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 and Health Lead at the World Health Organization and a co-founder of the Jameel Arts and Health Lab.  The lab is looking at the evidence base for the health benefits of the arts by building up a global network of research centers to look at effective practice as well as the foundational science of why the arts may benefit physical, mental and social wellbeing.  The emphasis of the program is supporting underserved communities around the world.  Through its Healing Arts activities, he program also engages with the global media to promote pro health messaging and build solidarity on health issues through all media.  Educated at Columbia and Oxford Universities as well as the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, after a career as a professional actor and playwright, Christopher joined the Rockefeller Foundation as their Research Manager, and from there was recruited to WHO where he lead the Health Informatics work and later their on-line communications team before starting the Arts and Health program.  As an ambassador for the field, he has also performed original pieces such as Stage 4: Cancer and the Imagination, and The Vanishing Point: A journey into Blindness and Perception, in venues around the world from the Hamwe Festival in Rwanda, to the Wellcome Collection in London, to the World Bank in DC, as well as Lincoln Center in NY, the LA Opera, LACMA, and Warner Bros Studios in LA, and the Conservatory of Music in San Francisco among many others.  The basic message of his work is to amplify the WHO definition of health which states that health is not merely the absence of disease and infirmity, but the attainment of the highest level of physical, mental and social wellbeing.



Social Media:

X:  @WHO

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopher-bailey-21072050


Daisy Fancourt is Professor of Psychobiology & Epidemiology and Head of the Social Biobehavioural Research Group at UCL (www.sbbresearch.org). Daisy studied at Oxford University and King’s College London before completing her PhD in psychoneuroimmunology at UCL and postdoctoral work at Imperial College London/RCM alongside working in the NHS. Her research focuses on the effects of social connections and behaviours on health, including social deficits (e.g. loneliness and social isolation) and social assets (e.g. community engagement, arts & cultural activities, and social prescribing).

Daisy has received over £30 million in research funding as Principal and Co-Investigator and her research has been recognised by fellowships from Wellcome and British Academy and two dozen national and international awards including from the British Science Association, Leverhulme Trust, Wellcome, British Academy, British Federation of Women Graduates, American Psychosomatic Society, AHRC, ESRC, Royal Society for Public Health and NHS England. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and Royal Society of Arts and has been named a BBC New Generation Thinker and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.

Daisy is Director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre on Arts and Health as well as a member of the WHO Technical Advisory Group on cultural and behavioural insights on health and an Expert Scientific Advisory to DCMS. She is past-director of the UKRI MARCH Mental Health Research Network (www.marchlegacy.org). During the COVID-19 pandemic, Daisy led the awarding-winning Covid-19 Social Study – the UK’s largest study into the psychological and social impact of the virus (www.covidsocialstudy.org). The study was used in real-time to inform decisions such as when to release lockdown and how to roll out the vaccine. She also directed the COVID-Minds Network: an international network of 170 longitudinal studies exploring the global mental health impact of the pandemic (www.covidminds.org). Daisy was a member of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission and the World Health Organisation Expert Group on mental health in COVID-19.

Daisy has published over 250 peer-reviewed papers, 2 books, and over a dozen book chapters and given over 40 keynotes around the world. She is listed by Clarivate as one of the most highly cited scientists in the world.

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, and Site Director of the Global Brain Health Institute at Trinity College. 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.





Social Media:

X:  @ProfLawlor

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 research assistant. She is a Global Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health in Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) Trinity College working with scientists, academics, and artists to improve brain health on a worldwide scale.  In Sep 2017 she founded ‘Making Hay Reminiscence Theatre’ 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 four 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 CRAOL Community Radio Ireland awards.  These programmes feature the voices of over a hundred guests in studio and online since January 2020 and are broadcast every Monday 6-7pm on NearFM 90.3.




Social Media:




Magda Kaczmarska, MFA (she/her, they/them) is a dance artist and creative aging thought leader who uses co-creative community dance as a vehicle for belonging and wellbeing. Magda leverages a dual background in neuropharmacology research and dance to build bridges and empower individuals and communities to be active agents in their creativity and brain health. As an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health, Magda works collaboratively with interdisciplinary leaders around the globe to advance access to creative aging programs that support brain health, belonging and artistic expression across the lifespan. She founded DanceStream Projects, a creative collective based in New York City, that cultivates transdisciplinary partnerships to provide direct ally-ship and empowerment to communities by bridging arts and health and centering dance as a catalyst for systems change. Along with Dr. Anusha Yasoda-Mohan, she leads BrainFM, a co-creative educational tool that unites dance and storytelling to learn about the brain. 

Magda mentors future leaders in the creative and health sector through 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. 




Social Media:




Dr. Anusha Yasoda-Mohan is a Global Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health and a Senior 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 Director of the International Tinnitus Research Initiative Foundation’s dissertation and communication wing (TRI Academy), which strives to take tinnitus research and clinical practices to the wider tinnitus research community. 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. Additionally, Anusha leads a community for people living with tinnitus in Ireland called Tinnitus Eire (www.tinnituseire.ie) through which she strives to bring a sense of community and belonging for tinnitus sufferers. These tie together with her vision to leverage the arts as a medium to both comprehend and communicate the working of the brain.

Google Scholar:



X: @AnushaMohan19

Instagram: @nushmo90

Facebook:  @Anusha.mohan.39

LinkedIn: @AnushaYasoda-Mohan

Over the last two decades, Ailish has worked with diverse groups within the community developing her co-creative and Dance for Health practice. Specialising in choreological studies, her work draws from exploring the complexity of human relationship and examining the lived experience of those she works with.

As Dance Artist in Residence at The National Centre for Arts and Health (2015 – 2019) Tallaght University Hospital (TUH), Ailish’s dance film documentary The Dance Back Home received a Certificate of Excellence from the HSE Excellence Awards (2018). Ailish has designed and delivered many large-scale projects nationally and her work has been kindly supported by Dance Ireland, The Arts Council, Ireland, Culture Ireland, Kildare Co. Council, South Dublin Co. Council, The Meath Foundation, The National Centre for Arts and Health among others. Ailish is the recipient of the inaugural Artist in Residence programme at The ACRE Project, Celbridge, a partnership with Kildare County Council Arts Service.



Social Media: 




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.





Social media:



Dr Amelia McConville obtained her PhD in 2023 from Trinity College Dublin, where she conducted interdisciplinary research on visual poetry and poetics with Neurohumanities, funded by the Irish Research Council’s Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship, and was jointly supervised across the School of English and Institute of Neuroscience. She is the co-founder and co-host of the podcast series, The Art+Science Salon, and is interested in public engagement and cultural criticism: she was recently involved with the inaugural Beta Festival in an assistant curatorial role. She works for DARIAH-EU, the European Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts & Humanities, and is currently based in Berlin. 



Social media:  

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amelia-mcconville-phd-874157138

X:  @ameliamcconv  and @ArtPlusSciSalon

Instagram:  Instagram @artplussciencesalon

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

Social Media:




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