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, the health 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 there is increasingly robust evidence that engagement with arts and culture can alleviate symptoms and bolster the effects of medical interventions. Participating in 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 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
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 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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
Arts, Health & Wellbeing Working Group
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.
Innovation Manager, Culture
Senior Teaching Fellow, Midwifery
Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care
Programme Lead: Arts, Health and Wellbeing, Culture
Dr Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt
Research Fellow, Culture
Associate Director (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
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
Reader in Development Neurobiology
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience