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International Perspectives

Last week 21st, 22nd & 23rd June, Arts & Health South West in partnership with the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance held a momentous international digital conference, ‘Culture, Health and Wellbeing International 2021’ with a diverse range of speakers from Arts and Health global movement including Daisy Fancourt, Clive Parkinson, Kunle Adewale, and Jenny Elliot expertly hosted by Alex Coulter and her team.

During the global crisis, the arts and creativity have helped us navigate uncertainty and been agents of hope. We want the conference to provide a space for exploring our individual and collective experiences and articulating a vision for the future. We will showcase inspiring work from across the field and encourage lively debates informed by different perspectives on the arts, creativity, culture, health, wellbeing and inequalities. We will place lived experience and co-production at the heart of the programme. We will be spanning policy, research and practice and learning from across the whole ecosystem.

The conference centred on the theme of INEQUALITY * POWER * SUSTAINABILITY with speakers from all over the world sharing their experience and hopes for the future of Art and Health. Including conversations on key issues such as:

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, Resilience, prevention and early intervention, social movements and radical change, Training, education and professional development.

Arts for Health Programme Manager Justine Foster, featured on the Country Panel for Ireland. The panel chaired by Dominic Campbell, Director Creative Aging International posed the question, Are we there yet? Recent developments in Arts and Health policy and practice in Ireland and featured perspectives from Mary Grehan Arts in Health Curator Children’s Health Ireland, Anne Sheridan HSE Programme Manager Mental Health and Wellbeing and Catherine McCabe Associate Professor Trinity College Dublin
Panellists drew on diverse experiences in presenting a picture of Arts in Health practice in Ireland, sharing recent policy developments and jointly considering what is needed for the growth and sustainability of the work. They explored the partnership work that is underpinning this practice and touched upon interesting projects across a spectrum of practice.

Culture Health & Wellbeing International Conference (

If you were not able to attend the conference, Arts & Health South West will be making a youtube Playlist or presentations available to the public in the autumn.