The Mental Health Art & Culture Festival, presented by First Quinzaine, will run until January 16.

First Fortnight presents the Mental Health Art & Culture Festival, a collection of events aimed at destigmatizing mental health through conversations with experts and artists. The 2022 edition will take place both virtually and in person.

Now in its 11th year, the free mental health arts and culture festival features events from all disciplines. With workshops led by Galway-based sculptor artist Glenn Gibson and a panel on mental health reform on Britney Spears; the festival explores a range of topics. A space is organized for open conversation on topics such as artistic expression and the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns on creativity.

“The past two years have opened up the conversation about mental health in new ways,” said Maria Fleming, CEO of First Fortnight. “The crucial question for the first fortnight is how the conversation has changed, if at all, in relation to the stigma attached to poor mental health.”

Other events include a live interview with the Love and Courage podcast, seeing Ruairí McKeirnan in conversation with Senator Lynn Ruane, a presentation from the Riverbank Arts Center in Newbridge hosted by mental health advocate, writer and broadcaster Keith Walsh with conversations and performances by musicians Sive, Dafe Orugbo (AKA Max Zanga), Hally and Freya Monks, and several live productions at Smock Alley Main Space in Dublin.

“Since its inception over a decade ago, the first fortnight has been envisioned as a kind of light in the dark,” Fleming said. “And so, in 2022 in a darker context than usual, we promise a bright and shiny line-up.”

In light of the new Covid restrictions, several events have been adapted to an online format, with a few postponed. All related updates can be found at firstfortnight.ie.