15th March

The Creative Brain on Arts, Health & Wellness

‘The Creative Brain on Arts, Health & Wellness’.  Inspirational  leaders and  extraordinary practitioners  explore where health care becomes art form.

The video below which was first broadcast on St Patricks Festival TV as a ‘taster’ of the day.



Creating Health and Care

Presentations on transformative creativity at a global scale include:

Christopher Bailey, Arts and Health Lead, World Health Organisation

Theo Edmonds, Cultural Futurist, Assistant Dean Transdisciplinary Research and Innovation University Colorado

Daisy Fancourt, Institute Epidemiology & Health Care,  University College London

Chaired by Dominic Campbell.

Please see below for video of the session.  As the session was recorded live the audio quality is uneven.





Christopher Bailey is the Arts & Health lead at the World Health Organisation, based in in Geneva, Switzerland. His program focuses on the research agenda, community implementation and mobilizing the global media to explore, understand and support the health benefits of the arts, in everyday life as well as an instrument in the field. Educated at Columbia and Oxford Universities, as well at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, before entering Global Health and Philanthropy, Bailey was a professional actor and playwright. He is presently engaged heavily in using the arts in the COVID-19 global response.


Website:  https://www.who.int/initiatives/arts-and-health

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Dr Daisy Fancourt is Associate Professor of Psychobiology & Epidemiology at University College London. Her research focuses on the effects of social factors on health, including loneliness, social isolation, social & community assets, arts and cultural engagement, and social prescribing. Her work includes behavioural studies, clinical trials of new psychosocial interventions within the NHS, and epidemiological analyses. Daisy has received over £25 million in research funding as Principal and Co-Investigator and has been recognised with awards from the British Science Association, Leverhulme Trust, Wellcome Trust, British Academy, British Federation of Women Graduates, American Psychosomatic Society, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Royal Society for Public Health and NHS England. From 2018-21 she was Director of the national UKRI MARCH Mental Health Research network on social, cultural and community engagement, and she is currently Director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre on Arts and Health as well as a BBC New Generation Thinker and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.

Website:  https://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=DFANC73

Social media:  https://twitter.com/Daisy_Fancourt

Culture Futurist. Transdisciplinary Academic & Researcher with Focus on Humanizing the Future of Work. Industry-University Collaborations and Private-Sector Engagement Leader. Public Health Entrepreneur. Cultural Analytics Inventor. Developer of Next-generation Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives in the Creative Economy. Artist & Poet.
Part of a nine-generation Appalachian mountain family, Theo is an inventor, artist, entrepreneur and culture futurist who was named one of “50 People Changing the Face of the South” by Southern Living Magazine. In July 2021, he assumed the role of Associate Dean for Transdisciplinary Research and Innovation at University of Colorado Denver, College of Arts & Media. Previously, Theo was a faculty member at the University of Louisville School of Public Heath & Information Sciences where he served as Principal Investigator on projects within a National Science Foundation-sponsored program. For his team’s research focused on using arts, humanities, population health science and cultural analytics to measure creativity and innovation, Theo’s team was awarded the 2020 University of Louisville Trailblazer Award for Research and Innovation. In 2020, he co-founded UPOP (Underestimated People of Purpose) a for-profit Public Benefit Corporation founded by artists, data scientists and health professionals to humanize the future of work through culture and creativity. Theo is also co-founder of IDEAS xLab, an arts nonprofit that champions inclusion and belonging through creativity, art, and action. He has served as national Vice Chair for Americans for the Arts Private Sector Council and currently participates in leadership of several international creative industries groups operating at the intersection of arts, creativity, technology, neuroscience and economics.



Creating Health and Care - Ireland

Roger O’Sullivan (DIrector, Ageing Research and Development, Institute of Public Health Ireland), Rose Anne Kenny (TILDA) and Brian Lawlor (Trinity College Dublin and Global Brain Health Institute)

Respond to the previous session by  reflecting on its  implications in  Ireland.

Please see below for video of the session.  Please note, as the session was recorded live the audio quality is uneven.





Professor Brian Lawlor (MD, FRCPI, FRCPsych, FTCD (Hon), DABPN) is Conolly Norman Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin, and Deputy Executive Director of the Global Brain Health Institute. He is a geriatric psychiatrist with an interest in dementia, late-life depression, loneliness and brain health. Brian has worked for over 30 years on developing services and delivering care to people with dementia. His research interests range from early detection and prevention to evaluating new treatments for dementia.






