust as well as Engage and Sydenham Arts in the UK.

Joan Dalton - Réalta Board of Directors

Joan Dalton has worked as an Arts Manager and Producer for over 30 years in the US, UK and Ireland. Her work has included both professional and community projects across many disciplines including photography, film, visual art, theatre, music, literature and architecture for organisations including Palace Pictures, Red Kettle Theatre Company, Christ Church Cathedral, Theatre Royal Productions, Waterford Festival of Architecture and The Walls Project.

Navin Hyder is a visual artist who is keenly interested in the inclusion of the arts within hospitals and other healthcare settings.

She holds a B.F.A from Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Pakistan. In 2019, she became the first artist-in-residence at Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin. Here she spent three years working—through the pandemic— researching and experimenting to find the most relevant directions and approaches within such a niche space. The result was a large-scale public art installation for Culture Night 2021.

Navin is passionate about becoming involved in more ways, and in working with other artists and organisations with similar interests, to improve healthcare outcomes by incorporating art within the systems supporting them.

Pippa Little - Association of Local Authority Arts Officers

Dr Pippa Little is the Culture and Arts Officer with Limerick City and County Council.

Tess Leak - Artist Representative

Tess Leak is an artist and musician who has been working with the Arts for Health Programme in West Cork since 2010. She is a graduate of the BA in Visual Art on Sherkin Island and The Curious School of Puppetry in London. In 2020, she created the Museum of Song Postal Project in collaboration with artist Sharon Whooley which was delivered to healthcare settings as a response to the isolation of participants during the pandemic.

In 2019, Tess collaborated with a group of residents in Bantry General Hospital to create the puppetry-based performance Stories from the Well-Field which brought to life participants’ poems about childhood friendships. This was supported by an Arts Council Project Award and an documentation bursary. Tess is co-founder and curator of participatory projects Haiku Island Press, The Museum of Miniature and The Museum of Making and Mending and is cellist with the Vespertine Quintet.


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