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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.

In recent years, there has been increasing recognition by the health community of the impact that arts participation can have on people's mental and physical health. The arts can improve health outcomes for patients, 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 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 to this field by combining world-leading healthcare, diverse cultural partnerships and innovative approaches to developing the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Stroke Odysseys credit Pari Naderi (2)The Stroke Ambassadors, Marek Dziurman and Haide Rollo, performing in Stroke Odysseys choreographed by Ben Duke. Image by Pari Naderi.

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


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.  


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.’


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. 


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, 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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.

SHAPER, the world's largest ever study into the impact and scalability of arts interventions on physical and mental health, is launched by King's College London and UCL, supported by a £2m award from Wellcome Trust.  

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

Arts, Health & Wellbeing Working Group

group of participants dancing at an English National Ballet workshopThe 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 as two-way conduits for information. 

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

Associate Director (Operations), Science Gallery London

Dr. Johanna Kieniewicz

Head of Education and Research Collaborations, Culture 

Professor Patrick Leman

Dean of Education
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

John O'Shea

Associate Director (Creative), 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

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"We are interested in how to recognise and teach embodied expertise. What gives the researcher their particular way of looking at the world? This is 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