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News

According to mental health charity Mind's analysis of NHS Digital figures, numbers for urgent and emergency referrals of people in crisis increased by 15% between March and July.  Read more.
The Rugby League World Cup 2021 has teamed up with Community Integrated Care (a national social care charity) for a compeition – open to anyone who accesses social care – to design the official Christmas card for the tournament.
In our consultation for Curating for Change we have been talking to D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people about the barriers they have faced in getting work within museums. The lack of flexibility with working conditions alongside environmental barriers have been cited on several occasions as reasons for why they have not managed to access roles in the past. The move towards remote working is something that many disabled people and those with long term health conditions have been hoping for, and the pandemic has proven this is entirely possible.
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Image of the front door of St Margaret's House in Bethnal Green
Diana Sorban
I’m not often asked to write something for a blog so when Jenni Regan (London Arts in Health) asked me during a Zoom meeting to write a blog post about how St Margaret’s House has started to reopen to the public as we emerged through lockdown, I said yes. Then afterwards started to think and ponder – how do I go about this?
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a drawing of the lower half of someone's legs on the sand, surrounded by lines in the sand
Viv Gordon Co
We’re planning the launch event and catching up on the related social media campaign #MyLineInTheSand that invites people to post words of hope, rage and solidarity to stand with survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). We’re busy contacting anyone and everyone who can help to promote the work - arts colleagues, survivor charities and survivor artists, activists and academics.
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An image of the writer Maxwell A. Ayamba
An image of the writer Maxwell A. Ayamba
...people from minoritized communities suffer disproportionately from structural and systemic racism in education, health, jobs, housing, poor quality environments, which are all triggers of mental ill-health. Therefore, the question of leisure and recreation or accessing natural spaces is the last thing on the minds of the underprivileged, especially where the landscapes do not reflect people’s cultural origins or values.
CHWA is leading a consortium with London Arts in Health, Arts & Health South West and the NPAG for Arts, Design & Heritage in Healthcare as part of the Julie’s Bicycle Accelerator programme (you can
Feed into the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Tackling Loneliness Network's task force, exploring how life can be improved for older people during the pandemic.
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Hear and Now 2019 in Bedford, co-produced by Orchestras Live and the Philharmonia Orchestra © Beth Walsh
Hear and Now 2019 in Bedford, co-produced by Orchestras Live and the Philharmonia Orchestra © Beth Walsh
An invitation on behalf of the international Music for Social Impact research project fun
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Messages left on the grass wall in 'Nature Calls' - the finale exhibition of Paintings in Hospitals 'Art in Large Doses' project - Photo by Glenn Michael Harper
Messages left on the grass wall in 'Nature Calls' - the finale exhibition of Paintings in Hospitals 'Art in Large Doses' project - Photo by Glenn Michael Harper
Changes in approaches to evaluating creative activities delivered remotely or online during COVID-19 have been prompted by increased flexibility from funders and the continuing need to find appropriate, accessible and sustainable ways to access participant experience. These are two of the findings uncovered through a recent curated online conversation, hosted by Willis Newson, Creative and Credible, Arts and Health South West and the Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance, in association with Professor Norma Daykin and Dr Karen Gray.
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Soap carving swirls
Hannah Ayre, Prescribe Culture
Prescribe Culture: a heritage-based, non-clinical mental health programme by Ruthanne Baxter, Museums Service Manager, Edinburgh University  
A national arts programme for NHS hospital staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
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Nurses surround a baby in hospital, smiling
Ex Cathedra
In an extraordinary piece of timing, UK leading choir Ex Cathedra was working with Singing Medicine patients and Birmingham Children’s Hospital Chaplaincy Team before anyone had heard of coronavirus, to create what is thought to be the world’s first hospital-wide children and young people’s virtual patient choir, called the Lifting Spirits Choir.
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Head gardener Kate Robinson crouches in the Charterhouse garden
The Charterhouse (Head gardener Kate Robinson)
Here at the Charterhouse, like everywhere else, we keep trying to settle into a new ‘normal’ and then everything changes again…
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“Snow Leopard” from my illustrated mind, by Kathryn Watson
“Snow Leopard”, from my illustrated mind, by Kathryn Watson
I’ve never studied art; I come from a medical background and did a PhD in microbiology. My world was about numbers, statistics, looking for tried and tested patterns, and grouping things into distinct categories. Absolutely these approaches have a place, and are especially essential when needing to rapidly process large amounts of information in high risk environments. But it didn’t give me a good way to process my inner world of chaotic and conflicting thoughts and feelings. Thankfully illustration did.
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Branching Out artwork by Ruth Flanagan
Branching Out, artwork by Ruth Flanagan
Do you believe in the power of creativity and culture to transform health and wellbeing? Are you passionate about and committed to amplifying the voice of lived experience and challenging inequality? Do you have the time and expertise to guide a fledgling organisation with co-production at its heart?
We are a group of researchers and organisations funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to understand how people have occupied themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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History Club, Doncaster Heritage. Photo: James Mulkeen
History Club, Doncaster Heritage. Photo: James Mulkeen
History, Health and Happiness’s first impact report was published this summer... the data says they can infer that “participants are experiencing new levels of connectedness and are building their relationships within their community”. Participants are also “well engaged in project activities and learning things that are new to them”.
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Amarno Inai
Amarno Inai
" I never put labels on it...whenever I felt bad, or good, I would draw."
The Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance is working with partners across culture, health and wellbeing to build evidence of the work being done by creative and cultural practitioners and organisations around the country to support health and wellbeing during Covid-19. We are gathering this information with the following aims:
The Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance is a national membership organisation for everyone invested in the relationship between creativity, culture, health and wellbeing. Our vision is a healthy world powered by our creativity and imagination. We are an organisation driven by the collective power of our members.
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pillcases filled with
I truly believe that when we normalise difference we enter a much more just and equal world. We all have mental health, that’s a fact - so shouldn’t we all acknowledge this hidden truth, accept that we might have mental ill health at some point and stop being afraid of the unknown?
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A man and woman dance together
Dance to Health Birmingham - Andy Barker
With the health, social and economic tragedy of Covid-19, we must move on fast and on a much larger scale. We have many brilliant artists in this country ready and able to make a vital contribution.
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"What I've missed during lockdown" - a colourful image of a hand with words written onto each finger: "not worrying, hugging, feeling carefree"
"What I've missed during lockdown", Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Trust
I only started the role in September 2019 so was still in the process of getting to know the trust and its service users and staff when Covid 19 stopped things in their tracks. Suddenly all the plans for joint working were put on hold as sectors shut down and the idea of actual face-to-face networking seemed strange, incongruent and old fashioned.
