A Subject Specialist Networks Conference, London, 4-5 June 2020

We’re delighted to be collaborating with two other professional networks on this conference, the British Art Network, and the European Paintings pre-1900 network. Join us to explore a wide range of collections-focussed art, health and wellbeing programmes from local, regional and national museums and galleries. The conference will facilitate learning about the research and evidence that underpins much of this work and discuss issues and challenges arising from it.

Recent years have seen increasing momentum and a growing evidence base for programmes linking art and culture with health and wellbeing. In 2017 the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Arts, Health and Wellbeing presented its report Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing, advocating for arts and cultural organisations to be supported in making health and wellbeing outcomes integral to their work. The APPG is actively engaged with the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance, which has forged strong relationships with museums and galleries across the UK. The drive to harness and research the impact of the arts on the health and wellbeing of local communities is also evident in NHS England’s 2019 launch of its long-term plan, which includes a commitment to social prescription, while Arts Council England and De Montfort University have embarked on the Talent25 project, which aims to track the effects of culture on children in Leicester over the coming 25 years. Most recently, the report Durham Commission on Creativity and Education (11 October 2019) strongly endorses the importance of participation in cultural and creative activities for health, wellbeing, social interaction, resilience and productivity. Museums are expanding their offer, with regional museums and galleries at the forefront of innovative programming. Examples, to name but a few, include the Holburne Museum’s Pathways to Wellbeing, Bristol Museum’s Art Shed: Museums as Medicine and Manchester Art Gallery’s Therapeutic Thursday.

This conference will provide an opportunity to hear about a wide range of collections-focussed art, health and wellbeing programmes from local, regional and national museums, galleries, heritage organisations and academic partners. It will facilitate learning about the research and evidence that underpins much of this work and discuss issues and challenges arising from it.

We’ll have details of the programme and booking information in April 2020.