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New national alliance for Culture, Health and Wellbeing launches in Birmingham

An alliance of cultural organisations from across England launches a new national body to develop and promote the role of arts and culture in supporting the country’s health and wellbeing (launch 13 March 2018).

The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance is a new national organisation for all who believe in the value of cultural engagement and participation for health and wellbeing. It will advocate for the work, provide training, resources and events, and develop understanding of how participating in cultural activities can help individual and community health and wellbeing. 

For many years, organisations around the country have been working in hospitals and care homes, in museums and galleries and community spaces creating cultural opportunities for people living with physical and mental ill health. Now, for the first time, these organisations are coming together to provide a shared and collective voice for this work. 

The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance brings together the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing with the National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing and involves 50 leading organisations. The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance is a free membership organisation and will provide monthly updates on policy and developments in the field, access to resources and research, as well as deliver training, conferences and events. It will advocate for the importance of cultural engagement for the health and wellbeing of everyone in society. 

It will work closely with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing to bring about a step change in policy and delivery, and will focus on a strong regional infrastructure to support development and progress in the field. The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance is an Arts Council Sector Support Organisation, joining the National Portfolio of Organisations. This is a rapidly expanding field with many museums and cultural organisations now developing programmes designed to support health and wellbeing. 

The new Alliance will encourage good practice, connecting healthcare providers, commissioners and clinicians with cultural organisations to deliver the best possible opportunities for everyone to benefit from the health and wellbeing impact of high quality cultural experiences. 

At Birmingham Museum, 150 practitioners, artists, doctors and health service users came to celebrate the launch of the new Alliance with the Birmingham Choir with No Name, artist Bobby Baker, Lord Howarth of Newport, President of the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing and Mags Patten, Executive Director of Public Policy and Communications at Arts Council England. 

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The Steering Group is made up of regional representation:

  • Arts Derbyshire 
  • Arts & Health South West 
  • Arts & Minds 
  • Beaney House of Art and Knowledge 
  • Birmingham Museums Trust 
  • British Museum 
  • Creative Health CIC 
  • Equal Arts 
  • London Arts in Health Forum 
  • Manchester Metropolitan University 
  • Mansfield Museum Ministry of Others 
  • National Museums Liverpool 
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery 
  • Thackray Medical Museum 
  • Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums
  • University College London 
  • University of Cambridge Museums

Supporting this will be a group of Strategic Alliance Members including: 

  • 64 Million Artists 
  • Age Friendly Museums Network 
  • Age of Creativity 
  • Art Fund 
  • Association of British Orchestras 
  • Breathe Arts Health Research 
  • British Association of Art Therapists 
  • British Association of Dramatherapists 
  • British Association of Music Therapists 
  • Creative Dementia Arts Network 
  • Culture 24 
  • Group for Education in Museums GEM 
  • Happy Museum 
  • Historic England 
  • Lapidus 
  • Live Music Now 
  • Making Music 
  • Museums and Participation Network 
  • Music in Hospitals & Care 
  • National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance 
  • Nordoff Robbins 
  • Paintings in Hospitals 
  • People Dancing 
  • Royal Society for Public Health Special Interest Group for Arts, Health & Wellbeing 
  • Snape Maltings 
  • Social Prescribing Network 
  • Sport in Museums Network 
  • The Reader 
  • The Whitworth and Manchester Museums 
  • Voluntary Arts 
  • Willis Newson 
  • Yorkshire Sculpture Park

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