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a composite image showing a laptop, a postcard being putin a letterbox, and Loreto with half her face obscured by a yellow balloon
I have been in art and wellbeing practice for a long time. Often my work has elements that hope to bring to discussing wellbeing. But to be more precise I was part of a network meeting at Fiztwilliam Museum Cambridge in 2017, organised by Culture Health & Wellbeing Alliance, where I leant about the work that has been done in the East region and got to meet locals who were interested and/or working already in the health and art sector.
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a photo of equipment from a creativity kit - instructions, scissors, glue, a pencil and sharpener
Jasmine O’Hare for Cut and Stick Together, Arts Development Company
We would like to ask you about whether and how you have found the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance useful since our last survey (April 2019).
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Dancing in Driveways- Charlotte Armitage
Dancing in Driveways, Charlotte Armitage
Please see links to the available support and detailed information and guidance on who can apply below:
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logo for Singing for Health Network
This year will see the launch of a Singing for Health Network for practitioners, researchers and anyone interested or involved in Singing for Health and Well-being. The overarching aim of the Network is to bring Singing for Health intelligence under one roof and forge closer links between research and practice.
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Cover page for the report featuring the logo and funders logos
The Arts & Health Hub is a supportive and non-competitive network for artists interested in or working in the arts and health sector.
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Joanna Brinton, GOSH Family Arts Week
GOSH Arts
Hospital Habitats invites young people to re-imagine their hospital as an environment for wildlife, and comes out of Something &Son’s long term project The Manuals which explores a new culture where humans create rather destroy ecosystems through our daily actions. The project is open to all young people – please share it with your patients and partners: www.gosh.nhs.uk/wards-and-departments/departments/gosh-arts/resources/how-can-hospitals-become-more-sustainable
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John Humm, Being-Opposite-Illness. The work, using self-portraiture and digital techniques, explores how focusing on the bodily experiences of others may estrange doctors from their own bodies. © John Humm
John Humm, Being-Opposite-Illness. © John Humm
Each year, students on the BSc Medical Sciences with Humanities, Philosophy and Law at Imperial College London produce a project on a topic of their choice. As one of the tutors on the course, it’s always a treat for me to see the breadth and originality of these topics. ... This year, of course, was rather different. ...
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Dr Sidrah Muntah performing
Dr Sidrah Muntah. Photo: Salam Jones
Although trained as a clinical psychologist, I became interested in the therapeutic value of music a few years ago when I began learning indian raga singing. This is a very meditative spiritual style of singing requiring use of breathing control, focus on keeping the voice steady and being grounded within oneself.
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A photograph of a performer singing and holding a guitar at Tramlines 2019; Dan Bale, Open House Pictures
Tramlines 2019; Dan Bale, Open House Pictures
Steve Rimmer of SME of the Week and DigitalHealth.London Launchpad company, The Ticket Bank, explains how the company is giving free event tickets to people who normally wouldn’t be able to access them and talks about the company’s transition into NHS social prescribing and social care...
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portrait of Tom George
My current path began in 2013 when I started to started to explore mindfulness and related spiritual approaches to mental health, and since then my creative output has gradually shifted towards creating things that are nurturing and healing in intention. I began running writing workshops incorporating mindfulness, plus regular meditation sessions. I have since worked with lots of organisations who share this ethos, helping people in the community to nurture their wellbeing through creativity, spirituality and generally coming together.
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Artwork by Lorna Collins
Artwork by Lorna Collins
During the Covid 19 emergency many professionals in the culture and health field have pulled out all the stops to support the communities they are close to.  Others have lost some or even all of their work or have been disconnected through the furlough scheme.  And now, the future is at best uncertain. 
Arts, Creativity and Health: A Special Issue for the Journal ‘Public Health’
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a woman discusses a picture at the Crocker Museum with a group of seated women
Crocker Museum, Sacramento, California
Seeking participants for new online study to find out.
The way artists respond to crises, the DIY reinvention of projects and activities, is often celebrated, but sometimes it looks like artists thrive in difficult conditions. Rather it is important to understand that the arts have particular understandings of improvisation. The practice of artists can sometimes be overlooked (seen as a ‘black box’), with the outcomes being the focus of evaluation.
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Self portrait in gouache and fine liner- Ali Bird
Self Portrait, Ali Bird
Working alongside NHS colleagues was enlightening... It instilled in me a desire to take the skills and knowledge I had acquired and use them more widely. This is what I love to do-to encourage people to discover their creativity and the benefits to wellbeing that accompany it.
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Kelly and a colleague sit at a table, Kelly is laughing
I first found creativity at the age of 25 – I had moved to a new town to be with my boyfriend but knew no one and nothing. I had experienced high anxiety in the past but understood now that if I didn’t keep my time and my mind occupied I wouldn’t survive and the move would be pointless. So that’s what I did.
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Sunita Thind
Sunita Thind
"You can take all that negative energy and channel it into something exquisite that is expressive like a poem, story, song or piece of art."
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Sewing through the pandemic sample
Sewing through the pandemic, Changing Lives
At Changing Lives, we support women who face the most disadvantage in our communities.
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Dancing in Driveways- Charlotte Armitage
Dancing in Driveways, Charlotte Armitage
A participant of Dancing in Driveways in Sheffield describes how a dance artist's gesture to help her street has transformed community spirit and health.
The Royal Society for Public Health and Beatfreaks have both pointed to a rise in mental health concerns amongst young people during covid, based on surveys of 5,000 adults and 1,500 young people respectively. Beetfreaks also learnt that 1 in 5 young people are using creativity to support their mental health.
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Natasha Trotman
Days can range from turbo-charged crafting session, to Makaton-fuelled sensory stories, to coding Raspberry Pis for digital interactions and engagements, to writing a research paper ...My work is broad and varied. I recall a Ted Talk by Emilie Wapnick on the term she coined – ‘multipotentialite’. This comes close to explaining my interests, skill-set and approach.
‘Art Psychotherapy: Innovative practice and new perspectives’ (working title) aims to capture the range of current activity in the 
In April and May 2020, 220 culture, health and wellbeing organisations and practitioners responded to a survey about their work, coordinated by:
by Lizzie Crump, What Next? National Strategic Lead
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logo for Dawn Chorus
Creative Aging International (CAI) was started with the ideas of “making with” and “making for” at its core.
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‘Dads and Sons’ performing at ZoieLogic Dance Theatre’s Headfunk 2019 Photo credit: Matt Pear
‘Dads and Sons’ performing at ZoieLogic Dance Theatre’s Headfunk 2019 Photo credit: Matt Pear
A conversation between Victoria Hume (Director, CHWA) and Liz Ellis (Policy Project Manager, National Lottery Heritage Fund) Victoria: This year in a beautiful piece of synergy, Creativity and Wellbeing Week, theme Positive Futures, runs alongside Mental Health Awareness Week, theme Kindness.
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"What I've missed during lockdown" - a colourful image of a hand with words written onto each finger: "not worrying, hugging, feeling carefree"
"What I've missed during lockdown", Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Trust
The Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance is gathering evidence of the sector's response to covid. We are currently calling for case studies of work that has been happening in health and care institutions during covid. Deadline: Friday 23 October.
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Manchester Museums- Spoons
Manchester Museums
Kids in Museums is a charity funded by Arts Council England as a Sector Support Organisation for the museum sector.
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Our Day Out, Creative Arts East- participants dancing
Our Day Out, Creative Arts East
In 2017, CAE received Spirit of 2012 funding to deliver Our Day Out, a unique dementia-friendly creative arts initiative for rurally-isolated older people. The initial three-year programme (2017-19) provided opportunities for people to engage creatively through fortnightly dementia-friendly, inclusive and interactive music and movement workshops in rural communities across Breckland and North Norfolk.
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Two people dancing in a care home
Live Music Now: A Choir in Every Care Home
At Live Music Now, our work at hundreds of care homes, hospitals and special schools stopped immediately because of the necessary and vital separation.
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Logo for Creativity & Wellbeing Week
Creativity & Wellbeing Week (18-24 May 2020) is giving us a snapshot of amazing work happening across the country. Working to our festival theme of Positive Futures, some of our contributors have organised digital events, and many others have told us about their work and organisations.
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Embroidery by Geraldine Montgomerie - featuring the words "we can't go back to where we were"
Geraldine Montgomerie
by Geraldine Montgomerie, Project Support Officer | Leeds Arts, Health and Wellbeing Network  
Results from the survey will be added to this page as we analyse them. --------------
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A nurse wearing personal protective equipment
Performing Medicine is a charitable organisation delivering creative training programmes for healthcare professionals and students. In the last few days Performing Medicine has published its Circle of Care – "a relational framework for care" – and new guidance for NHS staff wearing PPE, based on advice from actors used to working in heavy costume.
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photograph of a sign in a woodland. The sign says "Find the smallest movement". (Signs of Life by Rachel Howfield Massey. Photo by Pete Massey)
Signs of Life by Rachel Howfield Massey. Photo credit: Pete Massey
Health inequalities due to social determinants have all too often been neglected by policy makers and now inevitably the most vulnerable are the worst hit by social isolation and its consequences. No-one is claiming that connection to nature can compensate for this serious, structural inequality, but it may help ameliorate some symptoms of anxiety, loneliness and stress.
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 High Peak Community Arts’ Project eARTh; participants working with artist Caro Inglis
High Peak Community Arts’ Project eARTh; participants working with artist Caro Inglis
Suddenly, it seems that all art is about health. Cultural organisations and creative practitioners everywhere in the world have been responding to covid-19 with the huge variety of perspectives that you might expect. Some responses are critical, some are there to promote health guidance, some take a longer view of how the virus reveals about humanity...
The APPG – co-chaired by Baroness Deborah Bull and Chi Onwurah MP – is working with King’s College London, University of Edinburgh and the Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre (led by Nesta) on a year-long project looking at ‘what works’.
On 26 March we published a brief snapshot report on the culture, health and wellbeing sector and its immediate concerns for the short and longer term.
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Close up of Mum's hand- embroidering
Mah Rana
' I enjoy creating a well-making space in my mother’s home where both my mother and I can breathe, de-stress, and attend to self-care through acts of creativity.' A reflective blog from artist/researcher and carer Mah Rana exploring the power of creating well-making spaces in unsettling times.
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picture of a young person's hand, drawing a detailed picture of a cat
42nd Street
Conversation between Hayley Youell and Julie McCarthy, Great Place Manager for Greater Manchester Combined Authority, 16 April 2020  
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a cartoon of facilities manager Jackie Marriot as the superhero 'domestic goddess'
Matt Roberts for Air Arts
All of our staff are working really hard at the moment and need to feel our immense gratitude for what they do. So many people are going above and beyond and we wanted to celebrate those people who were inspiring others and being such a positive force so we decided to turn them into super heroes.
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Scroll containing a perpetual calendar with illuminated sections. Ruzname-i dairevi - astronomical tables for both the Arebi (Islamic) and Rumi (Julian) calendars providing chronological accounts of seasonal change, entry of the sun into signs of the zodiac, times of summer and sunset.
MS Ottoman Turkish 3. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
…if you’ve self-isolated over years as I’ve done, you do slow down to a very, very different pace. The following is an interview with Gilly Angell, a founding member of the LENS group, from 31 March 2020  
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Equal Arts Carers’ Cultural Adventures’ Group flying their handmade Korean flags Photographer Dani Giddins
Equal Arts Carers’ Cultural Adventures’ Group flying their handmade Korean flags. Photographer Dani Giddins
All of us are still thinking through the implications of this immense international crisis. In the spirit of offering up questions and sharing what is currently influencing our thinking, we're sharing here a few blogs and articles, and works of art, from people who have been taking a step back and reflecting on the experience and implications of covid-19.
UCL Behavioural Science & Health has launched a study into the psychological and social effects of Covid-19 in the UK.
The Isle is Full of Noises from Hearing the Voice on Vimeo.
The Health Foundation and the Institute for Health Equity have launched their report Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On, showing that health inequalities are increasing. Culture remains largely absent from its the recommendations, although the report
While great strides have been taken in research into participant experiences of Arts in Health, there has so far been very little exploration of practitioners’ perspectives (Naismith, 2019). This study will investigate the experiences of Arts in Health practitioners/ artists working in health, social care and participatory settings.
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Participants at the Winter School, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
Participants at the Winter School, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (c) Bart de Nil
From Monday January 27 until Friday January 31 2020 professionals from Belgium, Canada, Israel, Hong Kong, Italy, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Canada gathered at Great Museum North: Hancock in Newcastle for a unique training week on the deployment of cultural heritage for outreach activities with a focus on wellbeing.
As many of you will have seen, Arts Council England has published its new strategy: Let's Create. Like the National Lottery Heritage Fund's strategic funding framework (published last year) it is full of references to health and wellbeing. This has not come from nowhere. The Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance would like to acknowledge the hard work of all our members and partners, and everyone else who took part in the ACE consultation process, whether they went to meetings or responded online, and made the case for considering health and wellbeing, as well as supporting the broader shift towards inclusive, participatory creative and cultural practice. All this has led to what Nicholas Serota refers to in his introduction as "the dissolving of barriers between artists and the audiences with whom they interact".
