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Enhancing creative health through arts and culture­­

Over the last two decades, the field of arts in health has grown rapidly due to major advances in research and increased interest from both the cultural and health sectors in the potential of arts-based interventions in health and healthcare.

The impact arts and culture have on health and wellbeing is highlighted in the landmark Creative Health report from the APPG for Arts, Health & Wellbeing (2017), for which King’s was the research partner, and more recently in the World Health Organisation’s review of the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and wellbeing (2019).

The establishment of the National Centre for Creative Health formed in response to the Creative Health report marks a turning point in promoting collaboration across this fast-moving field, advancing good practice and research and informing policy. Crucially it will help to foster the conditions for creative health to be integral to health, social care and wider systems. 

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 Creative Health Hub at King’s will:

  • Create and sustain a network of colleagues interested in this field
  • Bring together existing initiatives and achievements
  • Facilitate knowledge exchange and partnerships across education and research
  • Maximise the benefit of arts-based activities in supporting the wellbeing of staff and students
  • Raise the university’s profile in this area, as leader, convenor, partner and participant
  • Forge 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 creative 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

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.

Breathe Arts Health Research and the King’s College SHAPER postnatal depression research team launched Melodies for Mums online. The COVID-19 lockdown has prompted the development of an online version of the intervention that can be used to widen the reach nationally for women who may not be able to attend in-person sessions due to geographical constrains or severity of depressive or anxiety symptoms.


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

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 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

Dr Johanna Kieniewicz
Head of Education and Research Collaborations, Culture

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

Richard Wingate
Reader in Development Neurobiology
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Dr Tony Woods
Arts in Health Programme Manager
SHAPER programme

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Research & Innovation

Research & Innovation

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