Réalta, the national resource organisation dedicated to developing arts + health in Ireland, is seeking tenders from suitably qualified individuals or organisations to undertake an independent evaluation of the Waterford Healing Arts Art at the Kitchen Table programme.  The deadline for receipt of completed applications is Tuesday 6 August 2024.  Further details are available here.

Art at the Kitchen Table supports older people living in Waterford City and County, who might not otherwise have access to the arts, to make art in their own homes.  The artist visits a person in their own home and they create art together – painting, drawing and collage/mixed media.  The programme offers the older person the opportunity to develop a new, or reignite a previous interest in art.  It also brings joy, creativity and connection and impacts positively on the person’s wellbeing and quality of life.  No experience is required by the participant, simply an interest in making art.

Having completed three sessions with the artist at home, the participant is then invited to join one of the Art at the Kitchen Table Studios, in Dungarvan or Waterford.  These supportive group settings provide an opportunity for each person to continue their art making and to enjoy the additional benefits of participation with others, thereby making an important step into society.

Developed by Réalta/Waterford Healing Arts, Art at the Kitchen Table is delivered in partnership with Waterford City and County Council.

Speaking at the announcement of the Open Call, Claire Meaney, Director of Réalta, said “To date, the Art at the Kitchen Table programme has been evaluated on an ongoing basis internally within Réalta.  As the national resource organisation dedicated to developing arts + health in Ireland, we are now commissioning an independent evaluation of this programme as it has the potential to be improved, modelled and replicated nationally and internationally.  We will provide all the support the researcher(s) require to do their best work.  We will publish the completed evaluation report, along with a toolkit to support arts + health practitioners to deliver Art at the Kitchen Table.  In so doing, our intention is that the benefits of this fantastic programme will be shared with far greater numbers of older people in Ireland and overseas.”

Réalta is the national resource organisation dedicated to developing arts + health in Ireland.  Through its national programme, Réalta delivers training; provides information, mentoring and advice; supports networking; engages with the HSE and other policy makers to increase understanding and support for arts + health; and provides the encyclopaedic national resource website artsandhealth.ie.  At local level, Réalta delivers its extensive Waterford Healing Arts (WHA) programme, which brings arts experiences – music, visual art, creative writing, storytelling – to the bedside of patients at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) and other healthcare settings to promote creativity, connection and discovery, and reduce isolation, anxiety and stress for patients, family members and staff.  The WHA programme also provides rich examples of good practice, and researches, pilots and evaluates new ideas, all of which informs Réalta’s national work.  Réalta is core funded by the Arts Council and the HSE.