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Hear and Now 2019 in Bedford, co-produced by Orchestras Live and the Philharmonia Orchestra © Beth Walsh
There is now substantial research and evidence, which shows that taking part in performing arts activity brings benefits for older people living longer. TV programmes such as the BBC’s Our Dementia Choir illustrate beautifully the power music can have in reducing the impact of symptoms such as depression and agitation, and in turn the isolation that those living with dementia feel. These improvements in quality of life can often be greater than any symptom control provided by drugs, which are hugely expensive to the NHS over the lifespan of an individual’s illness.
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"D-iagnosis", an image of two faces representing anguish after a dementia diagnosis, and the potential for engaging with the arts to create a more positive state of mind
“D-IAGNOSIS! Arts to Preserve Wellbeing” has been commissioned from artist Jane Frere by Arts 4 Dementia.
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A group of teenagers seated on the floor during a workshop run by Claire Newton
Photo by Rich Kenworthy
I do find when I work from home it’s easy to just keep going until you’re exhausted but I make sure I have breaks where I might just sit in the garden with a cup of tea for 5 minutes, do some yoga at lunchtime or go for a long walk at the end of the day to switch off.
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Heart painting by participants from Creative Potential CIC
Creative Potential CIC
The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance in partnership with Derby City Council is looking to commission an East Midlands' artist to create artworks for the CHWA 2020 Awards
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Picture of Sally Middleton
Sally Middleton
The experiences in libraries, as well as my training in social work, convinced me that culture and the arts could potentially help many more people than traditional social work. I am committed to gathering together even more of an evidence base to prove the link between well-being and participation in heritage and culture.
In partnership with Arts Development at Derby City Council we are offering 10 free spaces to attend A Culture of Care to freelance creative practitioners and carers who live, or whose practice, is based in Derby.
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Art walk with Creative Recovery
Photo by Charlotte Armitage for Creative Recovery
The Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance is joining forces with the Network for Arts, Heritage and Design in Hospitals, Arts & Health South West, and London Arts & Health to be on the new Julie's Bicyle Acceler
Summary: This workshop will explore key principles and methodologies for evaluating arts for health and wellbeing programmes, examining the opportunities and challenges linked to embedding evaluation best practice appropriately, creatively and robustly.
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Two children cooking at Norfolk libraries
Kiddy Cook event, Norfolk libraries
Part of my role is ...supporting libraries so they can deliver health and wellbeing activities, ranging from regular groups such as colour me calm, to one off activities like wellbeing days with the library smoothie bike!
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a young man and an older woman laughing together
Live Music Now: LIBOR concerts 2017-18
by Alan Dix, Artistic Director 509 Arts This was originally a talk given by Alan at the Creative Arts and Dementia Conference, MAC Birmingham, on 24 September 2019. The featured image above is from Live Music Now's LIBOR concerts.
The University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine is working with Ulster University to map the range of arts and cultural practices with patients in palliative care internationally.
Please find responses linked below from: The Museums Association on all the parties' manifestos
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Picture of Museum Dr Guislain
VisitGent
Cultural Heritage for Mental Health will bring together experts from all over the world and different sectors for the second time in Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent (Belgium) on 10 and 11 December 2020.
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A picture of a Parkinson's dance class, led by Pavillion Dance South West
Parkinson's dance class, Pavillion Dance South West
The Foundation has published two significant new resources for creative ageing: Around the World in 80 Creative Ageing Projects and
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one of Jennie's works of art: Home of the microbes  / Small Planet, children's drawings, vegatable papyrus, waxed paper and recycled perspex, by Jennie Pedley. Part of Art of the Gut residency at the Quadram Institute, supported by public funding from the Arts Council England and Norfolk County Council #artofthegut
Small Planet, children's drawings, vegatable papyrus, waxed paper and recycled perspex, by Jennie Pedley. Part of Art of the Gut residency at the Quadram Institute, supported by public funding from the Arts Council England and Norfolk County Council #artofthegut
My days are spent experimenting with visuals in the studio and exploring scientific/health research ... A few days each term I work as a physiotherapist at a school for Deaf children in London. I also support a young person in my family who recently developed a couple of autoimmune diseases.
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A portrait of Deborah Munt
Ellie Grace Photography
My work is very varied. I love devising...spotting gaps and devising responses...so I tend have one foot in practice and another in strategic development and advocacy, which of course always needs doing. As my friend likes to say...’the fight is real’.
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A portrait of Thanh Sinden
Ellie Grace Photography
As chair of Museum Detox, a network for BAME museum and heritage workers I am particularly interested in looking at wellbeing through building resilience especially for people with additional emotional labour through the intersectional identities they have.
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A portrait of Esme Ward
Ellie Grace Photography
Not sure a typical day exists, no two days are the same and that’s just how I like it! There is always a lot on - mix of supporting, mobilising and connecting with people and always the challenging of balancing inside the building and outside the museum work.
Deadline: 16 December 2019 A new National Social Prescribing Special Interest Group is calling for case studies focused on activity to support the early years and 1001 days agenda and/or new mothers. The case studies will be used to compile a national handbook for commissioners on how culture can promote wellbeing in these contexts.
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A portrait of Ben Pearce
Ellie Grace Photography
My work and career has always had an intersection between something creative and something broadly around delivering social policy outcomes – e.g. heritage and participation; the built environment and community-led regeneration; artistic learning, and of course more recently, the visual arts and wellbeing.
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A picture of Rosie Dow
Ellie Grace Photography
One day I will be setting out chairs and making tea in a hospital for a singing for breathing group, the next I’ll be at an NHS research committee approving a physio dance project, then I’ll be at Soho House meeting a potential donor for lunch. Then back to the chairs again.
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Lucy Suggate's swarm sculptures (sculptures made of people) for Yorkshire Dance, photo by Andy Wood
Yorkshire Dance: Lucy Suggate's Swarm Sculptures at Juncture 2016 ©AndyWood
For the last 18 months I have had the pleasure of working with the World Health Organisation on their developing agenda around arts and health. This month, we have released the largest evidence report ever published on arts and health.
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Cover of the WHO synthesis report
A new review of evidence has been published by the World Health Organization. The synthesis report, written by Daisy Fancourt and Saoirse Finn "aims to close this awareness gap by mapping the current available evidence in the field of arts and health." The report focuses largely on the WHO European Region and collates results from over 3,000 studies.
The Repository for Arts and Health Resources was originally created by Angus McLewin and Stephen Clift of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, on behalf of the RSPH Special Interest Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing.
