Since May 2006, I have been keeping a journal with links to press articles about arts and health initiatives and topics. The articles are mostly from the UK press with a few from America and the Republic of Ireland. It is not a comprehensive list, and I add items to it as and when I find them. I have found a good way to pick up articles that I might not otherwise have spotted is to set up a Google alert for 'art, OR arts, OR hospital, OR health, OR NHS -state-of-the-art location:uk [the state-of-the-art part is so it doesn't link to articles including that phrase, which seems to be used constantly in healthcare reporting and has nothing to do with art in our sense].
Leaving aside articles that are straight reporting of an arts project that has taken place in a hospital, it's noticeable how polarised debate is between those who argue that art(s) in the NHS is a waste of money and those arguing for a humane environment for patients. The question of who funded the work is generally treated as a complete irrelevance, which I would argue it isn't, as you can't 'waste public money' if it's not public money. You can find examples of strongly positive and negative articles in the same newspaper in the same year. It's actually a fascinating topic because of all the agendas competing to be heard in even the simplest article.
I'm with Prince Charles on this one. As he has noted: "It can't be easy to be healed in a soulless concrete box with characterless windows, inhospitable corridors, and purely functional wards. The spirit needs healing as well as the body." You can make that argument as he does, from a spiritual point of view, or you might just note that anti-depressant drugs are extremely expensive.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the context of external websites.
A call for papers from ENCATC, a European organisation who have recently been taking an interest in arts and health. I spoke at one of their meetings a couple of years ago and found they weren’t yet fully up to speed on the arts & health movement in the English-speaking countries. It would be good to make those links, as ‘Musique et Sante’ have already done.
Early bird booking available until 2nd February. I’ve been to this a couple of times, and although it has a hefty price tag for a one day event, it’s been a good networking possibility in the past.
I can’t say I’m a big fan of virtual environments like Second Life (real life seems confusing enough most of the time, or perhaps that’s the point of them), but this application seems a good idea. Perhaps it needs some virtual art though…
Boex are offering trusts around the UK the opportunity to receive an obligation free lecture by Boex focusing on the successful delivery of healthcare environments to enhance wellbeing. Whether you have an approaching project in mind or simply want to learn more, award winning healthcare designers Boex want to share the methods they have developed and how they have successfully led to major improvements within the healthcare sector.
For more information or to book contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Apologies if you’ve received this from me several times – my web-editing software seems to be fighting with my firewall!!*
19 –20 April 2012
COLOUR my well-being: Applied Arts & Health Conference
In association with the Journal of Applied Arts & Health and The University of Northampton
Over two days (with an optional third day workshop class) artists, health professionals and academics from around the world will gather at the University of Northampton to explore developments in the way colour is used for health and well-being.
More details and call for papers: http://www3.northampton.ac.uk/artsandhealth/
I went to the last conference the University of Northampton held, back in 2009, and had a great time, so I recommend this one.
The arts for health project at Shrewsbury Hospital are looking for a freelance Heritage Office to research and communicate the history of the site. Fee of £8,000 for 50 days’ work, deadline 18th November. Sounds like a fascinating project for someone.
‘Turkish doctors call the tune with traditional music therapy’ from Monday’s Guardian. Interesting to hear that there are particular melodies for specific conditions.
Article about health and social benefits of singing, focusing on Voicelab at London’s Southbank centre.
Fascinating (I like the second comment underneath too — I agree it can be bad for you too).