Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) supports the development of the arts and health sector in Ireland through professional development for artists working in healthcare settings and the development and promotion of best practice in arts and health via artsandhealth.ie, advice clinics etc. WHAT is based in the WHAT Centre for Arts and Health in the grounds of University Hospital Waterford, the first arts and health centre in the Republic of Ireland.
Mission / Aims
WHAT aims to:
• Facilitate access to and participation in the arts;
• Create professional development opportunities for artists to produce new work and engage new audiences within health-related contexts;
• Reduce anxiety and stress for patients, visitors, and staff through integrating art into healthcare environments;
• Forge closer relationships between hospital professionals and between the hospital and the wider community through the arts;
• Take the lead in the development of arts and health in the Republic of Ireland through networking, information and professional development.
Areas of activities
WHAT engages staff, patients and visitors attached to University Hospital Waterford (UHW) and beyond in a multi-disciplinary arts programme which includes:
• Participatory arts sessions with health service users and staff;
• Live music performances in wards and outpatient clinics;
• Artists’ residencies whereby artists are supported to make work in response to the acute hospital environment;
• Promoting awareness of health messages via the arts;
• The curation of a collection of over 450 original artworks in UHW;
• Temporary exhibitions of contemporary visual art;
• Commissioning of new artworks for clinical spaces.