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Kildare County Council Arts Service

Arts in Health

Arts in Health refers to arts activities that take place within a healthcare setting. The range of potential arts activities in this setting is broad and may consist of:

Environmental Enhancement: the improvement of the physical environment through the use of interior design or architecture or the situation of artwork in healthcare locations including site-specific commissioned artwork.

Participation-focused work: the engagement of people through arts activities. This can include patients as audience members or as participants. Examples include public performances or dance, music or drama, workshops and artists residencies.

Arts in health is active in all types of medical facility: primary, secondary and tertiary care; acute and mental health care and can impact anyone who enters the facility whether patient, visitor or staff. A distinction is made between arts in health and arts therapy. Whilst in arts therapy, the therapist uses art as a means to achieve therapeutic change, the term arts in health refers to arts practices whose primary goal is the experience or production of art.

Although the primary objective is not therapeutic, there is international recognition of the benefits of the arts in health and how it can assist in the healing process.  Good health is not just concerned with eliminating illness but also with promoting psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being and the use of arts in health recognises this.

In August 2007, Kildare County Council appointed Nicola Dunne as Arts in Health Specialist, a unique post within local authorities. The role of the Arts in Health Specialist is to work with key agencies in the county to develop and deliver a programme of arts in health projects in a variety of health settings and to provide support for artists and agencies involved in arts in health practice.

If you are a healthcare professional or artist looking for information about the facilitation of the arts in health contact:

Nicola Dunne, Arts in Health Specialist, Kildare County Council Arts Service                  Tel: 045 448312

[January 04, 2010]

Kildare Arts in Health Mapping Project


Allenwood5 75x75.JPG Have you experienced Arts in healthcare as a staff member, patient, family member or visitor?  

If so, Kildare Arts in Health Steering Group would like to hear from you!


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[July 30, 2009]

SOLAS exhibition at Naas General Hospital


 SOLAS,  July 2009 - January 2010, an exhibition of artworks selected by staff at Naas General Hospital from Kildare County Councils' Municipal Art Collection, was officially launched by artist Patrick Pye in the hospital on Thursday 30 July 2009.


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[July 09, 2009]

Kildare County Council Arts in Health Strategy 2009 - 2011

Arts in Health strategy Kildare County Council's Arts in Health Strategy 2009 - 2011. Now available to download.



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[May 07, 2009]

Bealtaine 2009 - Creative Connections

Creative Connections As party of Bealtaine 2009, Kildare County Council Arts Service will host 'Creative Connections' a celebration of artistic work by older people from Kildare and West Wicklow on Thursday 7 May 2009 in Kerdiffstown House, Naas.



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[November 11, 2008]

The Green Room Project

Thunbnail small green room.jpg

Minister for Health launches "The Green Room Project" at the Rotunda Hospital


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[July 10, 2008]

Doing The Rounds – Exhibition Launched at Naas General Hospital

healing-arts2.jpg An exhibition of extracts from the Art Collection of the Waterford Healing Arts Trust - Naas General Hospital, 10 July – 31 August 2008.



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