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Arts and Health Australia

Plenary Speakers

Sally Basser

Sally BasserSally Basser is First Assistant Secretary, Office for the Arts, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. She is responsible for cultural policy, arts and cultural funding programs and relationships with arts statutory bodies and companies.

Sally has extensive experience in public policy, service delivery and organisational change in a range of areas including arts and culture, sport, children's services, child support, child protection and mental health. She has also worked as a ministerial adviser. Sally has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Canberra and a Bachelor of Social Work (First Class Honours) from the University of New South Wales. Sally also attended the National Institute of Dramatic Art for two years in the late 1970s.

National Cultural Policy

The Australian Government committed to the development of a new National Cultural Policy in the 2010 election. The National Cultural Policy will reflect the important role that arts and creativity play in the daily lives of all Australians and will help integrate arts and culture within our broader social and economic goals. Since the discussion paper on the National Cultural Policy was released in August, organisations, community groups and thousands of Australians – from all around the country and from many different backgrounds – have contributed valuable suggestions and feedback. The policy will reflect the many conversations that have taken place across the nation. More information about the National Cultural Policy can be found at: http://culture.arts.gov.au/

Adriane Boag

Adriane BoagAdriane Boag is a Program Coordinator at the National Gallery of Australia with responsibility for developing and delivering access programs for youth and community groups. Adriane has a Visual Arts degree with Honours in Painting and Sculpture from Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney Australia. Adriane has over twenty years teaching experience in tertiary and museum visual art education. Adriane coordinates regular tours for a wide variety of specialised audiences including people living with dementia and is the facilitator of the Art and Alzheimer’s’ Program at the National Gallery of Australia. In 2009 support from the Department of Health & Ageing made possible the development and delivery of the Art and Alzheimer’s Outreach Program. The Outreach Program’s aims and objectives support sustainable regionally specific programs in galleries for people living with Dementia. A two day training workshop for arts and health professionals has been developed from the experience gained within the current Art and Alzheimer’s Program at the National Gallery. Additional Special Access programs are an established feature of Learning and Access planning and programming. A focus of her Gallery work with youth is the National Gallery of Australia and National Australia Bank Summer Art Scholarship, an annual week long art immersion program for sixteen year 11 students selected from each state and territory of Australia.

Adriane will conduct a pre-conference workshop in concert with Carrie McGee from the Museum of Modern Art, New York, who will present on the Art and Alzheimer's program Meet me at MoMA. The workshop will offer a blueprint for any museum or art gallery considering a similar strategy and equip museum professionals with methods of making art accessible to people with Alzeimer’s disease and their carers.The workshop will also offer training to health professionals working in hospitals, aged care facilities and community health services.

A highlight of the conference will be an opportunity to view Good Strong Powerful - An Exhibition from Northern Territory Art Studios working with Indigenous artists with disability.

Dominic Campbell

Dominic CampbellDominic Campbell is Artistic Director of Bealtaine, a ground-breaking celebration of creativity in older age (www.bealtaine.com). This nationwide arts festival is built through commission and collaboration; five hundred partnerships with artists, cultural organisation, libraries, health care settings, active retirement groups and individuals created 3000 individual exhibitions, workshops, concerts, performances, debates and displays in 2011. The Festival has become a means for sectors to meet in collaboration. It is having a significant affect on the cultural life of Ireland. It asks " What kind of old do I want to be and what kind of world do I want to grow older in?". Dominic is supporting the development of similar initiatives in Wales, Scotland and Germany.

Self-employed he's programmed public discussions at The Abbey Theatre, explored the future of Irish Festivals with AOIFE, and encouraged articulate dissent through "Angry School" for "Home Of The Bewildered" (www.homeofthebewildered.com). He's built Carnival, directed intimate performance and high profile national celebrations including "The Day Of Welcomes" marking 2004's EU expansion with eleven simultaneous cultural festivals. From 1999 to 2004 he transformed Dublin's St Patrick's Festival. He's interested in stuff. Sometimes he makes stuff. Sometimes he tries to make stuff happen.

Bealtaine Festival asks the question: "What kind of old do I want to be and what kind of world do I want to grow older in?"

Bealtaine festival is unique. It is the first nationwide celebration of creativity in older age in the world and Ireland’s only nationwide arts festival.

