Shadow theatre and elderly with special needs
Since 2013, Stichting Droomtheater has been producing interdisciplinary puppet theatre, and organizing presentations and workshops featuring shadow theatre. In conjunction with various narrative techniques, this ancient Chinese art form offers great possibilities for small-scale theatre shows and workshops for special target groups. The audiences are easily captured, fascinated, and motivated to participate in the creative, interactive sessions following the theatre shows.
VIPR-SEA revisited | Virtual International Puppetry Residency - Netherlands and South East Asia
Virtual International Puppetry Residency for puppeteers, teachers and health and community workers from the Netherlands and countries they met since the start of the colonial realations around 1600 especially South East India. What are the links they share in the past, what are the connections now and what is needed for the future of the planet, plants, animals and humans included. Each participant creates short puppetry video's and they share their experiences during the process. They will finish with a open, public presentation and will present the whole process and product at the UNIMA Congress and International Puppetry Festival 2025 in Chuncheon Korea.
LifeLine: Achieving The Impossible
‘LifeLine: Achieving the Impossible’ was a large-scale participatory project focused on the art of funambulism - wirewalking using a balancing pole – as a powerful tool for improving mental health.
People of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities from across Europe learned the dynamic art of funambulism as a way to improve physical and mental wellbeing. The project culminated in a spectacular highwire event over the River Corrib and Claddagh Basin in Galway City (IE) on 16th July 2022 - a cast of 130 community participants and professional highwire artists came together to perform a stunning display of hope, strength and resilience over one of Ireland’s most iconic waterways.
Funambulism is both a spectacular circus art and a surprisingly accessible participatory activity for people of all ages and abilities. It is also a powerful mindfulness tool that promotes mental wellbeing; walking on a wire conveys a sense of ease and simplicity, yet it requires focus, self-belief and courage. Crossing a tightwire is symbolic of overcoming challenges, facing fears, and taking control of your own body and mind. We use funambulism as a tool to teach techniques for managing fear and self-doubt, and help participants discover their inner-strength and resilience.
The site of the highwire spectacle was chosen due to its significance in the lives of the Galwegian community. To Galwegians, the River Corrib is iconic in the personality of the city, but also represents great loss having been a site of suicide. LifeLine came from the desire to reinfuse life, hope and courage into a landscape carrying great sadness and beauty, drawing on the transformative power of circus arts to deliver wellbeing impact and provoke discourse on mental health across the island of Ireland.
The LifeLine Spectacle featured performances by professional highwire artists Oliver Zimmermann, Andrea Loreni and Ellis Grover, a 42-person European Youth Ensemble, the premiere of the Creative Europe funded show 'BassAlto,' and highwire walks by community participants from across Ireland and Europe.
The foundations for LifeLine were created during a previous project, ‘Wired Crossed,’ produced by Galway Community Circus in partnership with the European Centre of Funambulism and École de Cirque de Bruxelles as part of the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture programme. Between 2016 – 2020, they led a major capacity-building programme for funambulism participation in Europe, working with 10 European Youth and Social Circus schools across 10 different countries. ‘Wires Crossed’ led to creation of the world’s first methodology for funambulism participation and 2 accompanying training-for-trainers programmes in applying this methodology with community participants. Wires Crossed was funded by Erasmus+, Creative Europe, and the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture.
Culture on Prescription
Culture on Prescription is an Erasmus+ project that aims to prevent and combat social isolation and loneliness through art and culture. Cultural prescribing is the referral of a healthcare professional of lonely and isolated (older) people to locally available art and cultural offerings. It is a social intervention based on “social prescribing” practices, already implemented in the United Kingdom and Ireland with very positive results, and which aims to “prescribe” to participants experiences related to art, culture and social activities as a way to reduce social isolation and loneliness.
The project will introduce cultural activities facilitated by informal learning and training offers for adults. The consortium will develop and implement a study pilot in Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Germany and the Netherlands that aims to validate the Culture on Prescription intervention in these countries.
Research by play: a three-country PAR study about the dynamic context of elder clowning
How can a cultural intervention be embedded in the setting of a care organisation for older people? That is what the initiators are trying to find out in this international research project. Through participatory action research with clowns, family members, care staff and management of care organisations, they investigate the dynamics of the way in which all these actors play a part in providing good care for people with dementia.
