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Ann O'Connor

The Edge Effect – Arts and Health Practice and Policy in Ireland

The term edge effect describes diversity of life in the region where the edges of two adjacent ecosystems overlap. In her presentation, Ann will describe the development of arts and health practice in the Republic of Ireland and explore the characteristics of this distinct & continually evolving space between the edges of arts and health. In particular, Ann will focus on the Arts Council’s role in the development of practice and policy in this dynamic area.

Ann O'ConnerAnn O'Connor

As a Collaborative Arts Consultant, Ann works in a dynamic and continually evolving space where the arts intersect with contexts such as health, disability, cultural diversity and community development.

She works in a range of capacities (including adviser, researcher, evaluator, coordinator, curator, producer & mentor) with artists, arts organisations and other partners from the arts, community, state, semi-state and third level sectors.

Ann is currently Arts Participation Adviser to the Arts Council of Ireland. She was previously Arts and Health Adviser to the Council from 2008 - 2014. Prior to becoming a Consultant, Ann was Arts Coordinator with the Health Service Executive in Cork, southern Ireland. She also programmed and managed the Cork 2005 European Capital of Culture | Culture and Health Strand. She was Arts Development Worker with Blue Drum (a national arts and community development org) and Sligo County Council (local government); and Cross Border Development Officer with Irish Rural Link (a national rural development org). Ann has a HDip in Youth and Community Work and a Degree in Fine Art. She worked as a Visual Artist in community and health contexts for many years.

Particular areas of interest and expertise include intergenerational arts practice, arts and mental health, cross border / sector partnership and collaboration.