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Regional Arts Development Central West NSW
virtual art snacks
A new online approach to providing arts experiences in rural residential aged care

Virtual Art Snacks – is a series of interactive creative workshops with professional artists for aged-care residents in rural Multi-Purpose Services.

Commencing in 2020 in responses to COVID 19 lockdowns. The three year project delivers weekly workshops online rain hail or shine and invites residents to learn new skills, meet new people and enjoy visual arts, music, movement/dance and storytelling.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive highlighting that the workshops create social connections, foster wellbeing and are a fun and creative way to connect with residents in other rural settings across the health district.

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The Artists
The Artists

Artists facilitating Virtual Art Snacks


About Virtual Art Snacks


The research element of Arts Snacks

Dancing Memories
Dancing Memories

Artist in residence at Blayney MPS

Summer Residencies 23-24
Summer Residencies 23-24

Aged care artist residencies




More about the background, planning and funding of the program

More below:

  • Short video about the in-person residency at Blayney MPS in 2023 facilitated by Cath McNamara (video by Greer Films, created 2023).
  • Video of artist and facilitator Ro Burns talking about on her involvement in the program (created in 2021)
  • Project news stories
  • Feedback
  • Photo gallery
  • Map of the locations for the program
  • Project coordinator contact details



Ro Burns
visual artist and Virtual Art Snacks facilitator

I feel like this is just the beginning of a beautiful connection.  I especially wanted to acknowledge all the AO’s [Activity Officers at the MPSs] for the incredible work you do day in, day out.  I can hear in your voices the love and respect you have for the people in your care.  I only see the tip of the iceberg effort you make to bring all those willing to the room for Art Snacks.  I can only imagine the energy it must take to prepare for the sessions or each day in general, especially now.  Thank you for being INCREDIBLE

Ro Burns
visual artist and Virtual Art Snacks facilitator

This program benefits so many and the eventual potential for a national roll out is great and so needed, not just in MPS, but to help those at home with carers (or without a carer but living alone).

MPS resident

Everyone made a work, some were very connected lines, most overlapping. Jim* held his up and coyly said “It’s scribble” AO asked him if he enjoyed making it and he said yes.

Rob Shannon
Musician and Virtual Art Snacks facilitator

One of the greatest elements of the Art Snacks program is its ability to connect communities that are geographically distant, (and initially in lockdown)and bring us all together under one creative roof. As a musician and music educator, it was such a pleasure to be able to share ideas, put the ideas into practice, and share music together. It is a rare program that reflects the need for community and creativity throughout the region.

Oberon MPS

We are all loving the three sessions a week and the Residents have been saying how much they have benefited from these.Please pass the great news onto our Performers with much appreciations from Oberon MPS. l will continue to fully support our Residents so they have a full experience of these great programs. The Residents have been enjoying meeting new peers and seeing other MPS in our area.

Cath McNamara
movement facilitator

Everyone appeared quite bright and cheerful. The mood was positive. I don’t know if it was because lockdown is ending, or they have had a little break from the program, or they feel more comfortable with us artists. It just felt very familiar and safe and warm…

Cath McNamara
Virtual Art Snacks artist-in-residence Blayney MPS

For the residents, working with an artist in person created a sense of purpose and challenge. Some residents talked about  “getting better” after connecting, laughing and engaging in a workshop. One participant said, “…we can go ‘round the wards… maybe we’ll cheer them up so much, they’ll all get better!”

Cath McNamara
Virtual Art Snacks artist-in-residence Blayney MPS

The beauty of combining contemporary dance methods with their personal stories helped participants see and experience value when their ordinary movements were adapted into dance. The method was relatable, and easily adopted as a way to preserve their own stories and the stories of others. “Our brains are really going!”, one resident commented.


Kate Smith
Arts & Health Projects and Research Officer