Arts + Health: Check Up Check In 2020

Postponed to 23 November 2020 has announced that, due to the ongoing restrictions related to Covid 19 / Coronavirus, Arts + Health Check Up Check In 2020 has been postponed and will now take place on Monday 23 November at Draíocht in Blanchardstown, Dublin.  The programme for this leading national arts and health event will remain unchanged, with the theme Taking Risks, the keynote address by artistic director, contemporary dance choreographer and healthcare professional Dr Jenny Elliott, and presentations by some of the most innovative and creative practitioners working in arts and health in Ireland today.  Check Up Check In 2020 is open to healthcare professionals, arts practitioners and anyone interested in learning more about this exciting field.  Check Up Check In 2020 is organised by Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) and Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts, with local partners Fingal County Council Arts Office and Draíocht, and is funded by the Arts Council and the HSE.  Further details and booking information from / 051 842664.  The fee for the full day, including lunch, is €30.

Artist Marielle MacLeman’s workshop entitled Trust, Risk, Recover – The Scope of Navigation has also been re-scheduled and will now take place on Tuesday 24 November at Draíocht.

All attendees who booked for the original dates for Check Up Check In and/or for Marielle MacLeman’s workshop will be contacted directly and offered the opportunity to keep their ticket for the re-scheduled date or to avail of a full refund.

Announcing the change of date, Claire Meaney, Director of Waterford Healing Arts Trust, which manages, said “We are very grateful to our event partners Create, Fingal County Council and Draíocht for their fantastic support in re-scheduling our biggest event of the year.  We are also very grateful to all our speakers for facilitating this change.  Finally we are very grateful to all who booked for Check Up Check In and all who support this event.  We apologise for any inconvenience this change causes and we look forward to seeing everyone in November.  In the meantime, we wish everyone good health during these challenging times.”

Additional information about Arts and Health: Check Up Check In 2020:

Responding to the event theme Taking Risks, presentations at Arts + Health: Check Up Check In 2020 will explore the notion of ‘risk’ for artists compared to healthcare professionals, and the challenge of creating innovative, exciting and inspiring art within the specific context of a health setting.  In her keynote address, Dr Jenny Elliott considers the necessity for artists who practice in healthcare contexts to push boundaries and to engage in experimentation.  Through philosophical consideration and examples from professional practice, she will trace the benefits of risk taking and the deep impact of the arts on wellbeing, reducing practice fatigue among artists and nurses in clinical settings and inducing change in healthcare cultures.  Jenny will further share her vast experience and offer practical advice for negotiating the challenges of working in arts and health in a workshop setting later in the day.

Check Up Check In promotes solidarity among arts and health practitioners.  This national event provides opportunities for participants to share their experiences, exchange ideas and support and inspire each other in their practice through a range of themed presentations, including:
What’s My Practice? – A series of workshops examining methodologies employed in collaborative/ participatory arts and health practice, involving a range of artforms;
Sticking Points: What to do when you get stuck – Artists and healthcare professionals share challenges they have faced in their work and look for solutions to overcome them;
Other People’s Practices: Dealing with the reality – A conversation with artist John Conway, about an innovative artist residency and research project at Usher’s Island, a National Forensic Mental Health Service community centre;
Take a chance on me: Public Art and Risk – Art curators, artists and healthcare professionals share their experiences of navigating the commissioning process in the healthcare context.

The following day, Tuesday 24 November, artist Marielle MacLeman will host a workshop entitled Trust, Risk, Recover – The Scope of Navigation, where she will explore the complexities and interplay of trust and risk through the creative and administrative processes of arts and health practice.  Open to all those involved in the delivery of arts and health projects, participants will be invited to consider negotiation and the vulnerabilities of all stakeholders – patient, artist and supporting staff – and how outcomes, personal resilience and relationships are recovered when things don’t go to plan.  The workshop will also include an online contribution from Glasgow-based performance artist Steven Anderson, and will take place at Draíocht, Blanchardstown, with support from Create.

The team from and Waterford Healing Arts Trust will also host advice clinics for anyone working in the area of arts and health on Tuesday 24 November.  The clinics will take place at Draíocht and are free of charge but must be booked in advance by contacting

Announcing details of Arts and Health: Check Up Check In 2020, Claire Meaney, Arts Director of Waterford Healing Arts Trust, which manages said “We are very excited to announce the programme for our fifth annual Arts and Health: Check Up Check In.  Having brought the event to Sligo, Cork and Waterford in recent years, we are looking forward to returning to Dublin and to being in Draíocht in Blanchardstown for the first time.  Our theme this year, Taking Risks, emerged from the many conversations we have as artists and healthcare professionals around language and meaning in the two very different worlds of art and health.  Risk might suggest danger, but it can also suggest possibility, opportunity and potential.  How do we negotiate and reconcile these connotations in our daily work?  We’re really looking forward to hearing what our dynamic keynote speaker, Dr Jenny Elliott, has to say and we believe that our many other presentations on the day will inspire, challenge and support artists and healthcare professionals to identify ways to push their creative boundaries.  Along with our partners, Create, we’re also really pleased to welcome artist Marielle MacLeman, whose workshop the following day will expand on this theme and explore ways for arts and health practitioners to navigate the trust-risk relationship in their practice”.

Arts and health programmes comprise a range of arts experiences, presented in healthcare settings, for the benefit of health service users, healthcare staff and artists.  This expanding field of work fosters creativity, wellbeing and access to the arts and is based on partnership between the artists, arts organisations and those working in healthcare and/or the wider community.   Further information about all aspects of arts and health work, including case studies, is available on

Additional info:
About Dr Jenny Elliott
Dr Jenny Elliott has worked in arts in health development locally and internationally for over 25 years as a contemporary dance choreographer, dancer in residence, healthcare professional, artistic director, lecturer and researcher.  As Artistic Director of Arts Care, she has developed models of health and wellbeing which engage service users and healthcare staff in bespoke dance programmes, in addition to many other arts in health initiatives.  The author of several articles and reports on arts and health, Jenny also contributes to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, health and Wellbeing, Westminster.

About Check Up Check In partners
– Waterford Healing Arts Trust
(WHAT) brings arts experiences to the bedsides of patients at University Hospital Waterford and other healthcare settings.  WHAT supports the development of arts and health in Ireland and manages the national website
– Create is the national development agency for collaborative arts. Their work initiates cross-sectoral national and international partnerships which support artists and communities to co-create work of depth, ambition and excellence. Their mission is to lead the development of collaborative arts practice by enabling artists and communities to create exceptional art together. As a resource organisation they offer supports for artists which include professional development, mentoring, project development support, commissioning and project opportunities as well as research and training. They also manage the Artist in the Community Scheme for the Arts Council.
– Draíocht is a vibrant and thriving venue for the arts and entertainment in the heart of Blanchardstown, Dublin.  Through its diverse year-round programme of performances and exhibitions, Draíocht is central to the fabric of the community, welcoming 50,000 visitors every year.
– Fingal County Council is the administrative local government body for North Dublin and has long recognised the importance of the arts in helping to develop healthy and vibrant communities.  Fingal Arts Office, the arts service of Fingal County Council, delivers a coherent and integrated arts programme for the people of Fingal through a dedicated team of arts officers, a public art co-ordinator and a youth and education officer.

Booking Info:
– Tickets for Arts and Health Check Up Check In 2020 on Monday 23 November cost €30 (including lunch)  Tickets can be booked here:
Trust, Risk, Recover – The Scope of Navigation, the workshop with Marielle MacLeman on Tuesday 24 November is sold outAnyone interested in attending can go on a waiting list by emailing with their name and contact tel.