The establishment of the NSW Health and the Arts Taskforce last year by the NSW Minister for Health, the Hon Jillian Skinner MP, has led to an exponential increase in interest in how the arts can be utilised within healthcare settings and in health promotion. Over the last ten years I have sought to advance the creative arts in interdisciplinary research and practice while building a knowledge base supporting and informing professionals about the research and varied methodologies and how we work creatively across disciplines to offer hope for change and improve quality of life for individuals and communities.
I presented a keynote for the Arts Based Research Network, Acadia, Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, A Pond of Interdisciplinary Opportunity, followed the next year by the course Problems in Education Research in Creativity (MEd Curriculum Studies) and a keynote for the Acadia School of Education Summer Institute, Navigating the Tides of Challenge and Change through the Creative Arts in Education and Research.
Other forms of activity, such as creating original new work (for example, a composer in residence creating new work in response to a residency in a dementia facility) are named as such, in this paradigm as Artist Residency rather than having to fight for existence within a participatory or collaborative arts milieu.
We have recently created additional opportunities for research and knowledge dissemination for those who wish to share related news and research developments with our worldwide readership through custom developed supplementary issues through our IJCAIP Supplementary Issues Programme.
Of particular importance has been the development of an academic track, with the first papers on arts and health from any Irish hospital published in the biomedical literature, as well as the development of a course to train artists to work in a healthcare environment.