Friday, October 02, 2020

Public health specialist Dr Gabriel Scally, who will be the guest speaker at the Well Festival Keynote Event: Why Arts? Dr Scally will offer his perspective on the importance of the arts in these challenging times of Covid-19 in an online conversation with journalist Jennifer O’Connell.

THE Well Festival of Arts and Wellbeing has announced that public health specialist Dr Gabriel Scally will be the guest speaker at the inaugural Well Festival Keynote Event: Why Arts? this Monday, October 5 at 7pm in Garter Lane Arts Centre. Admission is free but registration is essential from Waterford Healing Arts Trust (051) 842664 / [email protected] or see or

A native of Belfast, Dr Gabriel Scally is currently visiting Professor of Public Health at the University of Bristol, and President of the Epidemiology and Public Health section of the Royal Society of Medicine. Dr Scally is also a member of the Independent SAGE, a group of scientists in the UK dedicated to providing open and independent advice on navigating Covid-19. In Ireland, he is well known for his independent report into the CervicalCheck screening programme. Earlier this year, Dr Scally served on an Advisory Group set up by the Arts Council to identify ways for the arts sector to deal with the pandemic.

Dr Scally will be in conversation with Jennifer O’Connell, staff features writer and opinion columnist with The Irish Times, and a reflection will be offered by Anne Woodworth. Well-known in Waterford, Anne is a professional singer, choral director, music educator, Chair of the Symphony Club of Waterford and outgoing Chair of Waterford Healing Arts Trust.

Journalist with The Irish Times Jennifer O’Connell, who will chair the Well Festival Keynote Event: Why Arts? with guest speaker Dr Gabriel Scally.

Announcing details of the inaugural Well Festival Keynote Event, Claire Meaney, Director of Waterford Healing Arts Trust, said “We are thrilled and honoured to welcome Dr Gabriel Scally to this year’s festival.  This year, more than ever, we have been reminded how valuable the arts are for lifting spirits and nurturing our wellbeing.  Those of us working in the arts can see this every day, but with our Keynote Event we thought it would be exciting to ask a well-known medical professional for their view.  Dr Scally wrote an excellent piece on the potential of the arts for the recent Arts Council Report Survive, Adapt, Renew, so, together with our festival partners Garter Lane Arts Centre and Waterford City and County Libraries, we are really looking forward to hearing what he has to say.”

This Keynote Event is part of the Well Festival of Arts and Wellbeing 2020. Taking place in Waterford from Monday 5 to Saturday 10 October, the festival features an exciting line-up of almost 50 fun, free, inventive and sociable arts events for all ages. In this, its eighth year, the festival presents musicians, artists, poets, theatre makers, filmmakers and dancers, a programme of Wellies, the festival’s events for younger audiences and Renew, a new programme strand for older audiences. The full Festival programme is available from See also the Well Festival promo trailer below and the Well Festival also on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Anne Woodworth, well-known in Waterford arts circles, will offer a reflection at the Well Festival Keynote Event: Why Arts?

The Well Festival of Arts and Wellbeing is funded by the Arts Council, the HSE and Waterford City and County Council, with generous support from Sanofi.  Renew: Arts and Older People, the new programme strand for 2020, is funded by Creative Ireland under their Creativity in Older Age programme. The festival is presented by Waterford Healing Arts Trust, Garter Lane Arts Centre and Waterford City and County Libraries.

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