Minister Madigan welcomes HEADSPACE 2018 – a celebration of scientific and creative investigation into brain health as part of the Creative Ireland Programme

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD, today (Friday) welcomed HEADSPACE 2018 – a two day programme of free conversations, performances and creative collaborations taking place in Trinity College Dublin on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th April. 

The event aims to

  • To develop Ireland’s profile as a leader in arts, neuroscience and humanities and raise awareness of pioneering research and initiatives in Ireland
  • Connect thought leaders and policy makers in health, creativity and social sectors nationally and internationally
  • Establish connections for cross disciplinary research and policy approaches in Ireland and internationally

By 2041, 22% of the population will be 65 or older.  Addressing the challenges presented by this change is key to improving health but healthcare alone can’t solve the issues.  It needs creative thinking, collaborative effort and champions across society and Government to make change happen.

 Presented in collaboration with the Creative Ireland Programme, HEADSPACE 2018 will centre on topics, debate and conversations around caring communities, research and practical cultural solutions. The aim is to come up with ideas and actionable outcomes that will inform, engage, entertain and inspire attendees and the wider community. A whole host of expert speakers will be in attendance to inform attendees on their own perspectives and suggest how their thinking might serve Ireland’s ageing population. Its creative programme features free concerts, choirs, dance and new commissions.

Speaking about HEADSPACE 2018 Josepha Madigan TD said: “There is a growing body of evidence to indicate that participation in arts and creativity can have a profoundly positive impact on our health and wellbeing. The core proposition of the Creative Ireland Programme is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal wellbeing and achievement.                                             

HEADSPACE 2018 is a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of the best of Irish and international practice in the area of science, creativity and brain health. It also offers a chance for us to learn from leading experts and practitioners who are pioneering innovation and cultural change and helping us to grow older better. This will be an important learning experience for the Creative Ireland Programme”.

Dominic Campbell, founder of Creative Aging International and curator of HEADSPACE 2018 said: “As populations live longer, and technology changes the way we live, the need for connection and belonging become more valuable. Ireland is uniquely placed in this conversation, developing prototypes needed worldwide in those areas where creative practice meets wellbeing and ageing. Headspace 2018 is about the miracle of longer old age and the potential of cultural transformation through creative and scientific collaboration

Highlights of the programme include:

  • performances by Tonnta Vocal Ensemble and Hollybrook Lodge Residential Care Centre of a new work by musician Robbie Blake, developed with Dublin’s Culture Connects, an initiative of Dublin City Council.
  • Tim Carpenter, CEO/Founder EngAGE who will share insights from his work on life-enhancing arts, wellness, lifelong learning and community building in intergenerational programmes in California;
  • Alexandra Coulter, Secretary to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (UK);
  • Professor Desmond O’Neill (Professor of Medical Gerontology, TCD) who specialises in geriatric and stroke medicine and in 2010 was awarded the All Ireland Inspirational Life Award for his work on behalf of older people.
  • Michael O’Reilly (Creative Ireland Programme) will share the vision and objectives of the Creative Ireland Programme as Ireland’s first all-of-Government creativity and wellbeing strategy
  • performance of work in progress by artist Sean Millar and Bluebell Youth and Community Centre, developed with Dublin’s Culture Connects, an initiative of Dublin City Council

Admission to all events are free but ticketed. Event details and schedule available here:



Notes to Editors:

The Creative Ireland Programme is a five-year all-of-government, culture-based initiative, led by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, that emphasises the importance of human creativity for individual, community and national wellbeing.  www.creative.ireland.ie.

HEADSPACE 2018 presents a unique opportunity for the Creative Ireland Programme to make meaningful connections into the health and wellbeing sector, to engage with international best practice in this area and to creating a strong research and policy base from which to promote and generate partnerships and resources for creativity and wellbeing initiatives.

Dominic Campbell is co-founder of Creative Aging International currently producing “Creating A New Old San Francisco” in the Contemporary Jewish Museum and HEADSPACE 2018 in Trinity College Dublin. Previously he directed the Bealtaine Festival, the world’s first nationwide arts festival celebrating creativity and ageing, was Artistic Director of Ireland’s St Patrick’s Festival raising its global profile. Currently an inaugural Atlantic Fellow for Equity and Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute, he promotes celebration as integral to transformational social strategies. http://www.creativeageinginternational.com


HEADSPACE 2018 is inspired and supported by Dementia and Neurodegeneration Network Ireland, HSE Health and Wellbeing, Global Brain Health Institute at TCD and UCSF, Trinity College Dublin, Science Foundation Ireland, Health Research Board, Welcome Foundation Institutional Strategic Support Fund and Dublin’s Culture Connects and the Creative Ireland Programme.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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