In 2011, the 16th Festival, 600 partner organisation created 3000 performances, exhibitions, dances, cinema, workshops, concerts and events attended by 111,000 people across the country. There was even a Bealtaine story line on the national T.V. soap Fair City.

A chance for people to make new and challenging work, to communicate traditions between generations its also where a novice might discover an unexplored talent or dormant interests re-emerge.

Molly Carlile

Molly CarlileMolly Carlile is a healthcare professional, educator and author, and has recently taken up the appointment as the Manager of Palliative Care Services, for Austin Health in Melbourne.

Molly is responsible for the strategic and operational management of palliative care including the planning and implementation of the move to Austin's new Olivia Newton John Cancer and Wellness Centre. This is an integrated cancer centre, incorporating palliative and supportive care with a focus on wellness. Arts and health is seen as an essential element in providing a safe healing environment for patients across the care continuum, no matter their prognosis.

Molly will give a presentation about this new centre and how arts and health strategies and programs are being applied, as well as highlighting the benefits and challenges of incorporating arts and health programming into a health facility.

Molly was the recipient of the 2009 Arts and Health Australia Award for Excellence in the category of Health Promotion.

Dr Gary Christenson

Dr Gary ChristensonDr. Gary Christenson is director of Mental Health at Boynton Health Service, adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Christenson is the current President of the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, Washington DC. and past co-chair of the Midwest Arts in Healthcare Network. He is a collector of miniature Japanese woodblock prints and previously served as the president of the Minneapolis Japanese print club as well as a member of the steering committee of the Asian Arts Council at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Dr. Christenson is a self-taught artist, whose paintings portray the landscapes of northern Norway.

Five Reasons Why We Need the Arts in Medicine

Dr. Christenson's plenary session Five Reasons Why We Need the Arts in Medicine will review the roles that the arts can play in fostering healing in both healthcare and community settings: 1) art can make medical and nursing students better healthcare providers, 2) art can provide therapeutic benefits to patients, 3) art can assist in preventing disease, 4) art can improve the patient experience, and 5) art can promote doctor and nurse well being. Examples will illustrate the varied ways that art has proved itself to be an ally of medicine such as improving skills with a stethoscope, decreasing the need for medication during medical procedures, improving patient mobility, increase public awareness of heart health and HIV/AIDs, and balancing the stressful life of the health professional.

David Doyle

David DoyleDavid is the Executive Director of DADAA, Western Australia, an Arts organisation dedicated to Arts for Social Change that has over the past 16 years been at the forefront of the Australian Arts and Disability movement.

David has worked across Australia, Hong Kong, Kenya and Ireland to extend cultural participation for people with disabilities and mental illness. David Holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts (ANU), Graduate Diploma of Education (ECU) and is an accredited Partnership Broker through PBAS UK. David is the Editor of Proving the Practice - evidencing the effects of community arts on mental health, he has written widely on Arts and Health practice in Australia.

As an arts worker throughout the 1990’s David focused on regional Community Arts and Cultural Development projects and Disability Arts Festivals with a focus on cultural inclusion. David was awarded the National Arts and Health Leadership Award in 2009 for his work in the Australian Arts and Health sectors and the Western Australian State Arts Business Leadership Award for his work in sustainable partnerships, between communities, the business and Arts sectors.

Dr Gerri Frager

Dr Gerri FragerDr. Gerri Frager is a Canadian pediatrician and has been the Medical Director of the Pediatric Palliative Care Service at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia for the past 16 years. Gerri is a Professor at Dalhousie University and the Director of the Medical Humanities-HEALS program at Dalhousie, which seeks to enhance Healing & Learning through the Arts & Life-Skills.

Gerri worked as a nurse for 9 years before pursuing her medical degree at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. Following a year of Internal Medicine in Montreal and her Pediatric Residency in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Gerri worked as a consultant pediatrician in Newfoundland, Canada including doing fly-in clinics to coastal out-ports.

Gerri explored various models of palliative care delivery through a year-long traveling fellowship covering the US, the UK, and Canada; then followed with a 21/4 year fellowship with the Pain Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York city, USA. Dr. Frager is a Faculty Scholar Alumnus with the Open Society Institute's Project Death in America, which is committed to the goal of improving care at the end-of-life.

