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BNP Paribas Foundation to fund Cloudlands Dublin

Helium Arts is delighted to announce that the BNP Paribas Foundation will be funding Cloudlands at Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin, through their Smart Start programme. Cloudlands is a new performance arts and technology project produced by Helium for teenagers with chronic illnesses. The funding from BNP Paribas will facilitate the project to run for three years in Temple Street. The first phase of Cloudlands Dublin will take place between November 2012 and July 2013. Helium would like to thank Business to Arts for introducing BNP Paribas to Helium’s work.

The Smart Start programme has an annual budget of €160,000 that will be used to support eight projects in eight countries over a three-year period. All of these projects highlight the crucial role played by the practice of the arts in promoting social integration, personal fulfilment and achievement among young people. The programme aims to promote the integration of socially excluded young people through the practice of an art.

Teenagers in Temple Street will work with professional artist Rachel Tynan over a thirty week period in 2012 to develop new art works based on their ideas, interests and experiences. Cloudlands will involve elements of performance, film-making, animation and interactive storytelling. The project will also take place in Cork and Galway University Hospitals and an online creative space will be developed where artists and teenagers can share their work and collaborate across the three hospitals.

Cloudlands encourages teenagers living with chronic illnesses to engage in arts activities that do not focus on their illness and to regain a sense of control and choice over their own lives as well as offering a social outlet through connecting with teenagers in other hospitals. Award-winning artist and director Mark Storor (UK), who has worked on a number of projects in children’s hospitals, will be mentoring the artists throughout the project.

Cloudlands is part of Helium’s ongoing Artist in Residence programme, which places highly skilled professional artists on long-term residencies in hospitals all over Ireland. Cloudlands aims to promote resilience, confidence, and a reduced sense of stress among young people who have to spend significant amounts of time in hospital. Since 2009, Helium’s Artist in Residence programme has benefitted more than 600 children across 7 hospitals.

Cloudlands Dublin is produced by Helium Arts and has been funded through the BNP Paribas Foundation Smart Start Programme. Cloudlands Dublin will take place at Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin and is further supported by the Arts Council, The Ireland Funds, Dublin City Council and HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster.

Helene Hugel, Artistic Director, Helium, and Gilles de Decker, Chief Executive Officer, BNP Paribas Ireland. Photographs by Brian Farrell.

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