Pick-your-own Mindapples

Cardboard apple with 5 midfulness tips written on it
06 Oct 2020

What do you do every day that is good for your mind? Julia Payne shares some 5-a-day ‘Mindapples’ that have been helping artists and creative freelancers nurture their mental health through lockdown and beyond.

A failure of scholarship in the field of arts and health

05 Oct 2020

A DCMS report asserting that ‘the arts can,’ ‘music can,’ and ‘dance can’ improve arts and health includes highly flawed studies that should not be relied upon to guide policy, says Stephen Clift.

Arts improve wellbeing, social cohesion and child development: report

01 Oct 2020

A DCMS-commissioned study cites strong evidence that "can be trusted to guide policy" on arts interventions in some areas of health and wellbeing - but not others. 

How the arts are mitigating NHS cuts

30 Sep 2020

Is social prescribing a great step forward in healthcare or a cynical move to use cheap or voluntary services to plug increasing gaps in a massively underfunded health service? Steven Carne raises some questions.

Are the arts overclaiming on wellbeing?

Dancers in front of a mirror in a studio
15 Sep 2020

When Professor Stephen Clift published a critique of an academic review of the impact of the arts on health outcomes, he was accused of not being ‘collegiate’ or constructive. Has the field of arts and health become too self-congratulatory?

SAGE modelling illustrates risk of non-distanced shows

10 Sep 2020

A single infectious performer could cause a deadly outbreak, SAGE says, as the Culture Secretary hints at full capacity events before Christmas.

£5m social prescribing fund isn’t new money

Two people creating a pot on a potter's wheel
21 Aug 2020

The Government says its funding will support people’s health and wellbeing “following the Covid-19 pandemic”, but the money was actually committed last October.

On equal footing

photo over the shoulder of an older gentleman sitting down who is looking at a photograph
13 Jul 2020

The experience of running participatory work online has led Theatr Clwyd to rethink the whole concept of ‘reach’. Let’s use this moment to make the arts truly accessible to all says Gwennan Mair.

Storytelling – a different way of evaluating

Team photo from a recreation of the 1966 World Cup
09 Jul 2020

Conventional monitoring and evaluation isn’t always helpful in community settings, but with some creative thinking, it can become a valuable part of the artistic process. Sarah Cassidy explains how a new technique can transform the outcomes.

Arts and health partners in a post-Covid world

Postcard for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s, I’m Thinking of You campaign
30 Jun 2020

Delivering arts and health services digitally can extend access for some, but others are excluded. Nesta Lloyd-Jones looks at the positive outcomes and future challenges brought about by the lockdown.

Living without workplace banter

small dog sitting on the lap of an unidentified person working on a laptop computer
17 Jun 2020

With home-working more likely to become the norm, what can be done to sustain our mental health and support our colleagues and collaborators? Colin Beesting addresses the challenge.

The ethics of making ‘challenging’ work

Black female sitting at a desk, writing with a pencil. Coffee cup and saucer in the foreground
10 Jun 2020

Funders are putting BAME artists under increasing pressure to explore sensitive topics from their own lives or communities, but leave them unsupported to deal with the consequences of sharing their stories more widely. Ranjit Khutan calls for a more ethical approach.

Falls-prevention dance scheme could bring £160m savings to NHS budgets

a younger female dancing with an older black gentleman
03 Jun 2020

The effectiveness of a community dance programme in reducing falls among older people has been praised as “an example of ‘super social-prescribing’.”

Research body campaigns for culture and creativity

young girl wearing a virtual reality headset
15 May 2020

As the Arts and Humanities Research Council sets out to demonstrate the role digital developments can play in arts and culture, some academics believe it is overstepping its brief.

Paradigm shift: why the arts need to rethink what matters

painting by Jan Steen from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
06 May 2020

Thousands of people from every background are developing and showcasing their creative skills online in a huge variety of forms, easing the stresses of lockdown. The nurturing of this ‘Everyday Creativity’ in people’s homes, communities and workplaces should be at the forefront of arts policy as we emerge from the current crisis, says Nick Ewbank.

University to lead arts-based research into mental resilience in young people

young man with woolly hat and hooded jacket facing downward and away from camera into a foggy background
01 May 2020

Interventions that have been supporting young people’s resilience to and recovery from mental health crises elsewhere in the world will be explored in the UK following a £2.7m charitable donation.

Why are arts workers always pigeonholed?

A photo of a large group of people throwing juggling clubs and hoops in the air
20 Apr 2020

By labelling people as either creators or administrators the sector is losing out on a host of valuable skills, says Rachel Griffiths.

Still waiting for the breakthrough

A group of community dancers of different ages on a stage in front of a black curtain
15 Apr 2020

2008 saw the publication of New Flow, a radical vision for a new framework that abandons narrow definitions of the arts and embraces "the full, delicious cacophony of what artists and citizens believe the arts to be". Author Tim Joss reflects on his vision for the future.

UN proclaims value of artists – but no payment

Russian dolls with Covid masks
03 Apr 2020

Creative practitioners are being told “you have the power to change the world” but responses to its creative brief will be rewarded with profile and exposure, not cash.

Food bags, laundry and companionship… a different type of community service

Audience sitting at tables with drinks
01 Apr 2020

Being at the heart of its community is the hallmark of Slung Low’s creative work. Its doors may be closed but its community engagement is greater than ever. Alan Lane tells how the team has stepped up to new challenges.


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