Blog

AHSW's Director and Trustees reflect on various aspects of arts, health and wellbeing.

Developing a Regional Strategy for Arts, Health and Wellbeing: What we’ve Learned About Cross-Sectoral Collaboration

Director’s Blog – February 2020

Last week, Julia Puebla Fortier joined me for our first AHSW webinar. If you weren’t able to catch us live, you can see the recorded version here. We discussed the findings of Julia’s research report: ‘Creative Cross-Sectoral Collaboration’ which draws on the learning from developing the collaborative regional strategy. Julia talked about the key issues that affect collaboration, including: value and legitimacy; relationships; power; resources; capacity; policy and systems complexity; and alignment. Towards the end we considered the challenges and opportunities of developing consortia and the issue of scale and spreading good practice. In the next webinar, I will pick up on some of these themes in discussion with Jules Ford, Senior Programme Manager for Social Prescribing and Cultural Commissioning at Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group. Jules will be telling us the story of how the arts and culture are being embedded across Gloucestershire’s health system. The webinar with Jules is on 2nd April at 12 noon. You can sign up for the webinar here.

This year, Creativity and Wellbeing Week is from 18-24th May. It is part of a Creative Festivals collaboration with Age of Creativity throughout May, and Get Creative Festival from 9-17th May. Please do post any relevant events happening during May on one or all of the websites. Across the three festivals, the focus is on reaching out to more people, working towards positive futures and looking at mental health in young people, climate change, ageing through the life course, and public health and everyday creativity. Arts & Health South West is in discussion with Hampshire Culture Trust and the Southampton Art in Health Forum about an event with young people to consider mental health and creativity. More on that in the next newsletter.

Planning for the international conference in June 2021 is picking up pace. Last week the conference committee met to agree the themes and dates for abstract submissions. You can sign up here for the international conference newsletter to receive regular updates.

The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance national conference, A Culture of Care, is at Derby Museum on 19th and 20th March and tickets are selling fast. There is still time to submit an application for a CHWA Award. The deadline is 24th February. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate your work in the context of the core themes of the conference: climate change; partnerships; and practitioner wellbeing. Arts & Health South West has provided the incubator for CHWA since 2018, but now the organisation is ready to float free and has formed as a Community Interest Company with a new board at the helm. I am very grateful to AHSW’s trustees for providing the governance during the set-up and transition to independence and we all wish them the very best as they go from strength to strength. Arts & Health South West will continue as regional champions along with museum colleagues at RAMM and South West Museum Development.

There are exciting developments afoot in the region: Cornwall Council is forging a strategic partnership between Culture and Public Health; Dorset cultural organisations are in discussion with the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group and Public Health about a strategic framework; and we are working with colleagues from the regional strategy group to develop a region-wide initiative on personalised creative prescribing. Get in touch with me if you would like to be involved.

Alex Coulter

12th February 2020

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