May is the month of creativity and health!

Getting creative is good for our health. Whether you like dance, theatre, visual arts, cooking, gardening, music, cooking, sewing, woodwork (anything really), there’s so much potential to be creative and enjoy the creativity of others.

The evidence says that arts can make a powerful contribution to health and wellbeing. As the Parliamentary Inquiry into Creative Health found in 2017, the arts can:

  • help us keep us well, aid our recovery and support longer lives better lived.
  • help meet major challenges facing health and social care: ageing, long term conditions, loneliness and mental health.
  • help save money in the health service and social care.

So we’d like to tell you about three UK-wide festivals and some exciting creative health activity in the Southampton area. How about getting involved? Maybe you’d like to work with others to put on a creative health themed event yourself?

Age of Creativity Festival 2020 is happening throughout May, primarily about arts and older people. There will be national headline events as well as local events. These will be included in the printed programme (deadline for entries 1 March) as well the online programme. This is very much about the barriers that people experience as they age, and encourages us all to reimagine ageing through creativity. Do share news of this festival!

Get Creative Festival 9-17 May 2020 will shine a light on all the great cultural activity that takes place on a regular basis in local communities. People are encouraged to try their hand at something new and creative. Know a local group that might want to share what they are up to and reach new people? They can upload their events to the website by 2 May.

Creative Health and Wellbeing Week follows on, between 18 and 24 May 2020. Previously a London festival, this has gone national! There is a strong theme on positive futures, with climate change, young people and mental health is very much on the top of the agenda.

And if you are in the Southampton area, we are starting to plan our contribution to the festivals! Through the Southampton Art in Health Forum, we will be collating a list of local area creative events that have a health connection, and working with others to put on a showcase event. Contact us to share news of your event, ask to join our mailing list for updates or explore doing an activity together.

Plus we have Dead Good Days , a festival to mark Dying Awareness Week and get people talking about the inevitable (you know, that we will, one day, die). There will be a whole series of events during May with a death and dying theme, including a family friendly Dead Good Day Out on Sunday 24 May at NST City in Guildhall Square Southampton.

Let’s get creative and think about the impacts on our health and futures.

Rebecca

from Southampton Collective and Southampton Art in Health Forum

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