Gerri is the author of a web-based resource and numerous publications relating to her 2 primary focuses: Pediatric Palliative Care & integration of the arts and humanities into clinical care, education, and research. Her particular areas of interest include communication and the use of novel arts-based modalities to enhance communication. Her other focus relates to physician wellness and self-care. She has been gratified by the tremendous response to a play she commissioned, Ed's Story: The Dragon Chronicles, which has been incorporated as innovative teaching tool in Dalhousie University's Medical School and further afield. Dr. Frager enjoys presenting at regional, national and international conferences.

Ed's Story: The Dragon Chronicles

A verbatim play based on the clinical care of Ed, a 16 year-old with advanced cancer, in whose care Gerri shared. Ed kept a journal in his last 4 months of life. Through a follow-up research study, Ed’s words were combined with interviews with his friends, family and carers to create a 2010 Atlantic Fringe Festival Hit, with sold-out performances throughout its run.

David Handley

David HandleyDavid is the Founding Director of Sculpture by the Sea which is staged annually on Cottesloe Beach in Western Australia and the Bondi to Tamarama coast walk in NSW. The Bondi exhibition began in 1997 and has grown to become the largest annual sculpture exhibition in the world attracting an estimated 500,000 visitors over 3 weeks each year to view over 100 sculptures by artists from across the world.

Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe began in 2005 and has grown into the second largest annual sculpture exhibition in the world attracting an estimated 215,000 visitors each year.

In 2009 the first international exhibition of Sculpture by the Sea was held in the City of Aarhus, Denmark under the Patronage of The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark. This exhibition is one of the largest and most popular art events staged biannually in Denmark, the next one to be held in 2013.

David is on the Board of the International Sculpture Centre (USA). He has Bachelor of Arts and Law degrees from the University of Sydney and a Master of Law from Kings College, University of London.

David was recently named the 2010 Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year for NSW and the ACT.

Sculpture by the Sea Tactile Tours

David Handley, Founding Director of Sculpture by the Sea and David Doyle, Executive Director of DADAA Inc. will present images and stories from people who were able to experience the Sculpture by the Sea annual exhibition for the first time this year, discussing the impact of being encouraged to participate and be included in a large scale public event.

Facilitating discovery through dialogue and touch, the Tactile Tours were designed to introduce visitors with disabilities to a new experience with contemporary sculpture. Participants were taken on a guided tour through the exhibition by experienced DADAA and Art Gallery of Western Australia guides and encouraged to engage with a selection of sculptures located in accessible areas along the Cottesloe beach precinct.

Prof Brad Haseman

Brad HasemanAs Professor and Assistant Dean (Research) for the Creative Industries Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology, Brad has worked as a teacher and researcher for over thirty years pursuing his fascination with the aesthetics and forms of contemporary performance and pedagogy. Formerly a drama teacher and consultant in Queensland secondary schools, Brad is well-known as an author (Dramawise) and as a workshop leader and speaker, regularly presenting throughout Australia, Asia and Europe.

Brad maintains his practice as a drama educator in university and corporate settings. He has received a number of teaching awards in recognition of his role as a consultant to business and community groups engaged in experiential learning and he continues to conduct management and leadership programs with the Queensland Government, the Royal Brisbane and Woman's Hospital and the Australian Defence Materials Organisation. Brad's current research investigates practice-led methodologies for the arts and evaluation strategies to assess the impact of experiential learning techniques in corporate and community settings. He is currently leading a research project in Papua New Guinea developing applied performance programs for HIV and AIDS education. In 2008 he co-authored the Occasional Paper The arts and Australia's national innovation system 1994-2008 for the Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS).

Brad has served as President of Contact Youth Theatre, in the 1990's was Chair of the GRUNT Youth Space in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane and in 2008 was Chair of SPARK, the National Young Artists Mentoring Program managed by Youth Arts Queensland.

Brad is a community interest representative on the Australia Council for the Arts where he chairs the Community Partnerships Committee which manages a range of funding programs for community cultural development activities. Community Partnerships also includes Arts in Education, Arts-Health and Artist in Residence programs for Australian schools and communities.

When you cannot 'Suit the action to the word, the word to the action': the case for performative evaluation.

Carrie McGee

Carrie McGeeCarrie McGee is an educator in Community and Access Programs in the Department of Education at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. MoMA has won international respect for its unique efforts to make the Museum's extensive resources, collection and programs accessible to marginalised communities. Carrie develops programs for audiences with special needs and disabilities. Often in collaboration with community and health care organizations, these programs serve diverse audiences including individuals with physical, developmental, or learning disabilities; hospitalized children and adults; homebound individuals; blind and partially sighted visitors; individuals who have been incarcerated; cancer survivors; individuals with mental illness; and people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers.

