When arts works well
6 December 2019
Councillor Sarah O’ Reilly opened a dynamic piece of work in Carrickmacross workhouse on Wednesday last by the group of young people who have called themselves the CMX film group. Their exhibition featured digital art-work and photographic prints that focused on resilience and emotional intelligence. The young people explored these themes over a twenty-hour programme with Dundalk based filmmaker Colm Mullen.
This exhibition is just one part of an overall project exploring arts and health which is concluding this December. Young people from both Cavan and Monaghan are involved in this project. Visual Artist Rosie Cole is also working with Cavan based Youth advocacy programme participants, Rosie’s project takes the young artists outdoors, using natural materials and observing the resilience that natural materials demonstrate.
The arts and health project had two elements; the arts-based action research that Colm and Rosie undertook with the young people on the themes of resilience and emotional intelligence. The second element focused on the network of stakeholders involved in this project.
Continuous professional development days were provided for the agencies involved in the project. The CPD was experiential and illustrated the benefits of using the arts as an intervention. It was also an opportunity to network and to work together on a common goal positive mental health through the arts. The themes of the CPD days focused on: when the art process becomes therapeutic, establishing safe space and also a case study on arts and health.
These agencies included Cavan County Council Arts Office, Cavan Monaghan Mental health Services, CAHMS child and adolescent mental health services, CYPSC children and young peoples services committee, Youth Advocacy Programme, Mental Health Ireland, Cavan County Council Social inclusion and Healthy Ireland, Music Generation, Breffni integrated and Monaghan County Council.
Kim Doherty Art Therapist Project Facilitator lead out on the project with support from Catriona O’Reilly Arts Officer and the meaningful participation of the network. The initiative is currently being evaluated by Mary McAuliffe project evaluator.
Cavan County Council’s Arts Office have delivered this project through the What Works initiative, through the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
Deputy Niamh Smyth and Cathaoirleach Shane P O’Reilly congratulated the young people on their exhibition and were supportive of the project.
The project is supported by DCYA as part of What Works (formerly QCBI), funded by the Dormant Accounts fund