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RRose Anne was appointed in 2005, to Trinity College and St. James’s Hospital, as Head of the Academic Department of Medical Gerontology and holds the Chair of Medical Gerontology. She is the founding Principal Investigator of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing TILDA : www.tilda.ie), and author of the best-selling book Age Proof.



Social Media:  https://twitter.com/roseannekenny1

10.30 and 11.30

babyGROOVE by Anna Newell

A chilled out 70’s-inspired adventure for babies under 12 months, full of gorgeous harmony singing and immersive video created by Anna Newell Theatre Adventures, one of Ireland’s leading theatremakers for young audiences whose work for early years has been seen on six continents.

Monday to Wednesday – 2 shows at 10.30 and 11.30.  Each show lasts 20 minutes approximately.

For more information on the show and this artist’s work please click here

babyGROOVE is part of the 2022 programme from The Network For Extraordinary Audiences, is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and is a co-production with The Civic, Tallaght.

Due to the nature of the show and rights this was not recorded.

BabyGroove_704x523 Plain


One of Ireland’s leading theatre makers for young audiences, creating unique theatre adventures for babies, early years and children/young people with complex needs.

Anna created the world’s first BabyDay, introduced theatre for children and young people with PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties) into Ireland and helped start babytheatre in South Africa.

The work for early years audiences has been seen on six continents.

The shows are informed and inspired by their audiences at every stage of their creation and have human connection at their very heart.

Anna is based in Bray, Ireland.

Website:  www.annanewell.ie

Social Media:  https://twitter.com/annanewell


Forget-Me-Nots Choir

Performance by this inclusive community choir for older people, family, friends and neighbours which is especially welcoming to those affected by dementia and memory loss. 

Due to the nature of the show and rights this was not recorded.


Forget Me Nots Choir Logo


Forget Me Nots Organisation is a registered charity in Ireland (No. 20144661) offering an inclusive community choir for older people, family, friends and neighbours and is especially welcoming to those affected by dementia and memory loss. Participants are drawn from the neighbourhood, the local HSE Day Care centres, The Alzheimer Society Social Clubs in the region, local residential nursing homes, and from the wider Dublin NorthEast community.

Website:  http://forgetmenots.ie





Neuroscience meets Creativity In Action

Artists and neuroscientists explore examples of creative practice and its implications.  Includes drama for early years development, dance to heal trauma, singing for brain health and poetry for climate change. Chaired by Dermot O’Callaghan.

This is a series of conversations between the following:

Anna Newell and Cliona O’Doherty on theatre  for early years development and children with complex disability

Catherine Jordan and Karen Meenan on choirs for people living with alzheimers and music for the brain

Magda Kacmzarska and Anusha Mohan on dancing neuroscience research

Ailish Claffey and Glenna Batson on dance, science and somatic studies

Amelia McConville and Francesca Farina on poetry, climate change and interdisciplinarity.

Please see below for video of the session.  Please note, as the session was recorded live the audio quality is uneven.




One of Ireland’s leading theatre makers for young audiences, creating unique theatre adventures for babies, early years and children/young people with complex needs.

Anna created the world’s first BabyDay, introduced theatre for children and young people with PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties) into Ireland and helped start babytheatre in South Africa.

The work for early years audiences has been seen on six continents.

The shows are informed and inspired by their audiences at every stage of their creation and have human connection at their very heart.

Anna is based in Bray, Ireland.

Website:  www.annanewell.ie

Social Media:  https://twitter.com/annanewell

Clíona is a PhD student in the Cusack Lab working at the intersection of adult neuroimaging, artificial intelligence and infant developmental neuroscience. Her work concerns the mechanisms by which we learn to understand the world around us and she believes that an interdisciplinary approach will uncover the secrets of intelligent learning. With an alternate training in acting and theatre, Clíona is naturally fascinated by the synergies and parallels of creative artistic pursuits and scientific discovery.







Catherine is a cognitive neuroscientist investigating the relationship between musical expertise and the development of dementia, and music as therapy. She holds teaching and research responsibilities at the School of Psychology at University College Dublin, Ireland.

Catherine completed her undergraduate degree, a BA in psychology, at the National University of Galway, where she was awarded the undergraduate scholar award for her academic achievements. She studied for her MSc degree in Human Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University of Edinburgh. In 2017, she completed her PhD in psychology (Human Cognitive Neuroscience) under the supervision of Professor Robert Logie, Dr. Katie Overy, and Dr. Thomas Bak. She joined the Atlantic Fellows program in 2017. Upon graduation of the fellowship, she joined the School of Psychology at University College Dublin, where she holds teaching and research responsibilities.


