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

Written by Emma Walsh, 13th March 2018

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 over 40 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.

To find out more and to join the new Alliance, please visit:

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 Drama Therapists
British Association of Music Therapists
Creative Dementia Arts Network
Culture 24
Group for Education in Museums GEM
Happy Museum
Historic England
Live Music Now
Making Music
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 Network
Willis Newson
Yorkshire Sculpture Park

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