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July 16, 2009

3 Significant New Arts Policies for Kildare

Pictured front to back: Rina Whyte, Public Art Co-ordinator, Kildare County Council; Nicola Dunne, Arts in Health Specialist; Eoghan Dunne, Assistant County Arts Officer The launch of three significant three-year arts policy and strategy documents for Kildare County Council took place in Aras Chill Dara, Naas, on Thursday 9th July.  The documents are companion documents to Making Inroads:  An Arts Development Plan 2006-2011.  The newly appointed Mayor of Co Kildare, Cllr Colm Purcell, formally launched the documents, with Lucina Russell, Arts Officer for Kildare County Council acting as MC for the event. 

The Arts in Health Strategy was written by Nicola Dunne, Arts in Health Specialist. The key areas for arts development outlined in the Strategy are

  • Supporting Naas General Hospital in the continuing development and implementation of a sustainable arts programme for patients, staff and visitors
  • Working with mental health services and agencies to facilitate the engagement of service users in arts initiatives
  • Exploring arts provision for older people, focusing particularly on the national Bealtaine festival and the development of a sustainable model for the provision of arts programme in residential units and care centres
  • Supporting arts programmes and training within services for adults with intellectual disabilities, in partnership with service development.

A county wide Arts in Health Steering Committee has been established with representatives from a range of services within the HSE (intellectual disability, physical disability, older people, Naas Hospital) and artists working in the field of Arts in Health

The Public Art Policy, prepared by Rina Whyte, Public Art Co-ordinator, outlines four development areas:

  • Integration of Public Art into planning, design and construction of county facilities, buildings and public spaces.
  • Maximise opportunities in the county to undertake Per Cent for Art schemes and other Public Art opportunities, and to utilise such schemes to their full potential
  • Further develop an innovative and collaborative approach to commissioning Public Art in the county through partnership projects
  • Be a central point of information, consultancy, support and advice regarding Public Art in Kildare.

The Youth Arts Strategy was drafted by Eoghan Doyle, Assistant County Arts Officer. It focuses on:

  • Encouraging organisations with responsibility for young people to engage in quality youth arts practice
  • Exploring innovative and sustainable models for youth arts programming
  • Support Youth Arts training and professional development for youth leaders and young people
  • Explore the potential use of new technologies in Youth Arts provision.

Lucina Russell congratulated the team on their work and acknowledged the role of Brenda Brady, Arts Assistant, in developing the Film programme, which is a growing art form, with a large number of emerging film makers in the county.

The Strategy documents emphasise the importance of partnership and the contribution of the relevant agencies in the Youth and Health sectors, while the Public Art policy encourages private developments' participation in the roll out of a County Public Art

Copies of the Strategies and Policy are available from the Arts Service, Riverbank Arts Centre, in local libraries and to download. . Tel: 045-448328, Email: