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virtual art snacks tool kit
For aged care providers

A tool kit for MPS and aged care providers for introducing Virtual Art Snacks style programs working with artists.

Virtual Art Snacks are a series of creative arts workshops designed to be presented online to residents in Multi-Purpose Services. They can go ahead rain, hail or shine.

This toolkit talks about how the program can be used with WNSWLHD Health settings and technologies.

The basics
  • All workshops are interactive.
  • A Diversional Therapist/ Activities Officer or suitable volunteer needs to be present to assist.
  • The MPS would be sent art making materials for the workshops in advance, if needed.

All sessions run through Pexip Video Conferencing which can be accessed in your conference room, laptop/computer or Wallie.

role of the Diversional Therapist/Activities Officers

Schedule: All sessions will be run through Pexip Video Conferencing which can be accessed in your conference room, laptop/computer or Wallie.

Book: Your conference room or tv screen linked to laptop through a HDMI cord OR Wallie

Check Sound: Check the sound system in the VC room, attached to your TV screen or Wallie system and ensure it is working.

Log into Pexip address 10 minutes before the session

Arrange: everyone in the room so they are facing the screen


Mandatory Documentation

A number of official documents are needed to the artist facilitators’ employment in a health context.

●      Health Code of Conduct (HCC): There are specific guidelines related to confidentiality and privacy applied to the aged-care sector. Please read this information carefully to ensure you meet the HHCC when engaged in or discussing workshop sessions to protect the privacy and agency of all participants.

●      National Police Check (NPC): Artists will need to fill out a National Police Check online.

●      Media consent form: If you intend to take photographs all participants/ carers need to sign a media release form.


Arts OutWest ‘Virtual Art Snacks Program’ has identified a set of guiding principles adapted here for the arts and health sector. These principles have been distilled through consultation with arts workers, artists, researchers, health professionals and from the National Standards for Quality Care in Aged Care in rural Multi-Purpose Services, (Standards, N. Q. a. H. S. (2021) and from Regional Arts Development Organizations, New South Wales, Key Performance Indicators.

These principles steer the program design and outcomes.

● Train arts and health workers to understand the value of meaningful experiences for consumers via active participation in artistic activities.
● Partner with Multi-Purpose Service Network, health, community and arts organisations to support promotion and delivery.
● Flexible and innovative program design to allow for virtual and face-to-face multi-site training and delivery across remote and rural locations.
● Build a community of practice in arts in health in Multi-Purpose Service settings across NSW for research and evaluation.
● Develop communities and social connections in Multi-Purpose Service settings via artistic workshops to foster emotional wellbeing and quality of life.

The Virtual Art Snacks Program seeks to address the following criteria drawn from the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards Multi-Purpose Services in aged-care.

  • Social isolation: it has been found that even when living in a residential facility with others, many aged care residents experience social isolation and need to find shared engaging activities in which they are interested in participating.
  •  Assisting activities officers in aged care who currently do not have skills or training in creative activities.
  •  Supporting carers and building communication between carers and residents, even if in Covid-19 lockdown.
  • Keeping older minds engaged and cognitively active.
  • Removing the barrier of high costs of creative activity in remote locations.
  • Making health settings better environments for residents and workers.
  • Developing a trained workforce of artists and health staff

Arts OutWest is open to fee-for-service arrangements around training artists in design and delivery of Virtual Art Snacks sessions.

Kathleen Hilliar
Blayney MPS
Health Service Manager

Our aged-care residents have benefited greatly from the ArtsOutWest, Virtual Art Snacks program over the past twelve months. Each week the residents look forward to socializing with each other, people from other rural MPS communities and the professional artists in meaningful art activities that foster fun and connection.

Kathleen Hilliar
Blayney MPS

On behalf of the Residents of Blayney MPS, thank you so much for the wonderful programmes that we have participated in. They have provided many special memories, many laughs and creative experiences. These opportunities were well timed due to the challenges and difficulties of covid, and they always made our residents feel happy. We will always treasure our virtual sessions and our Artists in Residents sessions. We enjoyed meeting all our clever and creative artists.

Professor Catherine Hawke MBBS FFPH
The University of Sydney, Faculty of Medicine and Health School of Rural Health (Dubbo/Orange)
Head of Clinical School

Virtual Art Snacks is a wonderful project and it has been a joy to have followed its progress. The tool kit is brilliant way of making it easy for people to continue to deliver the program and the many benefits it brings to residents and staff.

Arts activities have a vital place and role in all aged care settings.

This project was supported by the Australian Government through a Regional Arts Fund Renewal Grant with some top up (for staffing) from the NSW Government’s Restart fund.