Cultural and Creative Sectors and Local Development
The project is implemented by the OECD and the European Commission as part of the European Framework for Action on Cultural Heritage. It aims to provide evidence and guidance to European cities and regions on ways to maximize the economic and social value of cultural heritage and support the emergence of the creative economy. It focuses on knowledge building, peer learning and training in four areas. It acknowledges the fact that culture is playing an increasingly important role on the political agendas of cities and regions, both on its own and as a strategy for economic growth and the well-being of residents. According to this initiatve, there is growing evidence that increased levels of cultural participation have positive effects on well-being and health as well as encourage social cohesion by supporting the integration and inclusion of marginalised groups. The role of culture in spurring innovation as well as supporting well-being, health, life-long learning and the creation of social capital have become prominent. To increase the impact of culture on local development, cities and regions need to mobilise a wide spectrum of policies ranging from culture and tourism to employment, skills, health, business development, innovation and spatial planning. OECD’s partners in this project are: the European Commission (DG EAC), the European Creative Business Network , the World Cities Culture Forum and the International Council of Museums.
Arts in Healthcare Institutions
The national programme aims to bring art and creativity to hospitals and other healthcare institutions in Groningen, by having patients and employees work together on their own art with specially trained artists. Visiting a concert or museum is not only fun and inspiring, it is also good for your health, according to years of research. Arts in Health Groningen wants to give art and creativity a place in healthcare institutions and communities, together with specially trained artists. These artists take involve participants into the creative process of visual arts, music, theater and dance, among other things, which in turn gives them relaxation and offers a way to give meaning to events in their life. In hospitals, art helps patients feel less disoriented and vulnerable, allowing them to have a better care experience and recover faster. For healthcare professionals, art can help connect with patients and prevent burnout. In communities, creating art together can help people be more resilient and proactive in preventing disease. In this way, Arts in Health Groningen wants to contribute to the well-being of Groningen residents and make art a sustainable part of health care.
Art and Culture in Long-term Care and Support
The Art and Culture in Long-term Care and Support program was initiated in collaboration with the RCOAK Foundation, the Sluyterman van Loo Fund and the Ministries of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. The aim of this program is to link culture to long-term care and support, in a structural and sustainable way.
The Art and Culture in Long-term Care and Support program will set out actions on three development lines:
1) Targeted development and dissemination of knowledge from ongoing initiatives: Many cultural initiatives are already underway in long-term care and support. These initiatives are ideally suited to gain experience and knowledge. Priorities are the further inventory of art initiatives and the investigation of active elements and bottlenecks. Practice-oriented research is used to improve the quality of existing initiatives. Within the project is will be explored the way in which effects are described so that they are meaningful for pacients, their environment and healthcare professionals.
2) Research and method development: Within this line, efforts will be made to develop appropriate research methods, preferably mixed-methods instruments. These must be in line with the aspects of positive health, art and culture. When conducting research, the needs of various stakeholders, such as insurers, municipalities and healthcare institutions, will be take into account. Attention is needed for both practical learning from research and the process of embedding in institutions and scaling up initiatives.
3) Anchoring and sustainability: A lot is already happening in the field of art and culture within the long-term care and support sector. However, it is often incidental and the supply is fragmented. Because funding of art initiatives is seen as a major problem, one of the priorities is to develop business cases for various initiatives. The knowledge acquired in the first two lines can be used as evidence for the further development of policy for these crossovers between art and care. Frontrunners in this field and ambassadors can be helpful in further developing, disseminating and embedding the offer. A cross-domain knowledge network ensures a good exchange of knowledge about policy, practice and research.
Art to Work
Art to Work initiative increases the chance of reintegration and work in all kinds of professions for those involved in the programme. The participants are guided by an art teacher and a permanent counselor to find a suitable working environment. They follow creative workshops in various art disciplines such as theatre, visual arts and music, in combination, if possible, with their work experience. By being creative the participants are discovering where their passion and talents lie. They work on a positive self-image and this increases their self-confidence.
The following aspects are covered in each workshop:
- Self-insight: Discover qualities that can help them find and keep interesting work. In addition, they learn to deal with limits and pitfalls.
- Insight into the other: They learn to understand others better.
- Self-regulation: They learn to take on responsibilities. They learn to focus. They learn to give their opinion, learn to listen and adapt.
- Dealing with others: They learn to present yourself, learn to work together, to deal with conflict.
- Justification: They learn to take initiative and show perseverance.
The group is never larger than 10 participants. By working together in a group they get to know each other's values. During the creative process there is space and safety to share these stories with each other. In addition, the imagination is challenged and it is nice to work together every week to ultimately arrive at a joint end product.
This art center wants to make the healing effect of art & nature accessible to everyone. The site, formerly a repurposed farm, with its rich history, nature, studios, exhibition space and sculpture garden, forms a community where people can 'be', in the broadest sense of the word. In a world where the pace is high, everyone is busy and under pressure, there is a growing need for space and tranquility. By immersing yourself in nature you experience space and you can relax. Your head may stand still for a moment, just like time. Art also has this effect on body and mind. This can be done both in experiencing art and in artistic creation. It provides a diverse range with which the participants can experience the inspiring terrain and the artistic environment for themselves.
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