MoMA's programs are founded on the belief that engagement with art can impact health and healing, and the understanding that cultural institutions have a unique opportunity in their capacity to facilitate that engagement.

Carrie also teaches a seminar at the Museum for medical students from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and serves on the Board of Directors of the Society for the Arts in Healthcare.

Carrie will discuss the development and outcomes of MoMA's Community Access Programs, including the world-renown MoMA Alzheimer's Project, in order to validate the notion that high quality arts programming positively impacts the physical, intellectual, and emotional lives of those who participate.

Clive Parkinson

Clive ParkinsonClive Parkinson is the Director of Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University, the UK’s longest established arts and health unit. He was project lead on the HM Treasury funded; Invest to Save: Arts in Health Project and is a passionate advocate for culture and the arts. He is working to further understand the potential impact of the arts on public health, in partnership with Arts Council England, North West and the Department of Health, Public Health Team, North West. He is currently facilitating a series of participatory workshops with those interested in the impact of the arts on wider society. Under the banner of M A N I F E S T O he is working towards a distinctly proactive approach to the arts/health agenda in relationship to the ongoing financial 'down-turn'. As a visual artist, he worked in a hospital for people with learning difficulties whilst undertaking a degree at Lancaster University focusing on the relationship between creativity, culture, the arts and health. Employed variously by the NHS and voluntary sector, Clive has led on mental health promotion for an NHS Trust and managed day services for people affected by schizophrenia in the seaside town of Morecambe.


The Interior, Design and Health

Science and Art have long been held up as the twin pillars of civilized society, and increased awareness of the impact of design on health and well-being is evidenced by diverse collaborations. Against a backdrop of conspicuous consumption and global financial downturn, this paper will explore the relationship between design and our aspiration for societal well-being, taking into account how we live our lives, and the manner in which we die.

If you are given the diagnosis of cancer or dementia, the likelihood that this news is given to you in a clinical environment is high, as is that it will be given to you by a highly trained clinician. That you’d be concerned either for the design of the environment or the integration of the arts into this space, would in all probability, be an irrelevance to you. Given a diagnosis of any serious disease, we cling to the professionalism and speed of a responsive heath system that will act in our best interest and provide treatment that is well-considered and effective. In fact, considering design and the arts seems ridiculous in the face of illness and are own mortality. Yet, there is a growing awareness amongst clinicians that in the face of illness and dying; that the humanities offer medicine something other than scientific reductionism.

This paper will focus on the seemingly tenuous relationship between design and health and assert that its potential impact on future patients is far reaching.

I will use the motif of the patient journey as useful place to begin, because like it or not, we are all patients (increasingly consumers) of health services at some point in our lives, and for those of us in robust health, the likelihood of our final moments of life taking place inside a hospital intensive care unit, (ICU) is far more probable than us gently slipping away in the comfort of our own bed, surrounded by the ones we love.

It is my assertion, that in considering all aspects of health and well-being, from the clinical setting to the community we live in; we must consider the extremes of the human condition, to better understand how to affect long-term cultural change in the way we plan, deliver and value our public health.

Dr Peter Spitzer

Dr Peter SpitzerDr. Peter Spitzer, MB BS (Melb), FACRRM, Churchill Fellow Chief Investigator (E) SMILE Study, University of New South Wales Medical Director, Humour Foundation, Visiting Medical Officer Southern Highlands Private Hospital. Dr Spitzer is Australia's most famous and first medical Clown Doctor (aka Dr Fruit Loop). He is the Medical Director, cofounder and Inaugural Chairman of the Humour Foundation charity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health benefits of humour. As a physician he works in a general medical practice and has training in acupuncture, musculoskeletal medicine, hypnosis, psychotherapy and natural medicine.

As a Clown Doctor, he visits children in hospital, bringing healing laughter to relieve stress and fear, and aid recovery. Clown Doctors also play a role in palliative care for adults and children, and more recently have expanded their program to include nursing homes. Dr. Spitzer is involved in the training of Clown Doctors. In 2003, he developed the "LaughterBoss" training program to enable healthcare professionals in nursing homes to develop creative skills in introducing humour and laughter into their practice. In addition he is actively involved in bringing the arts to both undergraduate and postgraduate medical, nursing and allied health programs.