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Illustration of a dicsussion about climate change. Key ideas include degrowth and carbon literacy.
Tom Bailey (Arts & Minds Leeds)
The Leeds Arts Health and Wellbeing Network (LAHWN) hosted a vibrant and well-attended network event this October and generously offered us a workshop space to explore climate change with members of the network, following up on ideas generated by our
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A photo of some of the founding group: Vic McEwan, Claire Hooker, Karen Kerkhoven, Christine McMillan, Helen Zigmond, Ian Thomson, Michele Jersky, Christopher Smith.
Image: Some of the founding group. From left to right: Vic McEwan, Claire Hooker, Karen Kerkhoven, Christine McMillan, Helen Zigmond, Ian Thomson, Michele Jersky, Christopher Smith. A new Arts and Health Network has been launched for New South Wales in Australia.
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A trombonist plays for two schoolgirls
Nick Ewbank Associates were commissioned by Voluntary Arts to produce this review for BBC Music Day 2019. The paper includes discussions of the physiological benefits of music; music and empathy; and the value of music participation for both personal wellbeing and social cohesion. Key findings the paper highlights include
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Hold Exhibition at FACT Liverpool, by Invisible Flock, images Ed Waring
Hold Exhibition at FACT Liverpool, by Invisible Flock, images Ed Waring
"This is why we use technology and are constantly drawn back to it, by thinking of it in a malleable way, like a medium, it allows us to uncover new aesthetics and new ways to approach conversations and real world interactions."
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Kyunghee Kwon (program coordinator of the educational community development team at the South Korean Arts and Culture Education Service) with Frances Chiverton and Mitch Robertson at the Beaney
Beaney House of Art & Knowledge
Kyunghee Kwon, program coordinator of the educational community development team at the South Korean Arts and Culture Education Service (KACES), met the Health and Wellbeing team at the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge this September to learn more about their work.
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Astronomy: a section through the earth, showing the atmosphere. Engraving. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY
Astronomy: a section through the earth, showing the atmosphere. Engraving. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY
We're summarising here some of the discussions that took place during our first twitter chat – especially for those of you who are not on twitter (or you can find the chat on twitter here).
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Graphic illustration of some of the outcomes from the Arts Council's workshops by Zuhura Plummer
Arts Council England / Zuhura Plummer
The Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance's official response to the final draft of Arts Council England's strategy is attached here.
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pastel image by Donna Betts of two colourful figures dancing
Image by Donna Betts
In the United States, policy leaders have increasingly recognized a need for interventions and strategies to address “the whole person” (National Organization for Arts in Health, 2018, p. 2). They have urged a more integrated approach to policy development – one that can reach Americans at various stages of their lives, across generations, and in multiple community contexts. The arts are ideally suited to promote this integrated health and well-being approach.
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People taking part in the Spaces Between Walk (Creative Recovery) with Barnsley Town Hall in the background
Spaces Between Walk (Creative Recovery); photo by Charlotte Armitage
A few things you need to know about Barnsley… We are a town born of industrious makers, grafters, rebels, campaigners and creatives. 
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Nigel Downing at the Spaces Between, Barnsley, June 2017
Charlotte Armitage, Creative Recovery
" Art allows us freedom". Nigel, a poet from Barnsley, shares his experience of using creativity and culture to navigate, soothe and understand his illness and recovery.
Power and Privilege in the 21st Century Museum was devloped through the Museums Association Transformers: Diversify programme. The report aims to provide practical tools for transforming museums.
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Photograph of Evelyn Wilson
It’s so important to raise our heads above the parapet when we can, to get a sense of things afresh. I do this is by going to talks or symposia on subjects I know little about but take a broader interest in. This for me can be enriching beyond words and I’m excited as today is one of those days.
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Kima: Noise by Analema Group @ Maxilla Space, 2019
KIMA: Noise by Analema Group, 2019
How do urban noises affect our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing? From 6-8 September a new participatory art project ‘KIMA: Noise’ will explore the effects of noise on well-being through an interactive installation at Maxilla Space, North Kensington.
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Ian Solomon- Kawall at May Project Gardens
Ian Solomon- Kawall, May Project Gardens
I have been doing this (May Project Gardens) for 12 years and I'm always inspired by the transformative nature of the work we do with people and organisations.
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Millions of people in the UK can have significant difficulty in accessing museums and other cultural venues
Morgan Salisbury, Meltdown Tracker
A blog by Morgan Salisbury You’re walking round a museum, and the noise in the entrance area echoes and makes you feel like you’re in a swimming pool of random noises, pain jutting at your ears. You turn your collar up and think about getting out the ear defenders buried at the bottom of your rucksack, then realise there’s no room to put your bag down to rummage.
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Brightly coloured sculpture - Land Sea Light Koan by Liliane Lijn
Land Sea Light Koan by Liliane Lijn
I write this short reflective piece as I retire from my role as manager of Healing Arts for the Isle of Wight NHS Trust at the end of August 2019, having arrived to work with the then Isle of Wight Health Authority in June 1986.
Produced in response to the growth of the youth climate strikes in the UK, this new guide from Kids in Museums is designed to help museums support youth climate activism and collaborate with young people on events, exhibitions and debates. It was produced in partnership with Climate Museum UK, the Happy Museum Project and Julie's Bicycle.
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Photo of two people shaking hands, with their hands covered in paint after an art workshop
Arts and Minds workshops in schools (Image courtesy of Sheila Ceccarelli)
The APPG for Arts, Health & Wellbeing, Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance and Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network have partnered to publish a briefing for Integrated Care System planning.
The Directors of Age of Creativity and the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance have co-written a new article for Age UK's magazine, EngAGE. Read the article here (p.16)
The World Economic Forum journal has reported on Denmark's new 'culture vitamins' scheme to address depression:
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Rhiannon Armstrong
Image by Ben Gregory
The Slow GIF Movement seeks to make online space more inclusive with gently looping GIFs. Rhiannon Armstrong, supported by The Space and Unlimited, is pleased to announce the launch of The Slow GIF Movement on 15 August 2019, to coincide with National Relaxation Day.
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Pete Eliot directing a film
Pete Eliot
"Through the making of Instrumental Health, I interviewed so many inspiring people. It really was a massively important experience for me personally as I learnt more about myself and the mental health issues I’ve struggled with in silence for so many years."   What have you been doing today?
The National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance has published new guidance for artists and arts organisations interested in working in criminal justice settings, Enhancing arts and culture in criminal justice settings – a partnership approach.
The international conference on Storytelling and Well-being across Media Borders will be held at the University of Potsdam, Germany from 25-26 June 2020.
The Health Foundation has published an assessment of the Prevention Green Paper by David Finch.
The final regional dissemination events for Creative Health were held in Reading on 2nd May and in Ipswich on 16th May. You can watch the Reading event on YouTube and find out more about both in the APPG Annual Report (see below).
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Photo of two people shaking hands, with their hands covered in paint after an art workshop
Arts and Minds workshops in schools (Image courtesy of Sheila Ceccarelli)
"Fullscope" brings together seven organisations who support mental wellbeing in children and/or young people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Fullscope is a 3-year programme to improve provision, establish clearer opportunity pathways, and have national significance in influencing the sector as a whole. The Fullscope consortium is:
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photograph by Trish Thompson of the audience laughing at a Creative Arts East touring event during Creativity & Wellbeing Week 2019
Audience at Creative Arts East touring event. Photo: Trish Thompson
‘There is growing evidence that engagement in activities like dance, music, drama, painting and reading help ease our minds and heal our bodies. It is most encouraging to see just how much potential and ambition there is for joined up action on this vital work in Norfolk.’ Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England.
The APPG for Arts, Health & Wellbeing and Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance have produced new guidance for for STP and ICS Planning, available here.
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Community is everything! Barbara Bloomfield and Mary Everett (centre and right) lead a Growing Bolder group in Bristol for people over 55 who want to challenge isolation.
Barbara Bloomfield
" I’ve been a counsellor and counselling supervisor for 25 years and in the last decade I’ve moved much more into the world of expressive arts as i think creative expression is so helpful for wellbeing and resilience."
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Rebecca Hearne out on an archaeology trip
Rebecca Hearne
" My PhD is about using archaeology as a form of therapy for people who are living with trauma — I’ve seen first-hand how useful and life-changing it can be, and I can’t imagine myself doing anything else."
Please find attached the  Minutes of the meeting CHWA North East group consensus
The new Nordic Journal of Arts, Culture and Health is an open access journal - with its first issue scheduled for November 2019. The journal will provide a platform for publication and debate in the interdisciplinary field of arts and culture in healthcare and health promotion.
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cover of the new draft strategy for Arts Council England
We envisage a country transformed by its culture and at the same time, constantly transforming it: a truly creative nation in which we all can play our part. (Shaping the Next Ten Years: Draft strategy for consultation, p.6)
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Climate protests on Waterloo Bridge, April 2019
Climate protests on Waterloo Bridge, April 2019
We invite members' comments on our draft declaration and resources. Read more here
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Elaine Bedell, Chief Executive of the South Bank Centre, introduces the Creative Health conference
Elaine Bedell, Chief Executive of the South Bank Centre, introduces the Creative Health conference
Over 500 events later and Creativity & Wellbeing Week is officially a national festival...
Digital Conference 21st, 22nd, 23rd June 2021 Conference themes are Inequality; Power; and Sustainability Join people from all over the world to hear about inspiring work spanning policy, research and practice. We want to place lived experience and co-production at the heart of the programme. 
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Catsou Roberts on a video screen as part of Julia Scher's project for Frieze
Catsou Roberts on a video screen as part of Julia Scher's project for Frieze
"...the life blood of what we do--the arts that we bring to Barts Health--propels me to visit artists’ studio as well as meetings with potential cultural partners. 
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A photograph of two people as part of a Singing in Care Homes project by Live Music Now and Creative Inspiration Shropshire Community Interest Company
Singing in Care Homes; Live Music Now and Creative Inspiration Shropshire Community Interest Company
We like big numbers here at BBC Music Day HQ. 14 million on radio. 13 million on TV. 1000 live music events across the UK. 100 external partners. 100 BBC production teams across TV, radio and digital. And we want to build on that this year – with your help.
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Snow Storm Steam Boat in Harbour
Joseph Mallord William Turner
'Look at Paintings', a free website which innovatively partners techniques of Mindful meditation with Art Appreciation, with the aim of producing immediate benefits to the viewer, has now gone live.
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James Dey performing
Flashpop Images
"I’ve always had an interest in how music can inspire, encourage, console and restore people."
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Creative Industries Federation logo
Creative Industries Federation logo
The Creative Industries Federation and Arts Council England have together launched a new report, Public Investment, Public Gain. The report makes case for the central role that public investment in arts and culture plays generating commercial returns across the economy.  
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Close up Photo of a person drawing on a table as part of Creative Health CIC’s Still Lively Programme (Celebrating Age, ACE/Baring Foundation)
Creative Health CIC’s Still Lively Programme (Celebrating Age, ACE/Baring Foundation), image by Ming De Nasty
Wednesday 26 June is National Writing Day, led by First Story - a national literacy charity, working with 55 partner organisations. #nationalwritingday
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A woman and young girl look at a display in the Life Zone Gallery at Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds
The Life Zone Gallery at Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds
The Art Fund's new Calm and Collected report has set out the ways in which museums could - and already do - impact our wellbeing. The report is based on a survey of over 2,500 adults in the UK, as well as a small number of in-depth interviews. It assesses rising levels of stress and anxiety across the UK, and the difficulties we have in creating space for ourselves.
A new £62 million fund has been announced by Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright. The fund will support heritage in high streets. The funding includes:
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Helen Stewart storytelling at Tatton Park
" My fellow Storyteller and I went into Manchester Children’s hospital to tell stories and were inspired by the courage of the children and dedication of the staff."
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Steven Skelley holding a tin from the Barnsley Canister Company
Barnsley Museums
" Museums do a huge amount of work in health and wellbeing; it is largely about reflecting and telling stories which has an incredibly powerful effect on people."
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Despair by Anthony Fisher Photography
Antony Fisher Photography
Tony Fisher is known as a determined, creative individual, (which we can second), who works across many art-forms; art, photography, poetry, film and socially engaged practice.
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Kavina Pound, a biodanza teacher
" I have been working as a Biodanza Teacher since 2011. Most of the work I do with people who are elderly or have disabilities and / or medical conditions."
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Tim Osborn
Tim Osborn
"It can be an amazing learning experience from so many perspectives."
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Messages left on the grass wall in 'Nature Calls' - the finale exhibition of Paintings in Hospitals 'Art in Large Doses' project - Photo by Glenn Michael Harper
Messages left on the grass wall in 'Nature Calls' - the finale exhibition of Paintings in Hospitals 'Art in Large Doses' project - Photo by Glenn Michael Harper
Friday 17 May, Newcastle Centre for Life
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Lynne Rawlings at Arts, etc
Lynne Rawlings
A poem by Lynne Rawlings with an introduction from Corina Harrison (WEA and Arts, etc.)
In January 2018, Perspectivesin Public Health published a Special Issue on Arts, Health & Wellbeing focusing on the content of presentations from the Culture, Health & Wellbeing International Conference held in Bristol in June, 2017.
Te Ora Auaha: Creative Wellbeing Alliance was launched launched in April 2019 by Carmel Sepuloni, New Zealand Minister of Social Development and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage. Te Ora Auaha: Creative Wellbeing Alliance Aotearoa is made up of individuals, groups and organisations across the arts, health, youth, social and education sectors.
Creative Freedom has published a Manifesto for Mental Health in Arts Professional to address the difficulties of maintaining mental health in creative and cultural careers. Colin Beesting, founder of Creative Freedom, says
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Breathe Arts Health Research, Melodies for Mums 2018 - photo by Leigha Fearon
Breathe Arts Health Research, Melodies for Mums 2018 - photo by Leigha Fearon
A sincere thank you to everyone who filled out the Alliance's annual survey. You can find a summary report here. In total 99 people filled out the annual survey. We do not have permission to share comments publicly, so we have just included statistics here.
Responses to Arts Council England’s strategic proposals for 2020-2030 have been published by the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance, the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance, and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing. A number of the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance’s partners are also signatories on its response.
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Logo for the Framing the Future event
Framing the Future, Paintings in Hospitals
What is the past, present and future role of arts in health? As part of Paintings in Hospitals' 60th anniversary celebrations, the organisation is convening a panel to consider the past pioneers and future innovations of visual arts in health and social care.
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Dancing from a hospital bed
Susie Tate projects, photo by Carrie Calvert
A new national network has been set up for anyone who takes responsibility for arts, heritage and design in hospitals. The group is being hosted by the NHS national performance advisory group and letters will be sent to all hospital arts managers in the UK and all NHS trusts for people to sign up.
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A drawing by Fabric Lenny from the Cultures of Health and Wellbeing conference
Fabric Lenny (made for the Cultures of Health and Wellbeing conference 21-22 March)2019
We are thrilled that over 3,600 of you have signed up to be members of the Alliance and receive this monthly bulletin. This is our first annual survey. To help us support you, please fill out this short survey, which covers general questions about the Alliance, its new website and the bulletin.
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Tin Arts performing at Cultures of Health & Wellbeing national conference
Tin Arts performing at Cultures of Health & Wellbeing (21-22 March 2019, Greant North Museum: Hancock)
The Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance's first annual conference ended with a bang - a whole load of bangs in fact - on 21 and 22nd March at Great North Museum: Hancock, with a performance from The Lawnmowers Beat This!
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Frances Chiverton at the Beaney Gallery & Museum
Frances Chiverton
"I started working at The Beaney 6 months ago as the Health and Wellbeing Coordinator. But, I would consider that I first started working in a role that involves working with culture, health and wellbeing when I became a Primary School teacher in 1998 - 21 years ago."
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Angela Awuah
Angela Awuah
“I saw no platform for young people with direct and indirect experience for mental illness, so I created one.”
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Nordict Arts and Health Research Network
Nordic Arts
Nordic Arts and Health Research Network hosts an Arts & Health conference on 21st May 2019 in Malmö, Sweden with focus on Arts & Health practice.
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A view of the outside of the Museum Dr. Guislain
Paul Hermans [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
The Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent was on 29 and 30 November 2018 the meeting point for individuals from the public, academic, third sector and voluntary sectors who work on cultural heritage and wellbeing.
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Janet inspired by the Beaney collections to make figures
Wendy Daws
Sensing Culture This story shares how The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge are working together with partners and their local visually impaired community to enable more meaningful access to creative and cultural experiences to boost wellbeing, raise awareness and create a more inclusive space.
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A cartoon by David Shrigley with a person drinking culture
David Shrigley
Alex Coulter, Director of Arts & Health South West, continues to provide the secretariat and project management for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPG), on behalf of the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance.
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A photo of some people walking towards Barnsley Station with art
Hayley Youell
"I started working within the field back in 2008, but it has always been central to thinking as a creative, linking with my innate curiosity about how the arts and culture, particularly music and singing, can transform peoples’ health and lives."
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A brightly-coloured abstract paiting called Celebrating Psychosis, by Kate Smith
'Celebrating Psychosis' by Kate Smith
Kate Smith is an award-winning children’s illustrator/designer and a workshop leader, who has a diagnosis of  ‘Acute and transient Psychotic Disorder’ which was triggered by stress and anxiety in 2005.  Kate was encouraged to make Christmas cards by an Occupational Therapist from the Early Intervention Service in Derbyshire as a coping strategy.
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Care To Dance participants
Photo by Michelle
A story by Michelle, sharing the reflections of her family on the role of dance in Rita, her mother’s life, both before and after her diagnosis with dementia.
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Creative Directions - Doncaster Community Arts
Doncaster Community Arts
Creative Directions darts (Doncaster Community Arts) submission of a story that represents personal experiences of the impact of creativity, culture and the arts on health and wellbeing.
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Painting by Naomi, called The Great Escape
Naomi
This story begins with an introduction from Naomi, who shares with us her experiences of being a full-time carer, Mum, nurse and painter and why now is the right time to share her story and her artwork.
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Richard celebrating after completing the Great North Run for James Cook Neuro- Rehabilitation Ward 26, Middlesborough ( South Tees Hospital NHS Trust)
South Tees Hospital NHS Trust
“The arts made me look forward, think, engage and stimulate and that had a wealth of benefits. I realised it was something to hold on to.”
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A digital drawing of a crouching figure by Shanali Perera
Shanali Perera
Excerpts from Beyond The Illness, Art n’ the Human experience by Shanali Perera, MBBS MRCP “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance” ~ Aristotle
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Tin Arts performing at Cultures of Health & Wellbeing national conference
Tin Arts performing at Cultures of Health & Wellbeing (21-22 March 2019, Greant North Museum: Hancock)
I have been thinking about cooperation a lot lately. The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance is a small organisation in terms of resource – but in terms of partnership and collaboration its reach is enormous. Over 3,000 people have now signed up as members, along with almost 70 partner organisations.
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An abstract painting by Lorna Collins
Lorna Collins
A story by Lorna Collins I have suffered from a number of psychiatric illnesses over the past eighteen years, following a serious Traumatic Brain Injury. I am now very much in recovery.
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Shrigley bird singing
David Shrigley, Sing Your Song
A story by Carole Fotheringham This is a story about how cultural activities are contributing to healing and enriching my life after a life threatening illness.  How it seems culture, friendship and laughter have the ability to cure all.
