For the arts and health sector


WHAT supports the development of arts and health projects across Ireland through information, resources, training and advice.

WHAT manages, a national website developed with Create and funded by the Arts Council. The website provides a resource and focal point for the arts and health sector, providing up-to-date news, case studies of good practice, opinion pieces from a range of perspectives, a directory of relevant contacts and an extensive bank of resources. is supported by an editorial panel comprising representation from a range of stakeholders including the HSE, the Arts Council, artists, healthcare workers, local authority arts officers, WHAT and Create.

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In partnership with the Health Service Executive South (Cork) Arts + Health Programme and with financial support from the Arts Council, WHAT commissioned ‘Participatory Arts Practice in Healthcare Contexts – Guidelines for Good Practice’ from the Centre for Medical Humanities at Durham University. This is a valuable resource for anyone responsible for engaging people in art-making experiences within healthcare settings.


WHAT hosts Continuing Professional Development talks and workshops for artists and healthcare professionals involved in arts and health practice.

Arts & Health: Check Up Check In

This leading national arts and health event takes place every year in April and features presentations by some of the most innovative and creative practitioners working in arts and health today.  Open to healthcare professionals, arts practitioners and anyone interested in learning more about this exciting field,  Check Up Check In promotes solidarity among arts and health practitioners and provides opportunities for participants to share their experiences, exchange ideas and support and inspire each other in their practice.  Check Up Check In is organised by Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) and Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts, with local partners, and is funded by the Arts Council and the HSE.  Further details and booking information each year is available from / 051 842664.

An introduction to arts and health

Every year, WHAT hosts a one-day introductory workshop to arts and health for anyone who wants to learn more about this field of work. The workshop introduces participants to some of the nuts and bolts of arts and health work, presents best practice principles via a range of examples of work and opens up a discussion on some of the complexities relating to this field. Participants are invited to devise projects that respond to arts and health briefs.

Partnership with Waterford Institute of Technology

WHAT partners with the Waterford Institute of Technology on introductory lectures and workshops in the field of arts and health for a range of students.

WHAT works in partnership with the UHW Clinical Placement Co-ordination team to engage nursing students on placement in UHW in creative writing sessions. Writing is used as a tool to support students’ reflection on their learning while on placement.


WHAT is a founder member of Arts & Health Co-ordinators Ireland (AHCI), a professional support network of arts and health managers.

Advice Clinics

WHAT offers advice on the development of arts and health projects through one-to-one clinics. E-mail or phone 051 842664 to book your clinic.

Arts and health library

WHAT arts and health libraryThe WHAT arts and health library supports research and learning in the field. Documentation of projects in a range of artforms and healthcare settings is available as well as research in the field of arts and health. Members of WHAT can avail of borrowing rights. If you have an arts and health related publication you would like to share with others through our library, e-mail or phone 051 842664.

Click here for the full library catalogue.