In 2001 Dr Spitzer was awarded the Churchill Fellowship to study the international impact of hospital clown units on the health care system. He is also currently involved in a joint study between the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre of University of New South Wales and the Humour Foundation in the landmark 3 year SMILE (Sydney Multisite Intervention of LaughterBosses and ElderClowns 2009 - 2011).

Memories of a smile: Twenty-five years of clowns promoting good health and wellbeing across the lifespan in hospitals and residential care facilities.

This presentation will describe the work of clowns in hospitals and healthcare facilities around the world. It will describe how clowns promote good health and share observations about the benefits and best practice gained from research conducted in Australia and Canada.

Workshop with Prof Bernie Warren: Smiles are everywhere: introducing clown-play and humour into your practiceThis workshop will introduce participants to clown-plays and shown how to integrate these skills into their professional work. Emphasis throughout will be on developing transportable play, humour and clown skills that may be used in a variety of health-care, educational and community settings.

Alice Thwaite

Alice ThwaiteAlice is Director of Development of Equal Arts and has been a pioneer in the field of arts and older people for 20 years. Equal Arts is based in Gateshead in the North East of England and is one of only three arts organisations in the UK that specialises in work with older people across art forms. A small team contract a variety of professional artists to work on 12 - 14 projects each year. Alice has managed over 100 projects (raising over £3 million) in a wide variety of venues including hospitals, residential care homes, arts venues and day centres. She was consulted by the Royal Commission on Long Term Care and sits on the Board of Years Ahead, the regional Forum on Ageing, working strategically to include the arts into mainstream ageing policy.

Recent projects include Knitted Lives, an exhibition of 3D knitting created by women from Newcastle which toured all over the North East was seen by over 40,000 people; Art on Prescription, a social prescribing project funded by the NHS for people experiencing the early signs of dementia; Sing for Life a project involving care staff looking at ways to support singing in residential care homes.

Alice is passionate about enabling older people to have access to participatory arts programmes and in 2010 received a Winston Churchill Fellowship which enabled her to travel to Ireland and the US looking at models of good practice. She has been asked to sit on the selection panel for future Churchill Fellows in the arts and older people category and is keen to be part of the development of national and international networks of organisations working in the field.

Creative Aging

Equal Arts is working at the forefront of the creative ageing field in the UK and the presentation will describe key ingredients needed to develop successful projects. Alice will hope to inspire and inform the conference by looking at a range of projects that she has developed, from working with family Carers in the Carers Cultural Adventures group to developing an innovative art on prescription project for people with dementia to projects. She is currently setting up a 5 year project which will involve groups of older volunteers developing their own art form skills in contemporary dance and music, working with professional artists, who will be working in residential care homes with people with dementia and care staff.

Prof Bernie Warren

Bernie-WarrenBernie Warren Ph.D., is a Professor of Drama in Education and Community at the University of Windsor. Prior to his current position he taught drama and dance in schools in the UK and Ireland and held positions teaching courses in acting, movement & voice, developmental drama and drama therapy at various Universities and colleges around the world.

In addition to his training and expertise in the performing arts and psychology, Dr. Warren has studied Eastern healing and Martial Arts for nearly 40 years, ten years of which were as an indoor student of a direct lineage Chinese master. He continues to teach Qigong and Tai Chi to a wide variety of groups including the Windsor-Essex Cardiac-Rehab Program and The Hospice of Windsor.

He is an internationally respected researcher and teacher on the role of the arts in healthcare and education and the author of numerous books and articles including Using the Creative Arts in Therapy and Healthcare and, with Caroline Simonds, The Clown Doctor Chronicles.

In 2001 he was the recipient of the University of Windsor's Alumni Award for Distinguished Contributions to University Teaching and in 2009 the recipient of the University of Windsor's Outstanding Faculty Research Award (Established Scholars/Researchers). He has been included in Canadian Who's Who since 1994.

In addition to his University position Bernie is also the Founder of FOOLS FOR HEALTH and regularly works in hospitals and healthcare facilities as Dr. Haven't-a-Clue.

Memories of a smile: Twenty-five years of clowns promoting good health and wellbeing across the lifespan in hospitals and residential care facilities.

