Arts and Health Co-ordinators Ireland (AHCI) is a voluntary network of professionals who manage Arts and Health initiatives in Ireland. Formed in 2003, AHCI aims to
- to build capacity and maximise resources for its membership through peer support and networking
- to create clarity about the role and nature of arts and health practice in Ireland
AHCI members are active in influencing policy and funding environment for Arts and Health practice by advocating at local and national levels for the development of practice.
Arts and Health has evolved considerably over the past 30 years in Ireland. Today, arts experiences are integrated into a variety of healthcare contexts, from hospitals and day care centres, to community settings and health promotion. The benefits of such experiences to healthcare users, staff and the public are widely recognised. These can include stress reduction, improved health and well-being outcomes, development of creativity and enhanced sense of community*.
The network members coordinate a range of Arts and Health activities, including environmental enhancement, visual art, sculpture, performance etc., participatory and collaborative arts practice, professional development for artists and staff, artist-in-residencies, health promotion and arts and health research.