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Enhancing health and wellbeing through arts and culture­­

A growing evidence base is demonstrating the significant impact of arts and culture on individual and collective health and wellbeing.

content_greenhandswithleafIn recent years, the medical research community has developed its collective understanding of the value that arts participation can have on patient mental and physical health. For those with existing health conditions, engagement with arts and culture has been proven to alleviate symptoms and bolster the effects of medical intervention. Participating in the arts can also prevent disease, promote wellbeing, and strengthen communities by providing new opportunities for social connection. There are also significant benefits through arts participation for health professionals, including personal wellbeing and access to professional development opportunities.

King’s College London recognises that arts and health often go hand in hand. There is an emerging national commitment to significant investment in the field of arts, health and wellbeing, with many important initiatives set to accelerate over the coming years.

King’s is proud to have played a key role in changing attitudes and increasing awareness of the individual and collective benefits of connecting arts and health. Today, the university seeks to make a distinctive contribution by combining our world-leading healthcare, diverse cultural partnerships and our innovative approach to developing the next generation of healthcare professionals.

The Arts, Health & Wellbeing Hub at King’s will:

  • bring together existing initiatives and achievements and create a network of colleagues interested in this field
  • facilitate knowledge exchange and partnerships
  • raise King’s profile in this area, forging links with major arts and health developments nationally and internationally
  • act as a catalyst to accelerate new developments in support of faculty and academic ambitions.

Key events at King’s and in the national movement for arts, health & wellbeing

2001

King’s becomes the first university in the UK to create a D’Oyly Carte Chair of Medicine and the Arts, who works alongside academics across different faculties exploring the medical humanities.  

2007

Arts Council England and the Department of Health jointly issue A Prospectus for Arts and Health, outlining the wealth of evidence demonstrating that the arts are an integral part of the nature and quality of the services both bodies provide. The report reveals ‘the effectiveness and value of Arts and Health initiatives, and the benefits they bring to patients, service users and their carers, and to communities and healthcare workers in every sector.’

2012

King’s invests in the development of a specialist Culture team to broker partnerships between academics, clinicians and cultural partners.

King’s implements a Cultural Strategy to support delivery of the university’s strategic priorities, including new approaches to innovative healthcare through cultural partnerships. 

2014

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health & Wellbeing (APPGAHW) is formed to improve awareness of the health and wellbeing benefits that the arts can bring. 

King’s College London launches CultureCase.org, with a dedicated section collating and translating peer reviewed evidence from around the world into the impact of arts and culture on health and wellbeing.

2015

King’s trials new approaches to generating innovative research whilst delivering distinctive education through cultural partnerships.  This includes introducing a programme of curriculum innovation through the arts across the Health Faculties, as well as developing a series of arts-based initiatives to support student health and wellbeing.

2017

King's is the research partner for the landmark APPGAHW report to conduct a far-reaching inquiry into practice and research in the arts in health and social care.

The landmark APPGAHW report Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing (2017) surveys the growing national awareness of the impact of arts and culture to health and wellbeing, and offers recommendations to improve policy and practice.

2018

Science Gallery London opens at King’s College London, providing a flagship venue to explore new connections between art, science and health to drive innovation. 

2019

King’s College London officially launches the Arts, Health & Wellbeing Hub to unite academics, students, healthcare professionals and cultural partners with a shared interest in the potential of the arts and culture to contribute to positive health.

 

If you’d like to keep in touch with developments in arts, health and wellbeing at King’s and beyond, sign up to receive updates using the signup form. You can also email us at artshealthwellbeing@kcl.ac.uk


Arts, Health & Wellbeing Working Group

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The Working Group act as champions and advocates for arts, health and wellbeing work across King’s and further afield. They offer advice on areas of significant interest in arts and health emerging across the university and externally, acting and two-way conduits for information.

 

Sophie Branscombe

Innovation Manager, Culture

Penny Charles

Senior Teaching Fellow, Midwifery
Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care

Nikki Crane

Programme Lead : Arts, Health and Wellbeing, Culture

Dr Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt

Research Fellow, Culture

Tim Henbrey

Director of Operations, Science Gallery London 

Professor Brian Hurwitz

Professor of Medicine & the Arts, Department of English
Faculty of Arts & Humanities 

Professor Patrick Leman

Dean of Education
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

John O'Shea

Head of Programming (Maternity Cover), Science Gallery London

Professor Kim Piper

Head of the Centre for Dental Education | Professor of Oral Pathology
Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences

Richard Wingate

Reader in Development Neurobiology
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Stay in touch

Email the Arts, Health & Wellbeing hub

Sign up to receive updates

 
 

"We are interested in how to recognise and teach embodied expertise. What gives the researcher their particular way of looking at the world? This are not easy to uncover from the text book or the laboratory practical. It comes from an imaginative approach to science learning which can best be conveyed through arts-based approaches that tap into risk-taking, licence to fail and critical reflection."

Dr Richard Wingate,Head of Department and Chair of Departmental Education Committee, Anatomy Department, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine

 


Find out more

Research & Innovation

Research & Innovation

A curated selection of research case studies demonstrating innovative approaches to arts in health