Website:  https://sites.google.com/tcd.ie/timbregroup/about

Social Media: https://twitter.com/TIMBREgroup

Karen Meenan is a self-employed entrepreneur with over 30 years’ experience as a retailer, marketing consultant, trainer, coach, dementia-inclusive theatre director, radio presenter and more recently Research Assistant in TCIN/School of Psychology, located at Trinity College Dublin. She has been selected as Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health in Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) working with scientists, academics, and artists to improve brain health on a global scale.

She is Director and Co-Founder of Lewy Body Ireland, and has recently been appointed Patient and Public Involvement and Communications/Dissemination Coordinator of HRB Dementia Clinical Trials Network Ireland ‘Dementia Trials Ireland’ (DTI). The ultimate goal of DTI is to enable every person at risk of, or living with dementia in Ireland, the opportunity to access clinical trials. A cornerstone of the work will be the inclusion of people with lived experience and their caregivers in the day-to-day development of DTI as well as raising public and professional awareness of dementia and dementia trials throughout Ireland.

In Sep 2017 she founded ‘Making Hay Reminiscence Theatre’ which is an inter-generational dementia-inclusive workshop-based theatre company. www.makinghaytheatre.ie is the first and only member of European Reminiscence Network (ERN) which has member countries in Japan, Singapore, Australia, North America, Europe and the UK.

She is a volunteer researcher, presenter and producer of three radio series on Near FM Community Radio ‘Reminiscence on the Radio’, ‘Voyage Around My Brain’ ‘Talkin’ About Neurodegeneration’ and more recently ‘Atlantic, Pacific and Beyond’ She is the winner of the Gold Social Benefit Award in the 2020 CRAOL Community Radio Ireland awards, judges commented that they hadn’t heard the voices of those living with dementia on radio before. These programmes feature the voices of over a hundred guests in studio and online since January 2020 and are broadcast weekly 7-8pm on NearFM 90.3.




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Magda Kaczmarska is a dancer, researcher and creative aging teaching artist based in New York City. Magda received her MFA in Dance Performance & Choreography and her BS in Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics from the University of Arizona. Magda has dedicated her career to utilizing the vehicle of dance and movement to amplify and support creative community. Her multidisciplinary work leverages a dual background in neuropharmacology and dance to build bridges and empower individuals and communities to be active agents in their creativity and brain health. Through all her work, she seeks to foster safe, creative and inclusive spaces for discovery, agency and meaning. She believes all of us possess the ability to harness our creative expression to support building meaningful and healthy communities around us.

Magda leads and develops programs which foster creative community for intergenerational groups of all abilities. Her program, Every Body Moves, supports brain health for older adults through physical activity, social connection and creative expression. She developed Stories in the Moment, which combines dance, creative movement and storytelling, to amplify the creative voices of people living with dementia across the globe. Along with Dr. Anusha Mohan, from Trinity College Dublin, she leads brainFM, a co-creative educational tool that unites dance and storytelling to learn about the brain.

Devoted to building evidence base, while expanding public and professional education in best practices in creative aging practice globally, Magda balances her work in intergenerational community-based teaching with engagement in advocacy in several sectors. She mentors future leaders in the creative and health sector through a regular partnership at the Fordham Ailey School of Dance in New York City and the Arts in Medicine Fellowship in Lagos, Nigeria.

She serves as a representative to the UN with Generations United and is on the executive committee of the UN NGO Committee on Ageing. She serves on the Dance and Disability Taskforce at the National Dance Education Organization, to support access, equity and inclusion in the dance education community, for which she received the Executive Director Award in 2021. As an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute, Magda builds collaborations around the globe to design and expand access to creative aging programs that support brain health across the lifespan.

Website:  www.magdakaczmarska.com

Social Media:  https://twitter.com/MagdaKaczmarsk4

Dr. Anusha Mohan is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience and School of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin. She is also a trained classical Bharathanatyam and Bollywood dancer. In addition to studying phantom auditory perception using experimental psychology, neuromodulation and neuroimaging, Anusha is immensely passionate about the performing arts which enables her to resonate and collaborate with both artists and scientists. Her diverse and multicultural experience through her national and international travels as both a performing artiste and researcher shapes her persona and inspires her ongoing work of marrying the two seemingly different worlds. She is one of the lead organisers of the International Tinnitus Research Initiative Foundation’s dissertation and communication wing, which strives to take tinnitus research and clinical practices to the public. She is also the co-developer of BrainFM – an education and awareness tool aimed at making complex concepts about the brain accessible through dance while also building community. These tie together with her vision to leverage the arts as a medium to both comprehend and communicate the working of the brain.