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A collection of drift wood ships by Dave Logan
Dave Logan
A story by Dave Logan, Chair of Parkinson’s UK – Swindon & District Branch, who has lived with Parkinson’s for sixteen years. I have had Parkinson’s for over 15 years and celebrated my 70th birthday this July.  I have been lucky in that the progressive nature of my Parkinson’s has been slow.  
This has been inspired by the work of the medical staff at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital – in particular, the ICU staff.
I spun a web and wrapped it round my life; fine spider silk: the type we’re taught to make. A sticky weave of working mum and wife; bespoke design – its cords would never break. High praise I netted in for such rich yarn; a gossamer of love cocooned my home, a strategist at work, a queen of charm;
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Power of the Object group meeting
The Beaney’s Power of the Object programme – a dementia & social isolation story   It’s been important to both me and my mum because it’s given Mum the opportunity to come out and do something constructive and it seems to me that she gets some kind of stimulation that lasts for 2 or 3 days afterwards.  Paul Langley,  Carer
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A green bra - a work of art called Unconventionally Beautiful by Jenni Burrows, photo by Mi Mi Media
Unconventionally Beautiful by Jenni Burrows, photo by Mi Mi Media
My practice and initial investigation was a coping strategy to enhance my quality of life throughout the long wait for diagnosis and therefore manage anxiety, uncertainty and the medical side effects of treatment, including my experience of itch.
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Errol Francis speaks about the meanings of the word 'culture'
Errol Francis delivering his keynote at Cultures of Health and Wellbeing
The Alliance ‘s first annual conference, Cultures of Health and Wellbeing was held at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums in Newcastle on the 21st and 22nd March 2019.
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Shrigley bird singing
David Shrigley, Sing Your Song
London Arts in Health Forum and the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance are working together to expand Creativity and Wellbeing Week into a national event, building on its enormous success across London. Creativity and Wellbeing Week 2019 will run from 10-16 June 2019.
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Messages left on the grass wall in 'Nature Calls' - the finale exhibition of Paintings in Hospitals 'Art in Large Doses' project - Photo by Glenn Michael Harper
Messages left on the grass wall in 'Nature Calls' - the finale exhibition of Paintings in Hospitals 'Art in Large Doses' project - Photo by Glenn Michael Harper
The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance is a national organisation representing everyone who believes that cultural engagement and participation can transform our health and wellbeing. We are developing a new statement of values and would like your help to answer the following questions:
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Lucy Suggate's swarm sculptures (sculptures made of people) for Yorkshire Dance, photo by Andy Wood
Yorkshire Dance: Lucy Suggate's Swarm Sculptures at Juncture 2016 ©AndyWood
Matt Hancock’s speech on 6 November – ‘The power of the arts and social activities to improve the nation’s health’ – is enormously significant.
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A brightly coloured Sand Mandala
Victoria Hume
The UN has told us that we have 12 years to sort out climate change. This is the largest health and wellbeing – and indeed cultural – challenge we face.

Blog

In our consultation for Curating for Change we have been talking to D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people about the barriers they have faced in getting work within museums. The lack of flexibility with working conditions alongside environmental barriers have been cited on several occasions as reasons for why they have not managed to access roles in the past. The move towards remote working is something that many disabled people and those with long term health conditions have been hoping for, and the pandemic has proven this is entirely possible.
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Image of the front door of St Margaret's House in Bethnal Green
Diana Sorban
I’m not often asked to write something for a blog so when Jenni Regan (London Arts in Health) asked me during a Zoom meeting to write a blog post about how St Margaret’s House has started to reopen to the public as we emerged through lockdown, I said yes. Then afterwards started to think and ponder – how do I go about this?
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An image of the writer Maxwell A. Ayamba
An image of the writer Maxwell A. Ayamba
...people from minoritized communities suffer disproportionately from structural and systemic racism in education, health, jobs, housing, poor quality environments, which are all triggers of mental ill-health. Therefore, the question of leisure and recreation or accessing natural spaces is the last thing on the minds of the underprivileged, especially where the landscapes do not reflect people’s cultural origins or values.

Stories of lived experience

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a drawing of the lower half of someone's legs on the sand, surrounded by lines in the sand
Viv Gordon Co
We’re planning the launch event and catching up on the related social media campaign #MyLineInTheSand that invites people to post words of hope, rage and solidarity to stand with survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). We’re busy contacting anyone and everyone who can help to promote the work - arts colleagues, survivor charities and survivor artists, activists and academics.
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“Snow Leopard” from my illustrated mind, by Kathryn Watson
“Snow Leopard”, from my illustrated mind, by Kathryn Watson
I’ve never studied art; I come from a medical background and did a PhD in microbiology. My world was about numbers, statistics, looking for tried and tested patterns, and grouping things into distinct categories. Absolutely these approaches have a place, and are especially essential when needing to rapidly process large amounts of information in high risk environments. But it didn’t give me a good way to process my inner world of chaotic and conflicting thoughts and feelings. Thankfully illustration did.
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pillcases filled with
I truly believe that when we normalise difference we enter a much more just and equal world. We all have mental health, that’s a fact - so shouldn’t we all acknowledge this hidden truth, accept that we might have mental ill health at some point and stop being afraid of the unknown?

A Day in the Life

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a drawing of the lower half of someone's legs on the sand, surrounded by lines in the sand
Viv Gordon Co
We’re planning the launch event and catching up on the related social media campaign #MyLineInTheSand that invites people to post words of hope, rage and solidarity to stand with survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). We’re busy contacting anyone and everyone who can help to promote the work - arts colleagues, survivor charities and survivor artists, activists and academics.
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Amarno Inai
Amarno Inai
" I never put labels on it...whenever I felt bad, or good, I would draw."
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a composite image showing a laptop, a postcard being putin a letterbox, and Loreto with half her face obscured by a yellow balloon
I have been in art and wellbeing practice for a long time. Often my work has elements that hope to bring to discussing wellbeing. But to be more precise I was part of a network meeting at Fiztwilliam Museum Cambridge in 2017, organised by Culture Health & Wellbeing Alliance, where I leant about the work that has been done in the East region and got to meet locals who were interested and/or working already in the health and art sector.

International

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Hear and Now 2019 in Bedford, co-produced by Orchestras Live and the Philharmonia Orchestra © Beth Walsh
Hear and Now 2019 in Bedford, co-produced by Orchestras Live and the Philharmonia Orchestra © Beth Walsh
An invitation on behalf of the international Music for Social Impact research project fun
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a woman discusses a picture at the Crocker Museum with a group of seated women
Crocker Museum, Sacramento, California
Seeking participants for new online study to find out.
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logo for Dawn Chorus
Creative Aging International (CAI) was started with the ideas of “making with” and “making for” at its core.