This presentation will describe the work of clowns in hospitals and healthcare facilities around the world. It will describe how clowns promote good health and share observations about the benefits and best practice gained from research conducted in Australia and Canada.

Workshop with Dr Peter Spitzer: Smiles are everywhere: introducing clown-play and humour into your practiceThis workshop will introduce participants to clown-plays and shown how to integrate these skills into their professional work. Emphasis throughout will be on developing transportable play, humour and clown skills that may be used in a variety of health-care, educational and community settings.

Workshop:Don’t Forget to Breathe and Smile: Breathing Exercises as Warm-ups for Art Activities in Healthcare SettingsThis workshop will present some simple breathing exercises and activities that not only help individuals prepare for creative endeavors but also if done regularly can help reduce stress and prevent many illnesses.

Mike White

Mike WhiteMike White is a Senior Research Fellow in Arts and Health at the Centre for Medical Humanities and St. Chad’s College, University of Durham, UK. He studied English at Exeter College, Oxford, but ran away from an early career in academia to explore pioneering arts initiatives in social justice. He has been involved in arts in health work since 1988 when he set up the first arts in primary care project in the UK at Brierley Hill. His work for the Centre for Medical Humanities has included nurturing arts in health projects in schools and communities, workforce development programmes in creativity in healthcare, project-based evaluations, and audits and literature reviews of arts in health for Government agencies. He is currently developing the arts in health component of an inter-disciplinary 5-year research programme in medical humanities, funded by major grant from the Wellcome Trust, which explores the question “what makes for human flourishing?”

In 2005, Mike was awarded a fellowship of the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts to research community-based arts in health and build national/international links in this field. A resulting book Arts Development in Community Health: a social tonic was published by Radcliffe in 2009, and in June this year Mike convened the first international ‘critical mass’ meeting to set up ongoing exchanges of research and practice.

Mike was previously at Gateshead Council where he developed many arts in health and arts for older people projects, as well as public art commissions such as the landmark Angel of the North by Antony Gormley. He has also worked as Development Director of the influential celebratory theatre company Welfare State International, and a long time ago he was a founder member of WOMAD, the international music festival agency. He has many published articles and has lectured widely on arts in health at universities and conferences in the UK, several EC countries, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Canada and USA. This year’s AHA conference marks Mike’s seventh visit to Australia in five years, so he now considers himself a part-time Australian.

Art in Health - a New Prognosis

I have been involved in both the practice and research of community-based arts in health for over twenty years. In my book Arts Development in Community Health: a social tonic (Radcliffe, 2009), I explained the development of this field and its potential for realising a social model of health, described the characteristics of the practice from primary research into projects in the UK and Australia and two other countries, considered the challenges the work poses for research and evaluation, and looked at how 'connected communities' would be the key to future development.

I see that my arts in health work is becoming increasingly hybrid, encompassing support for arts in health initiatives in schools and communities, the development of learning programmes and networks in arts in health, project-based research and inter-disciplinary evaluation. Current changes in infrastructure and policy in the UK health sector and the challenges these present suggest there is now a need to explore not just which arts in health models work best in what contexts; what I think is becoming clear is that the practice of arts in health needs first to re-adjust conceptually and in delivery. Current research in arts and health is moving beyond single project studies that attempt to measure therapeutic impact to multi-site studies using combined methodologies in a ‘theory of change’ model to assess the social and environmental as well as clinical dimensions of benefit. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary approach of medical humanities could be useful in articulating complex issues around human flourishing – which is the dominant work theme at the Centre for Medical Humanities in Durham where I am based. What is also apparent is that capacity building is becoming a central factor in the practice of arts in health, and so in respect of staff involvement it can be evaluated as a learning programme. The quality of professional partnership is a crucial factor that has so far been under-examined in the research of arts in health.

In the UK the imminent transfer of public health into local government is likely to demonstrate even more the delivery of health promotion by hybrid professions and partnerships rather than by traditional specialists, and this could provide useful connection points and shared learning for international practice. It could be an effective incubator for arts in health commissions, residencies and longitudinal research in arts in community health.

Achieving Critical Mass - A Panel Discussion on international development of research and practice in community-based arts in health

In June this year, the Centre for Medical Humanities convened a ‘critical mass’ meeting in Durham of its international partners in community-based arts in health. Leading practitioners and researchers in this field came from the UK, United States, Australia, South Africa, Mexico and Ireland to reflect on shared issues in applying arts practice to healthcare and medicine and to explore how meaningful international research collaborations can be developed that also involve local communities. Over a weekend of four half–day sessions we explored our understandings of community-based arts in health in a global context, identified key issues for international collaboration in both practice and research, and envisioned what success would look like in five years’ time with a practical timeline to get us there.

