Realta is delighted to present our programme for Arts + Health: Check Up Check In 2023.  Download the full programme here: Arts and Health Check Up Check In 2023_Programme

Making Connections: Arts + Health: Check Up Check In 2023 takes place on Wednesday 25 October at Creative Life Hub, Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA) at St James Hospital, Dublin

Making Connections: Arts + Health: Check Up Check In 2023
This leading national arts and health event will have a special focus on mental health this year, and will feature a keynote address by visual artist and founder of the London-based Arts & Health Hub Daniel Regan, in addition to presentations by some of the most innovative and creative practitioners working in arts and health in Ireland today.  Check Up Check In 2023 takes place on Wednesday 25 October at the Creative Life Hub at Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA), St James’s Hospital.  This ‘go to’ event for the arts and health sector is organised by Réalta, in partnership with Creative Life at MISA.  Réalta encompasses the national resource website and Waterford Healing Arts, and is funded by the Arts Council and the HSE.  Final places available here: Arts + Health: Check Up Check In 2023 Tickets, Wed 25 Oct 2023 at 09:00 | Eventbrite The fee for the full day, including lunch, is €30.

Check Up Check In promotes solidarity among artists, healthcare professionals and arts and health practitioners and is open to anyone interested in learning more about this exciting field.  This will be the first time since 2019 for this national gathering of the arts and health sector to be held in person, having taken place online during the pandemic, thus prompting the event theme Making Connections.  Presentations will explore mental health and wellbeing, and the challenge to practitioners of creating innovative, exciting and inspiring work within the healthcare context.  In his keynote address, Taking Care of Ourselves, Daniel Regan will consider the myriad ways that arts and health practitioners can be mindful of self-care within their work.  Drawing on his decades-long art and socially engaged practice, which often involves complex subjects and vulnerable participants, Daniel will offer his perspective on this rewarding, yet sometimes heavy work.

Check Up Check In also provides an opportunity for participants to come together to share their experiences, exchange ideas, and support and inspire each other in their practice through a range of themed presentations.  This year, these include:

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.
In Two Minds: Award-winning theatre artist Joanne Ryan presents a case study on her process of creating her extraordinary new ambitious and affecting play exploring the realities of living with bipolar disorder.
Peer Exchange Workshop: Enhancing Collaboration between the Health and Arts Sectors – A workshop seeking to promote mutual learning and collaboration, through the discussion of a number of key topics which emerged from a co-design process in 2022.  This workshop is part of Expanding Arts in Healthcare, a national programme of work delivered by Réalta, in partnership with the HSE.
What’s My Practice? – A series of workshops examining methodologies employed in collaborative/ participatory arts and health practice in Ireland, across a range of artforms.
Reflecting on achievements and important next steps – Conversation with Saoirse Finn, Research Fellow at University College London and co-author of the 2019 WHO Report on the evidence of the role of the arts in improving health and wellbeing.

Additional elements during the day will include performances by The Bleeping Interns choir from St James Hospital, and the opportunity for some self-care, connecting with a poet under Poetry Ireland’s Vital Signs initiative.

Announcing details of Arts + Health: Check Up Check In 2023, Claire Meaney, Director of Réalta, the National Body for Arts + Health in Ireland, said “We are thrilled to present Check Up Check In, finally, in person again this year.  While we were fortunate to have been able to meet online over the last three years, there’s simply no substitute for the human connection involved in physically coming together, to share, to exchange, to inspire and to re-connect with our peers, colleagues and friends.  Our theme Making Connections reflects this gathering together and our intention to explore our work in arts and health in the particular context of mental health.  At the end of the packed day, we hope that everyone will leave Check Up Check In feeling revived, encouraged, supported and motivated.  We are delighted and most grateful to our event partner, The Creative Life Hub at MISA, for all their support in organising Check Up Check In 2023, and to our funders the Arts Council and the HSE for their ongoing tremendous support.”

Réalta, the National Body for Arts + Health in Ireland, seeks to embed the arts into healthcare in Ireland.  Further information is available from  Creative Life at Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA) at St James’s Hospital supports experiential learning and education at the intersection of arts and health, including exploring the role of creativity in healthy ageing, providing access to arts in a hospital setting and supporting artists working in a healthcare context. Further information from  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 is available on

Speakers featured in the image montage are as follows (l-r, from top):
Daniel Regan, Joanne Ryan, Roisin Nevin, Claire Meaney, Prof Rose Anne Kenny, William Nicholson, Philip Cullen, Emma Finucane, Emma Eager, Dermot Reilly, Catarina Araujo, Fiona Smith, Emily Redmond, Saoirse Finn, Prof Brian Lawlor, Luke Cosgrave, Ciara Harrison, Angela Rogers, Ali Baker Kerrigan, Tracy Breathnach, Yvonne Cullivan and Arnold Thomas Fanning.