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Tower Seminar- Equality of Access to the Arts

February 14, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Presenters: Rebecca O’Connor, Laura Hassler

Chair: Dr Kathleen Turner

This seminar is part of a series of events marking the Clore Leadership Programme visit to the Irish World Academy, exploring the role of creativity in leadership. This discussion considers the importance of access to the arts, specifically focusing on access to music-making for people who are experiencing challenging circumstances. Two perspectives from the fields of Community Music and Music Therapy are offered. Musicians without Borders works with those impacted by war, using “the power of music for peace-building, connecting people, empowering musicians as social activists, and training local youth as change-makers.” The National Rehabilitation Hospital engages in “specialist projects, equipment and research that will help make a direct difference to the lives of the patients.”

Laura Hassler is founder and director of Musicians without Borders. Born and raised in New York, she was active in US civil rights and peace movements from an early age. She studied cultural anthropology and music, then worked for social change organizations in the US and Europe. After moving to the Netherlands in 1977, she built a career in music. In 1999, Laura mobilized a large network of socially conscious musicians
to found Musicians without Borders. Today, still drawing on this ever-broadening network, Musicians without Borders has become one of the world’s pioneers in using music to bridge divides, build community and heal the wounds of war.

Rebecca O’Connor (RGN, Dip MT, SRAT(M), MA, NMT) qualified and worked as a nurse before training as a Music Therapist. She has 26 years music therapy experience in health and education. Rebecca has established music therapy services in the UK and Ireland and set up the Music Therapy service at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dublin in 2008. She has
a Masters and a special interest in research methodologies and lectures on a number of Music Therapy MA training courses in the UK and Ireland. Rebecca has published and regularly presents at national and international conferences on her work.


February 14, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Theatre 2, Irish World Academy
Ireland + Google Map