Twitter: @AnushaMohan19

Instagram: nushmo90

Google scholar: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=GxPjtv4AAAAJ&hl=en

Facebook: Anusha.mohan.39

As a choreographer, director, dramaturg, performer and facilitator, Ailish chooses to specialise in choreological studies.  Her works draw from physical theatre, choreological studies, experimental theatre and set dancing. She is interested in the portrayal of the human condition at its very essence and is committed to making visually stunning work in collaboration with artists from various disciplines and communities. She is interested in creating work that deeply connects and communicates with audiences.

Website: https://ailishclaffeydance.wordpress.com

Social Media:  https://twitter.com/ailishclaffey

For the last five decades, Glenna Batson has worked at the intersection of dance, human movement science and somatic (mind-body) education. Glenna has honed a trans-disciplinary approach to movement teaching. She draws from multiple sources as catalysts for teaching, research, advocacy, and artistic and personal growth. Glenna engages routinely with multiple sectors both within the academy and other cultural hubs – organisations which place embodiment within arts for health as a central value to their initiatives. She is an internationally recognized teacher of the Alexander Technique (qualified 1989) and was pivotal in the establishment of the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science in the 1980’s (IADMS.org). A former Fulbright Senior Specialist in dance education (2008-2019), Glenna received the first honorary fellowship award for her contributions to dance science from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (London, UK). Between 2009 and 2015, she pioneered research on improvisational dance and Parkinson’s disease, and remains an active consultant to arts-for-health initiatives, locally and internationally. Glenna holds a master’s degree (MA) in dance education (1978), and a master’s and doctorate in physical therapy (1983/2006). Professor emeritus of physical therapy (Winston-Salem State University, USA, 2012), she remains an active course leader, mentor, and external examiner within higher education. She is author of Body and Mind in Motion: Dance and Neuroscience in Conversation, and co-editor/contributor to Dance, Somatics and Spiritualities: Contemporary Sacred Narratives, University of Chicago press, 2014). During the last decade, she co-created the Fold as Somatic/Artistic Practice with multimedia artist and dancer Susan Sentler. Together, they successfully transferred to online teaching, reaching a global multidisciplinary audience, and securing a book contract with Intellect Books. Glenna’s community service lies in grassroots advocacy around criminal justice reform aimed at abolishing life without parole.  At 73, she remains ‘a woman who dances,’ and fully intends for her last bloom to be the brightest.





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Amelia McConville is a PhD student researching experimental poetry and visual poetics from both a literary and Neurohumanities perspective. Her research project engages with challenging poetic works that exhibit both verbal and visual elements, and considers how exploring poetry studies and experimental psychology simultaneously has the potential to benefit both disciplines. She is especially interested in the ideological and methodological quandaries that arise when conducting interdisciplinary research, and is excited by the burgeoning interest in Neurohumanities evident in Trinity’s current research culture.

Amelia received her B.A. in English Literature and Philosophy from Trinity in 2017, and subsequently worked for Trinity’s Development and Alumni Office for a year before commencing PhD research in 2018.


Website:  https://www.tcd.ie/trinitylongroomhub/whats-on/details/2020/art-and-science-reading-group.php

Social media:  https://twitter.com/ameliamcconv

Francesca is a cognitive neuroscientist whose research focuses on identifying and addressing risk factors

for dementia. She holds a BA in Psychology and PhD in Neuroscience from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. She currently works as a Post-doctoral Researcher at the Global Brain Health Institute, Trinity College Dublin. Francesca also has a strong interest in developing creative engagement initiatives to promote brain health and life-long well-being. In 2018, she co-authored a popular science book, Why Science Needs Art (Routledge, UK).


Website:  https://www.gbhi.org/profiles/francesca-farina

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As CEO of Sing Ireland Dermot O’Callaghan is responsible for delivering on Sing Ireland’s vision, strategy, and remit. He builds relationships with stakeholders, funders, and partners.

Dermot’s career to date has also seen him work with Opera Theatre Company and Chamber Choir Ireland. He has worked as a choral and orchestral conductor, vocal and instrumental teacher, and as a facilitator and holds a B.A., B.Mus. and M.A. in Arts Management. Dermot is also the President of the European Choral Association.


Website:  www.singireland.ie

Social Media:  https://twitter.com/Sing_Ireland