Promoting Autonomy: Arts + Health Check Up Check In 2019 has just announced the programme for Arts + Health Check Up Check In 2019 and bookings are now open. Themed Promoting Autonomy, this leading national arts and health event will feature a keynote address by hospice director, arts advocate, music therapist and author Nigel Hartley, and presentations by some of the most innovative and creative practitioners working in arts and health in Ireland today.  Check Up Check In 2019 takes place on Thursday 11 April at Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford and is open to healthcare professionals, arts practitioners and anyone interested in learning more about this exciting field. Check Up Check In 2019 is organised by Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) and Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts, with local partners Garter Lane Arts Centre and Waterford City and County Council Arts Office, 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.

Following the tremendous success of Check Up Check in 2018 and marking the opening in 2019 of the new South East Palliative Care Centre at University Hospital Waterford (UHW), the theme of this year’s event is Promoting Autonomy, with presentations highlighting the potential for arts programmes in healthcare settings to explore ways for individuals to engage, discover and create, even when faced with a challenging health condition.  In his keynote address, Disruption, Danger and Discipline: When the Artist becomes Leader…, Nigel Hartley will reflect on the role of the artist in end of life care and the artist as leader.  He will further share his vast experience and offer practical advice for negotiating the challenges of working in this important and rewarding area in a workshop setting later in the day.

Check Up Check In promotes solidarity among arts and health practitioners.  This year’s 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.
Arts and Dementia – Case studies of Training Notes, Waterford Council’s training programme for musicians in healthcare settings, and Open Gallery, Waterford Healing Arts Trust’s art project on the hospital ward, both of which have a particular focus on people living with dementia.
Hospital Voices – A conversation with composer Eric Sweeney and poet Edward Denniston, reflecting on their experience as WHAT/UHW Artists in Residence 2018 and the creation of a choral work, in collaboration with patients and staff, to mark the 25th Anniversary of Waterford Healing Arts Trust.

The following day, Friday 12 April, artist Marie Brett will host two workshops, entitled Sustaining the Self, looking at the concept and practice of self-care for artists who work in difficult or demanding healthcare settings.  Drawing on her extensive experience, Marie will share ideas and creative strategies for a nourishing and reflective practice, fostering supportive networks and working towards sustainability.  These workshops will take place at Waterford Healing Arts Trust, with support from Create.

Announcing details of Arts and Health: Check Up Check In 2019, Claire Meaney, Acting Arts Director of Waterford Healing Arts Trust, which manages said “We are thrilled to bring Check Up Check In to Waterford for the first time.  Having hosted the event in Dublin, Sligo and Cork previously, we chose Waterford this year for two reasons: Firstly as part of our year-long celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Waterford Healing Arts Trust and, secondly, to mark the extraordinary development of the new South East Palliative Care Centre, which will open at University Hospital Waterford later this year.  This is the first hospice for the south east and is a groundbreaking initiative which will greatly improve the quality of life for people living with a life-limiting illness here in the south east region.  To mark this important moment, we are very excited to welcome Nigel Hartley, who has a wealth of experience in arts provision in end of life care, as our keynote speaker for Check Up Check In 2019.  We believe that Nigel’s address, and our many other presentations on the day, will inspire artists and healthcare professionals to identify ways to engage creatively with people, whatever their health situation.  Along with our partners Create, we’re also really pleased to welcome artist Marie Brett, whose workshops the following day will expand on these discussions by exploring how the artist working in a challenging setting can reflect on their practice, nourish the self and maintain supportive networks, in order to sustain themselves and 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 Nigel Hartley
Nigel Hartley
is Chief Executive of Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Isle of Wight and Countess Mountbatten Hospice, Southampton.  He has worked in end-of-life care for 30 years, including 12 years as Director of Supportive Care at the St Christopher’s Group, London, and he is the author of a number of seminal publications including The Creative Arts in Palliative Care (2008, with Malcolm Payne), End of Life Care – a guide for therapists, artists and arts therapists (2014) and Spirituality in Hospice Care (2017).  Nigel also sits on the Editorial Board of the journal Mortality, which promotes the interdisciplinary study of death and dying.  He is a visiting Academic at the University of Southampton and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

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 and provides support services and opportunities to artists and arts organisations working collaboratively with communities in social and community contexts.
– Garter Lane Arts Centre is a vibrant and thriving venue for the arts in the heart of Waterford City.  Through its diverse year-round programme of exhibitions, performances and outreach, Garter Lane Arts Centre has been central to the fabric of the community of Waterford for over 30 years.
– Waterford City and County Council is the administrative local government body for Waterford City and County.  The Waterford City and County Council Arts Office arts programme is a development based programme which aims to nurture, grow and pursue excellence in the arts, in addition to encouraging and building arts audiences.

Booking Info:
– Tickets for Arts and Health Check Up Check In 2019 on Thursday 11 April cost €30 (including lunch)  Tickets can be booked here:
Sustaining the Self workshop with Marie Brett on Friday 12 April at 10.30am is sold out.  An additional workshop has been scheduled for the same day, Friday 12 April, from 2pm-4pm.  Tickets cost €10 and must be booked separately, here: