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ART AND CREATIVE PROJECTS FOR A HEALTHIER WORLD

George Maguire

When Covid-19 forced the effective closure of much of the arts sector including galleries, theatres and cinemas it was clear to us that there would be an emotional void. With the recently occurring World Health Day running with the theme of ‘building a fairer and healthier world’ we got thinking about the essential role that creative culture has on our wellbeing. With 2 million individuals a year suffering from mental health illnesses in London alone, here are some of our favourite mental wellbeing projects that we can support as we emerge back into the world. 

1 Older People Arts Network – link here


Older People Arts Network (OPAN). Photo by Entelechy Arts.  

The Older People’s Arts Network is a selection of creative organisations based in London’s Lewisham. The network aims to build inclusivity into local art and culture projects, bringing older people in to sessions to experience the wide-ranging benefits that art can provide. The network encompasses community efforts from organisations such as Age Exchange, Greenwich Dance, Montage Theatre Arts and Entelechy Arts. 

Learn more about the network’s activities and read a participants poetry here.
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2 Bath’s Creativity Works – link here


One of the new 2021 courses from Creativity Works. Image via website.

Founded in 1981, Creativity Works is a charity based in Somerset. With a guiding principle and belief ‘that creative activities inspire and empower people to explore, develop and grow’ the organisation works with both local communities and via online courses to provide access to new creative skills and experiences. Upcoming courses include one titled Intention Sticks which will take place at the beautiful Sydney Gardens in Bath. It will led by Art Therapist Samantha Hickman on 13th May and 10th of June.

Learn more here
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3 City of London Sinfonia – link here


City of London Sinfonia. Image taken before Covid. Link here.

London’s City of Sinfonia (CLS) is something special. A united group of 40+ professional orchestral musicians that believe in the fundamental societal benefits of live music, performing both on world famous stages and in care homes. Check out the upcoming interactive live event on the 20th April called Music in the Moment which will give you a look inside the organisations informal yet powerful music sessions that have been streamed live to healthcare wards across the UK. 

Learn more here
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4 Dream Space’s online exhibition – Submit your story! – link here 


Submit your story to the Dreamspace Exhibition. Link here

Bath’s Dream Space is an experimental project where the cities citizens are invited to share their stories as they relate to current affairs, racism, inequality, Covid-19 and the climate crisis. With a current gallery of over 50 stories to listen, read and watch this is an incredibly connective way for a modern city to communicate and relate with each other. The verbalisation of hopes and dreams is very much encouraged! 

Learn more here 
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5 Arc Centre’s First Virtual Exhibition of Arts and Wellbeing – link here


Creative Challenge was funded by the European Union. Image via website

Arc Centre’s Creative Challenge is a programme for those experiencing mental health illness. With the goal of positive self-improvement, the first incarnation of the programme focused on encouraging creativity and transferable life skills. Having completed sessions in printmaking, bookmaking and photography the final exhibition is now viewable online here. Powerful stuff!
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