Current Work

Arts & Health South West supports arts and health organisations and practitioners to deliver arts and cultural activity in response to some of the most pressing issues facing the people of South West England. We work in partnership to delivery a collaborative regional strategy relevant to three key priority areas – Mental Health, Loneliness and Social Prescribing.

Community Connections

A social prescribing project in Weston-super-Mare in partnership with the For All Healthy Living Centre, Theatre Orchard and Alliance Homes.

2018 – ongoing

Find out more about the history of this project HERE >>

Community Connections aims to reduce health inequalities by improving the health and wellbeing of people living in the South Ward of Weston-super-Mare through a Social Prescribing Service.

It is a partnership project between Arts & Health South West, the For All Healthy Living CentreAlliance Homes and Theatre Orchard.

The project takes an asset-based approach to working in partnership with local organisations to strengthen existing efforts to develop community capacity. The project is funded for three years by the Tudor Trust and Arts Council England through a Catalyst Evolve award to Arts & Health South West. The funding supports the post of a Social Prescriber employed by the For All Healthy Living Centre (FAHLC). It also funds the evaluation of the project which includes a Theory of Change and Evaluation Framework developed with the New Economics Foundation and a Creative Evaluation delivered by Theatre Orchard. The evaluation is being developed and delivered to align with Alliance Homes’ asset-based community development project, Our Neighbourhood. The learning will be shared by Arts & Health South West via the Regional Strategy.

Recent Project Updates

Bournville Tapestry – A collection of fables about flourishing, told near the sea.

The Bournville Tapestry brings together a series of stories inspired by Community Connections.  The stories span the time before and after the COVID-19 emergency and lockdown of Spring 2020.

The Bournville Tapestry represents a fraction of the stories that could be told. The stories were gathered through a series of individual zooms with writer, Elspeth Penny, in August and September 2020. Often vibrant and passionate, the Bournville Tapestry is about different points of view, sometimes entertaining and always illuminating.

It is a tapestry of a seascape with lots of loose threads, unfinished. As time goes on more threads can be gathered. Not all stories have been able to be included, so there may be holes in the tapestry. Perhaps by continuing to listen to stories from different perspectives, we may mend some of those holes, and perhaps avoid a fixed ending, at least for now.

Find out more about the Bournville Tapestry

Bournville Tapestry

Cap O’Rushes – a new AHSW Commission

Thanks to funding from Stichting Horizon, Arts and Health South West commissioned a new compositional score by British award-winning Composer, Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian and worked with inclusive ensembles in Portugal and the UK to bring the composition to life.

January – June 2021

Entitled ‘Cap O’Rushes’, the new composition aired on 21st June 2021 and officially opened the Culture, Health and Wellbeing 2021 International Conference organised by Arts & Health South West, and was simultaneously premiered and enjoyed by Make Music Day in celebration of World Music Day.  Ensemble Juvenil de Setúbal (Portugal), Headspace Ensemble (UK), and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s BSO Resound (UK), each performed and filmed part of Cevanne’s composition.

Inspired by the ensembles’ gestures, sounds, as well as the story’s imagery of reeds, rushes and salt, the composition has been visually woven together with dance and film footage from UNIT, a collaborative duo consisting of a Choreographer and Film Director.

Filmed individually, and in line with Coronavirus restrictions in each location, the project showcased the impact inclusive music making can have even within the most challenging of times.

Find out more HERE >>

Watch the Commission HERE

Download the Project Report HERE



Supporting the sector through COVID

2020 – 2021

During COVID we wanted to offer support; enable those in the sector to re-connect and make new connections; and to help everyone prepare for and imagine a different future.

We organised a range of Zoom networking meetings and webinars over the course of 18 months, which are available to watch HERE >>

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