We saw that effective international collaboration comes from learning from different contexts and looking through different lenses. But we kept returning to questions of whether there are different types of language we should use to frame advocacy arguments for arts in health to participants, partners and policy makers. Must everything be recalibrated for context and cultural diversity, or are there global metaphors for arts in health and a shared set of values and principles? A kind of retro-fit question posed at the outset of our meeting was “what is the problem to which we think we are the solution?”.

It seemed from the emergent collaborations of those at ‘critical mass’ that we might, for example, collectively test out hypotheses around what makes for human flourishing and extend these into global practice, ascertaining their relevance and application. ‘Flourishing’ ups the game on considering what makes for health and happiness – it can cope with ambiguity of circumstance and sees in both philosophical and social justice perspectives that it is not possible to flourish at the expense of others. We might show that international collaboration articulates a new world of arts in health practice which demonstrates value and captures imagination. A word that became currency at our meeting to describe impact and dissemination was ‘viral’, in a benign and organic sense. The panel will present views from several of those who took part in the ‘critical mass’ on the opportunities and challenges it presented and we will invite discussion on how we might move forward on meaningful international collaboration in arts in health.

Kristen Whittle

Kristen Whittle Kristen Whittle is an architect and urban designer. Educated at Manchester University in England, Kristen completed postgraduate studies at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles. Following graduation he won the internationally recognised Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition in 1996 and tutored architecture at the University of North London. He then went on to work with Herzog & De Meuron in Basel Switzerland, leading the design of the Laban Dance Centre which went on to win the RIBA’s Stirling Prize. He also played a significant role in the interior development of the Tate Modern in London.

With Bates Smart, Kristen has worked with the Victorian Government on their new plans for Federation Square East and has recently designed a new visitor centre for the internationally renowned Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne. Kristen has also been the lead designer for the design of the new Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. He has also led the architectural design for the new Dandenong Emergency and Mental Health facilities opened 2011.

Arts and Health at the New Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne

The New Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne is set to become a world's leading, state of the art modern facility and exemplar of evidence based design principles specifically enhanced through the exploration of artistic principles and creative enhancement of child focussed healthcare environments.

This encompassing vision has created world first insights into the planning of positive workplace settings for healthcare professionals as well as creating a truly transformatory family friendly child focussed low stress settings for children in need of care.

Sharon Woodworth

Sharon WoodsworthSharon Woodworth is a senior architect at Anshen+Allen, the largest international firm dedicated solely to healthcare, education and research. In this role she has contributed to projects worldwide from the United Kingdom to the Philippines. The evolution of Sharon's career into architecture exposed her to the study of fine arts with a focus on serigraph printing and sculpture; it was Melinda Hunt, Maya Lin's Yale sculpture instructor, who encouraged her to pursue architecture. Her success in healthcare architecture has been strengthened by two diverse, prior professions, nursing and journalism. The former career in nursing increased her awareness of true healing environments with a focus on evidence-based design. The latter career in journalism exposed her to the value of a well-told story. With over six million square feet of healthcare facility planning and design experience, she has a wide-range of knowledge of hospital operations and continuum of care issues from pediatrics to senior living. This knowledge allows her to speak the client's language, and equally important, translate these needs to the architectural team. As a team leader, these skills are resources that benefit the project as a whole from design conception through construction. Sharon believes that her role is to translate ideas into form for the client and the team so that ultimately the patient benefits. Her aptitude for artistic quality, with a skill for writing, combined with the rigor of science allows Ms. Woodworth to successfully achieve designs that not only meet her clients’ goals but also allows her to ‘tell the story’ so that others may gain from this success. Sharon is a noted speaker at healthcare and architectural conferences; previous speaking engagements include: American Organization of Nurse Executives, American Institute of Architects, and the Center for Health Design.

Art for the People / Art by the People

How could Laguna Honda be a home for 1200 people and still have a choice of living arrangements, dining options, and private bed rooms - all on an un-buildable site with a very limited budget? First, you re-think the definition of privacy, infuse every space with natural light, and last but not least, allow art to pull it all together.