Culture Health and Wellbeing International Conference

Our third and final International Conference was delivered on 21st, 22nd & 23rd June 2021

Culture, Health and Wellbeing International Conference 2021 (CHW21)


In partnership with the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance

Thank you to everyone who presented, attended, and gave so much to our third and final Culture, Health and Wellbeing International Conference (CHW21).

A special thank you to the Conference Committee and to Professor Norma Daykin for her work on the Research Proceedings, to the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance for all their support, as well as to our other Conference Partners including UWE Bristol, Tampere University, and University College London. Our small charity couldn’t have put on such a large international event without ongoing funding support from Arts Council England.

CHW21 was delivered online from 21st-23rd June 2021, and was attended by over 561 delegates and speakers from over 30 countries.

You can read or download the 2021 full report here as a PDF

CHW21 Overview Report PDF CLICK HERE

Catch up on CHW21

We know not everyone could attend the CHW21 conference. So, you can catch up on all the recordings from the conference including keynotes, oral presentations and some workshops via our CHW21 Conference Content Page  and Youtube Channel 

Here is an overview of the Conference Programme PDF (14 Jun 2021 edition), if you would like to see what else is included on the Playlist


During the global crisis, the arts and creativity have helped us navigate uncertainty and been agents of hope. At CHW21 we wanted to provide a space for exploring our individual and collective experiences and articulating a vision for the future.  The conference showcased inspiring work from across the field and encouraged lively debates informed by different perspectives on the arts, creativity, culture, health, wellbeing and inequalities. We placed lived experience and co-production at the heart of the programme, and the conference spanned policy, research and practice and learning from across the whole ecosystem.

Much of the work reflected the impact of the pandemic and the conference was an opportunity to reach across the world and tell stories of our different experiences while finding joy in sharing connection.

INEQUALITY * POWER * SUSTAINABILITY – were our main themes for the conference, and it covered many issues including:

  • Access to the arts and culture and cultural democracy
  • Community development, grass-roots and asset-based approaches
  • Co-production and participation
  • Funding and resources
  • Health and social care and arts and cultural structures and systems
  • Health inequalities and social determinants of health
  • Inclusion and exclusion
  • Informing a critical research agenda
  • Local, national and international networks
  • Planet health and people’s health
  • Public Health
  • Practitioner and staff health and wellbeing
  • Resilience, prevention and early intervention
  • Social movements and radical change
  • Training, education and professional development


The CHW21 programme was designed to engage audiences from around the world with key notes in the morning, afternoon and evening and interactive sessions that took into account different time zones for presenters and audiences. Drawing on over 200 submissions from 20 countries, there were 100+ live sessions and 10 country panels from around the world.

During the event attendees were able to join live discussions, attend interactive workshops, as well enjoy networking in the Social Lounge and a range of performances and films. CHW21 tickets also gave delegates full access to recordings of sessions on demand.

Conference Programme PDF (14 Jun 2021 edition)

Culture, Health and Wellbeing International Conference – Research Proceedings

This collection of Research Proceedings, edited by Norma Daykin and Alex Coulter, includes 49 research abstracts that were accepted after a peer review process for the CHW21 conference. A wealth of current research is presented within, including literature reviews, analysis of data from large surveys, theoretical contributions, methodology papers, quantitative studies, qualitative research and process evaluation.

The abstracts reflect a wide range of arts and cultural activities including singing, instrumental music making, museum-based activities, visual arts, creative writing, digital arts, theatre, performance-based projects and creative learning. The studies include data from research participants in many countries, with authors from Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US.

CHW21 Research Proceedings PDF Download >>

Cap O’Rushes Commission

As part of the opening event for the Culture, Health and Wellbeing International Conference on 21st June 2021, we were excited to premiere a new AHSW commission – Cap O’Rushes by British award-winning Composer, Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian.

Based on the story of Cap O’Rushes a rare version of a folktale from Suffolk, Cevanne worked with three inclusive ensembles – BSO Resound, Ensemble Juvenil de Setúbal, and HeadSpace Ensemble to bring her composition to life. Within the framework of three ‘movements’ or ‘acts’ reflecting POWER | EXILE | RECONCILE, each ensemble explored one compositional movement, and through the course of these movements the music charts the narrative’s transition from exile to reunion with brass, strings, percussion and electronic instruments.

Inspired by gestures, sounds, and imagery of the Cap O’Rushes story, the composition was 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, the project offered a space for collaboration and creative practice, as well as showcasing the impact inclusive music making can have even within the most challenging of times.

The Cap O’Rushes production was made possible with support by Stichting Horizon.

Watch the Commission HERE and find out more about the Cap O’Rushes project >>


As part of our Pay-It-Forward Scheme for the conference, we offered Arts in Medicine Fellows in Africa free places.  The Arts in Medicine Fellowship is currently leading the largest arts in health network on the continent of Africa with 13 countries represented and over 400 members.

Offering Fellows free delegate spaces to the conference was a valuable opportunity for Fellows who are working in remote parts of Africa to engage with people who are in need of healing in the context of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Read more about the Pay-It-Forward scheme here.

We want to say a special thank all those delegates and exhibitor’s who supported this scheme through buying additional ticket add on’s and sponsorship.  A special thank you to the following organisations who supported us as Booth Exhibitors, and who through their sponsored Booth supported pay-it-forward places.

Our Booth Exhibitors

Kinda Studios
Unforgettable Experiences
Look Again Mindful Photography
Significant Seams


With over 500 delegates from across the world attending over 100+ live sessions, the conference conversations around our key themes were rich and inspiring. Informed by different perspectives spanning policy, research, practice, lived experience and co-production, we feel these lively debates around INEQUALITY * POWER * SUSTAINABILITY should  not end even though the conference is over, therefore we will be continuing these conversations across a number of our platforms and events over the forthcoming months.

If you would like to be included in these conversations, then join us for free as a AHSW Member.  JOIN US >>

Or follow us via

Twitter: @ArtsHealthSW

Facebook: @ArtsHealthSW 

Linkedin: Arts & Health South West 

Instagram: artsandhealthsouthwest





CHW 2021 Conference

The Culture, Health and Wellbeing International conference happened every four years. Our 2021 was our final International Conference, the conference involved 561 delegates and speakers from over 30 countries.

You can read or download the 2021 full report here as a PDF

CHW21 Overview Report PDF CLICK HERE

“I found the conference a wonderful mix of thought provoking, diverse and inspiring keynotes, workshops and talks … I’m still mulling over several of the sessions … I came away with a renewed sense of connection and genuine pride to be part of the creative health ‘movement’ and to be working with such inspiring people – especially in the midst of what feels like the world turned upside down at the moment. It gets very lonely being a practitioner in this field and, in my area, it’s compounded by geography, so to be together (even virtually) with colleagues on the same wavelength is refreshing and has given me a real boost that I didn’t know I needed this year … The ripples of the conference spread deep and wide” – Conference Delegate.

The 2017, the  Culture, Health and Wellbeing International Conference involved over 400 delegates and speakers from 23 countries. You can read or download the 2017 full report here as a PDF





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