March 2017

Arts & Health in the Media 

Soften lighting to become autism-friendly, galleries advised

How music is being used to treat autism

Art plays key role at Cornwall cancer centre

Dance Exchange and Collaboration Agreement Between Hong Kong and Finland Officially Signed

New Baltimore wellness center works to reduce stigma of mental illness

£3m to engage older people in the arts

Learn the ABCs of mental health with this beautiful art series

New project to explore impact of arts, culture on health and wellbeing

Art beneficial to health — in more ways than one

Blaffer walk brings art and health to campus community

Art therapy, arts in health programs seeing increased interest at USD

Woman bullied for vitiligo turns her skin into works of art

Mental health stigma: stop romanticizing harmful conditions for art

GM’s healthy art funding bid successful

Startup turning rehab into digital art lands huge home-health agency as customer

UW Health calls attention to sustainability through recycled medical art

The Thames river health highlighted in new art installation

Circle of Friends for Mental Health provides healing through art

Health is wealth, and so are the arts

Getting teenagers singing

National dance bodies join forces to tackle inactivity

The psychology of colour

BMJ Blog Reflections on Art, Voicelessness, and the Patient Experience
People Dancing BLOG: a spark starts a prairie fire

Research, publications & Resources

Listening to music can improve unconscious attitudes towards other cultures Listening to five minutes of West African or Indian pop music can give the listener more positive attitudes towards those cultures, research from the Universities of Oxford and Exeter has found.

The Short Guide to Accessible Music Education in the UK From Drake Music and Drake Music Scotland, the Short Guide brings together information on organisations, initiatives, research documents and more for disabled musicians, their parents and carers, music teachers and anyone else concerned with accessible music education.

Evidence review: The social and economic impact of innovation in the arts A review of the evidence available about how the arts sector is achieving social and economic impact. NESTA

Children and the Arts: A Hidden Culture Anne Wood on how art helps young children develop


Dancers deliver effective healthcare programmes Dancers can be trained to deliver artistic, evidence-based healthcare programmes, according to the evaluation of Aesop’s Dance to Health pilot programme.

The Society for Storytelling website has been renewed. It has a whole host of fact sheets/resources giving advice on all aspects of storytelling.

Art, Science, and Cultural Understanding Art and science share a common embodied imagination, cognitive creativity, and independent spirit of inquiry at their heart, and both can summon up the visionary power of revolution for our senses. The editors and contributors to this book clearly highlight the many underlying themes that have always connected art and science throughout our history and show, through a range of essay styles and voices, how a hybrid art-science movement is now emerging.

Learning for Well-being Magazine Issue 3 is now available online. The theme of Issue 3 is Engaged Participation. Change for the better in our society can only come through involving children and adults in decisions that affect their lives. Engaged participation implies having some control over your own life in the context where you live. It necessarily requires you to develop skills and capacities for making decisions about your life, and for understanding how those choices relate to other people and the environment.

The "Autism Matters" report, based on work with almost 50 families, suggests that softer lighting and chill-out spaces would make galleries more accessible to people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and sensory processing disorder (SPD). Its author, Beth Davis-Hofbauer, says these changes would "tackle a form of unseen segregation".

UK employers may lose £2.5billion each year to loneliness A new report from the Co-op and New Economics Foundation suggests that over a million UK workers are affected by loneliness, which in turn impacts on their own health and productivity, as well as people around them in the workplace, and staff turnover.


RSPH Arts and Health award The Arts and Health award is one of the six categories of the Royal Society for Public Health's annual Health and Wellbeing Awards. The Awards recognise a wide range of activities, policies and strategies that empower communities and individuals, improve the population’s health and address the wider social determinants of health.

Entered projects and programmes should demonstrate:

  • High quality creative arts and music provision that addresses significant health and wellbeing issues affecting individuals, families and the wider community

  • Supporting patients, families and healthcare staff involved in the planning and delivery of creative arts and music provision for health and wellbeing

  • Strong partnership working between creative artists, musicians, the NHS, public health professionals and other stakeholders

  • Attention given to sensitivity towards issues of cultural diversity and social inclusion

Deadline - 28 April

Building Better Healthcare Awards 2017 will continue to recognise and reward innovation in the healthcare built environment and medical device and technology sectors, and will throw light on those people leading the way in enhancing services across the sector. Now in its 19th year, the competition is open for entries and the winners will be announced at the prestigious event at The Brewery in central London on 1 November.

Events & Conferences 

ASPAH WEBINARS A series of webinars led by some of Australia’s leading practitioners and researchers in performing arts healthcare will be co-ordinated this year by the newly formed ASPAH Professional Development Committee. ASPAH members and other interested individuals will be able to subscribe and view the webinars from the comfort of their homes and ask the presenters questions in real time through the online webinar platform.

5th April

Imperial Quality Improvement Sprint Imperial College Healthcare Trust has launched a new series of Imperial Quality Improvement (iQI) Sprints to tackle problems faced by healthcare workers in their daily working lives. An iQI Sprint is an intense day of team work where healthcare staff, patients, artists, engineers and designers work together to come up with innovative solutions and test these new ideas with patients and hospital staff.

12th April

Good Health Wales: Arts for Health and Wellbeing symposium – 25 April 2017 Good Health Wales 2017 provides a showcase for the positive developments in wellbeing/healthcare practice resulting from arts and design. The symposium will facilitate the exchange of experiences and discussion to promote opportunities for further collaboration in good practice development.

25th April, 2017 9.30am - 4.00pm, Arts Hall, Lampeter Campus, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, College Street, Lampeter SA48 7ED

Recoverism and the Arts: Driving change through collaborative research, Manchester A free one-day event; a collaboration between the Substance Use and Addictive Behaviours Research Group (SUAB), the Arts and Health Research Group at Manchester Metropolitan University and Portraits of Recovery (PORe), which will help develop research around the vital role that the arts and culture can play in the lives of people and communities affected by or in recovery from addiction.

25th April

Arts and Health – Check Up, Check In Following on from the first Arts and Health- Check Up, Check In event which took place in Dublin in January 2016, have joined forces with Create and the Arts Initiative in Mental Health, Sligo to bring you the second such event in May 2017. Arts and Health- Check Up, Check In is a networking event for arts and health care practitioners and artists who work in healthcare settings

5th May, The Model in Sligo, Ireland

Arts & Wellness Retreat & Symposium In collaboration with the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Arts for Health Florida is offering a 3-day retreat for those in fields related to arts in health including healthcare practitioners, art therapists, educators, and artists. This is a unique opportunity to enhance your knowledge in a breathtaking environment. Registration is available for all three days or for the symposium day. RETREAT & SYMPOSIUM FEES, 3-Day Retreat & Symposium - $395, (Includes meals and on-campus housing). One-Day Symposium Pass (May 10th) - $195, (Includes all meals). All Arts for Health Florida members will receive a 15% discount off registration fees

9th – 11th May, 2017 - May 11, 2017, Atlantic Center for the Arts, 1414 Arts Center Ave., New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168

Frontiers of Dance and Health symposium, Liverpool A two-day symposium led by members of the Knowing Body network, involving workshops, films and presentations. Proposals are also invited for 10-minute provocations.

10th & 11th May

Architecture and Mental Health Conference, London An interdisciplinary conference for architects, developers, clinicians and artists, showcasing design innovation in mental health care – produced by East London NHS Foundation Trust @ELFTArts in collaboration with Architects for Health and The Royal College of Psychiatrists Arts Special Interest Group.

19th May 2017, The Wash House, 25 Old Castle Street, Aldgate, London E1 7NT. Cost: £50-75

Creativity and Wellbeing 2017 Next year will see the sixth annual festival of arts and health Creativity and Wellbeing Week. The week will take place from 12th-18th June with events in London and further afield. Plans are developing for the festival and we would like to encourage organisations to start thinking about how they will be involved. It is very straightforward to include events in the Week and we will be launching a big press and PR campaign to promote the Week and all the events within it., so start planning and you can begin uploading events at

12th - 18th June

Creative Minds North is produced by Carousel and Venture Arts in collaboration with: Mind The Gap (Bradford); DIY Theatre (Manchester); Lawnmower Theatre Company (Newcastle); Tin Arts (Durham); More Music (Morecambe); Blue Room at the Bluecoat Gallery (Liverpool); Prism Arts (Lancaster), Headway Arts (Northumberland), Dark Horse Theatre company (Huddersfield) and First Step (Liverpool). The conference is for learning disabled artists, performers and film makers, arts organisations, critics, funders, programmers, curators, students and tutors and anyone interested in learning disability arts. It will continue the discussion about how art is created by learning disabled people and the way this art is talked about, created and presented.

The main themes for our first conference of 2017 are:

  • How do we create great art?

  • What does the term professional mean?

  • How can the work be best described and discussed?

  • How can we help the wider arts world to commission work?

At the conference you can see performance, film and visual work and take part in discussions. Artists will present their work and there will be opportunities to talk or address the conference themes in a variety of accessible ways.

15th June

The Arts in Society 2017 Conference

The Twelfth International Conference on the Arts in Society features research addressing the following annual themes and 2017 Special Focus.

  • THEME 1: Arts Education.

  • THEME 2: Arts theory and history.

  • THEME 3: New media, technology and the arts.

  • THEME 4: Social, political and community agents in the arts.

  • 2017 Special Focus: Gestures That Matter

14th – 16th June, Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Paris, France

Culture, Health and Wellbeing International Conference - full 2-day program for our Annual Conference is now available. The conference will showcase inspirational practice, policy and the latest research in culture and arts in health and wellbeing. It will discuss the role of arts and creativity in healing, care and wellbeing across the life course. It will encourage discussion and shared learning, facilitating dialogue between researchers, policy makers and practitioners. Speakers include - Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England; Dr Nayreen Daruwalla, Program Director for Prevention of Violence against Women and Children at SNEHA in Mumbai; Lord Howarth of Newport launching the final report of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing’s Inquiry and  Dr Iona Heath, former President of the Royal College of GPs. Performances by Julian West and Neil Valentine

19th, 20th and 21st June, Bristol, UK

People Dancing Summer School 2017 Staged at De Montfort University, Leicester, from Thursday to Friday 25-28 July, Summer School 2017 promises to be a celebration of dance and an inspiration to dance practitioners working across a wide range of communities.  This year's courses include dance for:

  • People living with Parkinson’s (both at Introductory and Advanced levels)

  • Early years

  • Older people

  • Including disabled people in your dance practice

  • People living with cancer

There will also be a special choreography course, hosted by Cecilia Macfarlane and Jo Rhodes, building on the popular book: Any Age, Any Body, Any Dance, as well as opportunities to explore new techniques to broaden your dance practice - including Parkour with artists from Urban Playground and a Musical Theatre workshop with West End star Alexandra Jay. 

Tuesday 25th – 28th July 2017 De Montfort University, Leicester

Call for Papers

Call for Papers or Book Proposals The Arts in Society Research Network is seeking a call for papers or new book proposals for academic works. We welcome submissions from across national origins, experience levels, and disciplinary perspectives. Our publishing process is not driven by potential sales, but by the quality of the work. Books on niche topics or specialized subject matter are welcome. We accept proposals for manuscripts between 30,000 and 150,000 words for individual or jointly authored works, edited collections, re-issued or out-of-copyright classics with new introductions, and PhD dissertations or theses that are rewritten to conform to "book" writing style and genre.

7th International Health Humanities Conference. Changing Society: Community Wellbeing and transformation - How Health Humanities can change the world. Continuing the success of the IHHN conferences thus far we are pleased to announce the 7th conference will be held in the cruise capital of Europe, Southampton, UK. We invite abstract submissions under the heading “Changing Society: Community Wellbeing and Transformation – How health humanities can change the world”


The PathoGraphics research team at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany announces this upcoming conference and call for papers: Stories of Illness / Disability in Literature and Comics. Intersections of the Medical, the Personal, and the Cultural October 27-28, 2017 in Berlin, Germany

Opportunities & Training

A major part of Createquity’s ongoing mission is to spotlight exceptional research in the arts that everyone should know about. As a natural extension of that mission, we’re excited to announce what we believe is the first honor of its kind: the Createquity Arts Research Prize. This inaugural award will go to an outstanding research project published in 2016 that has dramatically expanded our understanding of the arts. The winner will receive $500, follow-up programming opportunities, and the recognition of Createquity’s unique collaborative community, which includes influential arts leaders from around the world.

Free online course: Medicine and the Arts – Humanising Healthcare FutureLearn is offering a free online course delivered by the University of Cape Town exploring the intersection of medicine, medical anthropology and the creative arts. Over six weeks, participants will visit a new aspect of human life and consider it from the perspectives of people working in health sciences, social sciences and the arts. The course will introduce participants to the emerging field of medical humanities and the concept of whole person care, via these six themes:

  • The Heart of the Matter: A Matter of the Heart

  • Children’s Voices and Healing

  • Mind, Art and Play

  • Reproduction and Innovation

  • Tracing Origins

  • Death and the Corpse


Contributors to the course will include a psychologist, heart surgeon, pathologist, oncologist, geneticist, sociologist, poet and visual artist. They will pose critical questions about how we deal with health, healing and being human. Each contributor has been filmed on location in Cape Town, including at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, the Heart of Cape Town Museum, and the Pathology Learning Centre. The course will encourage participants to discuss ideas with learners all over the world, and reflect on the ways in which bodies, health, social life, culture and the imagination intersect in your local setting. By the end of the course, participants will understand multiple, complex perspectives on health, illness and healing, and be able to create alternative responses to important health challenges.


Chair, London Arts in Health Forum – deadline 5 April 2017 London Arts in Health Forum is recruiting a Chair for its Board of Trustees. This voluntary post is a senior leadership role in the field of arts in health and the organisation is seeking a visionary candidate with the personality and capacity to head the organisation at an exciting time in its development. LAHF is a well-established organisation with a strong track record in delivering an annual festival (Creativity and Wellbeing), a well-respected newsletter and advice service and supporting advocacy for the field of arts, health and wellbeing. The organisation has strong relationships with a range of funders and a vibrant and connected network of artists, clinicians and practitioners working in the field of arts and health. It has an active, diverse and enthusiastic board which represents many aspects of the arts, healthcare and academia. The right person will have strong networks, a good capacity to listen and engage, the energy to drive LAHF forward and a passion for the role the arts can play in health and wellbeing.


Deadline - 5th April

Program Associates – Arts & Cultural Heritage The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (“Foundation”) is a not-for-profit, grant making organization that seeks to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies. It makes grants in five core program areas (higher education and scholarship in the humanities; arts and cultural heritage; diversity; scholarly communications; and international higher education and strategic projects). The Foundation seeks two Program Associates in the Arts and Cultural Heritage Program (ACH).

One position reports to the program officer with responsibility for Art History, Conservation, and Museums. The other reports to the program officer with responsibility for the Performing Arts. Both require close collaboration with the senior program officer, program officers, ACH program staff, and other Foundation staff, particularly with grant management associates in the General Counsel’s office. The work is detail-oriented and requires accuracy, the ability to anticipate outcomes, multi-tasking, flexibility, efficiency, patience, and discretion.

Clore Leadership Programme The Clore Short Course and the Emerging Leaders are the Clore Leadership Programme's intensive, residential retreats that will give you the essential knowledge, confidence and skills required of cultural leaders today. You will have the opportunity to reflect on your strengths, motivation and leadership style, in order to be able to lead authentically: as yourself, not anyone else.

CAMERA READY: The Scottish Mental Health and Arts & Film Festival is calling on all filmmakers, established or aspiring, to submit films addressing mental health to this unique festival. There will also be a writing competition opening this month.


Have your say on the future of Creative Europe With Creative Europe reaching its mid-point in 2017, the European Commission has launched an open consultation as part of the mid-term evaluation of the programme. The evaluation helps adjust priorities for the remaining years of the current programme but more importantly, it also helps define priorities for its successor, post 2020.


Deadline – 16th April

Creative Cities Network The 2017 Call for Applications for the UNESCO Creative Cities Network is open! Until 16 June, midnight CET, cities around the world can submit their application to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). Created in 2004, the UCCN fosters international cooperation with and between cities that have identified creativity as a strategic driver and enabler for sustainable urban regeneration and development. Today the Network brings together 116 cities from 54 countries, working towards common objectives: placing creativity and cultural industries at the core of local development plans, and actively cooperating through inter-city partnerships at the international level. The UCCN is a flagship programme of UNESCO for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, and the New Urban Agenda, at the local level. If your city is interested in joining this growing Network, you may access the documents on our website and find out what is required and what it means to become a UNESCO Creative City.


Deadline: 16th June

Call for submissions - Chicago International Children's Film Festival. Submit a film to the largest children's film festival in North America and the first Academy Award qualifying children's film festival in the world. The rundown. Each year, our Festival presents the best, most innovative films and educational experiences for kids, families, students, and industry professionals. In 2016, 287 films from over 40 countries screened for approximately 26,00 children, parents, and teachers at 7 venues around Chicago. What we're looking for. The Festival advocates inspired, innovative programming for young people. We are seeking humanistic, culturally diverse, and compelling films that reveal the world in new ways and leave room for the child's own imaginative response. For further information, please contact

Deadline - 31st May