NI Mental Health | Arts & Film Festival

NI Mental Health | Arts & Film Festival

Tuesday 16 – Monday 29 May 2017

Our fourth festival programme draws together artistic and social-care strands for a fortnight of discussion, expression and creation, recognising the power of the arts to transform our inner lives and society at large.

VISUAL ARTS | ‘Time to Change’ Group Exhibition – Arts & Disability Forum will host this curated by Ciara O’Malley & Hugh O’Donnell. Join us for the lunchtime launch on the 16th, an artist conversation on the 25th & Late Night Art on 01 June. (16 May – 16 June)

FILM | Second Chance for Change and Soul Shorts – Two evenings of short films at the QFT by filmmakers from NI and the Netherlands, each giving unique, involving or buoyant perspectives on mental-health issues (16th & 18th May)

SPOKEN WORD | Red Pill Showcase and Tenx9 Storytelling Night – We partner with two local powerhouses for nights of storytelling, spoken word and music at the Sunflower Pub and Black Box (20 & 24 May)

POETRY | Shelley Tracey and Geraldine O’Kane & Colin Dardis of Poetry NI lead groundbreaking and compassionate poetry workshops and showcase work by delightful, driven poets at Arts & Disability Forum and EastSide Arts (27 May)

THEATRE | PLEASE: a premiere performance | Research by Carolyn Blair is the source for a brand-new work of theatre at the Brian Friel Theatre, blending movement and sonic design to illuminate interviews with women who have survived eating disorders. Featuring Leonie McDonagh (Ponydance) with vocals by Mary Jordan and Mary-Frances Doherty, music by Marty Byrne, choreography by Aoife McGrath & dramaturgy by Emily DeDakis (29 May) ABOUT THE FESTIVAL In 2013, a wide range of individuals from arts, academic, social work, and faith organisations kicked off the very first NI arts festival focussed on mental health issues. The festival team is diverse, crosscommunity, and cross-sector, providing a really exciting opportunity for people from very different backgrounds and opinions to work together in creating something nationwide from scratch. NIMHAFF exists to:

  • Celebrate and promote mental health, sparking conversation & innovative artworks
  • Challenge stigma and correct mental-health inequalities in the care system
  • Forge connections between artists, community organisations and the wider public
  • Reach those often missed by both the arts and health-education models
  • Support recovery and wellbeing, and reduce self-stigma via active creativity
  • Create enduring partnerships and projects that stretch beyond each festival



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