The powerful contribution the arts can make in supporting our nation’s health and wellbeing is increasingly recognised.  In these extraordinary times people and communities have been turning to creative activities as an important source of enjoyment, connection, solace and meaning throughout the COVID-19 crisis.  

Since we published our study mapping the arts and health landscape in Wales, we’ve been working closely with colleagues in Health to explore how being creatively active can help build a healthier Wales.

Partnership is at the heart of all our work to help build a healthier Wales. Our Memorandum of Understanding with the Welsh NHS Confederation, now in its fourth year, has enabled us to work strategically and take great strides forward. And through our lottery funding, we support arts organisations, individual artists, local authorities and health partners to deliver a wealth of initiatives and programmes that are improving the outcomes for participants and patients in exciting ways. Our Arts & Health work involves some of the most marginalised and vulnerable people in our communities and is an important means of enabling a wider, more diverse range of people to experience the benefits of engaging in the creative arts. Our extensive programme of Arts & Health activity includes:

  • Providing funding support for all Health Boards in Wales to engage an Arts & Health Coordinator;
  • Acting as the secretariat for the National Assembly’s Cross-party Group on Arts & Health;
  • Investing in training and the sharing of best practice through WAHWN Wales Arts Health & Wellbeing Network;
  • Backing innovation through our partnership with Y Lab and the HARP Programme to test new ideas that can be sustained and scaled;
  • Cultural Cwtch – Developing a website of creative resources to support the wellbeing of frontline NHS and social care staff in Wales as we emerge from the pandemic.
  • A joint programme of work – Celf ar y Cyd – with Amgueddfa Cymru to share and exhibit artwork from our national collections within the Covid field hospitals across Wales;
  • The cARTrefu Programme - with AGE Cymru and the Baring Foundation- - supporting and creative approaches to care through Artists in Residence within care homes.

We are passionate about the power of the Arts to  to contribute to the quality of our lives – supporting our health and wellbeing, connecting us with others and providing enjoyment a  and fun. Below you can read through our mapping report or browse through some of our case studies that clearly show the impact in action.

For more info, email us at artsandhealth@arts.wales

Has your health or wellbeing improved as a result of engaging with art?

We would love to hear from you! We are always interested in stories from people whose health has been improved by the arts.

Got a story? Get in touch! artsandhealth@arts.wales 

Did you know?

Attending an arts event at least once a month during life’s later years reduces the risk of depression by 50%.

Visiting a gallery or museum every few months reduces your risk of developing dementia by up to 44% - and the benefit lasts for up to 10 years after you stop.

Arts and Health: Mapping Report