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Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance

Clive Parkinson is currently the North West regional champion for Arts and Health and you can find out much more about the Alliance at

Manchester Institute for Arts, Health & Social Change

In 2018 we launched the Manchester Institute for Arts, Health & Social Change - a five-year piece of work - in the first instance - that looks to redefine what constitutes research and value and interrogate the arts and health possibilities across Greater Manchester and the wider world. We published the Manchester Declaration in March 2019 and you can find more details about this work on its dedicated website.


The Greater Manchester Culture, Health & Wellbeing Study

Over 2019 we are conducting an in-depth study of the state of arts, health and social change activity across Greater Manchester and looking to informing future developments. More details will be published on the Manchester Institute for Arts, Health & Social Change website. This work is in collaboration with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

The Harmonic Oscillator

Between 2015 and 2018 Clive Parkinson worked closely with the Australian artist Vic McEwan on a project exploring sound based in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. You can find out all about this work at As part of this work, Clive wrote the book Critical Care, details of which can be found here. Over 2019 and 2020 Parkinson & McEwan are working towards an experimental theatre piece exploring the extremes of anxiety and grief for delivery in October 2020.

Dementia and Imagination

Between 2014 and 2017 Arts for Health was a research partner on the £1.2million AHRC/ESRC funded Dementia & Imagination project. This three-year project explored how taking part in the visual arts can contribute to the health and well-being of people living with dementia. Clive Parkinson was co-investigator leading on research strands around art in the research process and engagement through art. The largest research study of its kind has produced multiple outputs including its mixed-methods protocol in the British Medical Journal; and Impact Study of the visual arts program on quality of life, communication and wellbeing of people living with dementia:in International Psychogeriatrics. This work is complimented by more public facing work like the free handbook for artists and health professionals, Dementia & Imagination: Research Informed Approaches to Visual Arts Interventions. For an overview of the research and links to all publications, please visit the dedicated Dementia and Imagination web site.

Menas žmogaus gerovei

Arts for Health continues to work with the Lithuanian Artists Association; the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences and the British Council in arts and health research, development and practice in the Republic of Lithuania. Please see the report of activity of 2012, Menas žmogaus grove (PDF).

I AM:art as an agent for change

Between 2012 and 2014 Arts for Health is working with partners in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Italy and Turkey bringing together artists, people and communities in recovery from addiction, drug and alcohol professionals and academics, using self-portraiture as a means of exploring identity, stigma and the process of behavioural change.

The programme will address this by making recovery communities and recovery itself more visible, transparent and better understood. Recovery as a real life-choice to that of active addiction will be examined, promoted and celebrated. The process and outcomes will use visual art and multiple perspective representation to challenge existing perceptions and stigma.

MA Module in Arts Health and Wellbeing

The Manchester School of Art at MMU will be rolling out new optional postgraduate units from autumn 2013 and Clive Parkinson is pleased to be delivering one of these focusing on public health and wellbeing with an emphasis on inequalities; prevention; promotion and protection. This unit will introduce students to the notions, ideas, principles and practices of art and design for public health and wellbeing. A series of delivered lectures, seminars and workshops will discuss and explore the role of design in Prevention, Promotion and Protection. It will enable the location of these ideas into individual or collaborative practice. The unit will commence with a symposium identifying key art/design issues in the public health field.

MA Design Lab and UNIT X

Arts for Health continues to work with students and staff at MMU through the excellent MA Design Lab and new Unit X programmes.

North West Arts & Health Network

As part of our regional development work and supporting the London Arts and Health Forum in its drive to generate a national forum for arts and health, we are developing our database and mailing list.

Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust

We are currently supporting Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust in its aspirations to embed creativity, culture and the arts in its service delivery. This work is focused on culture change and has an emphasis on:

  • How the arts might impact on public health
  • How we can improve health environments
  • How we can engage more with our communities

For example, participating in the Wellcome Image Awards 2008.

To read the first of two versions of our report to Derbyshire Community Health Services and Derbyshire County PCT, please click here (PDF)

St Helens Hospital

Arts for Health at MMU have been working with St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Taylor Woodrow Construction since March 2007. Initially the work involved designing an arts strategy and vision for the Trust with the aim of embedding creativity, culture and the arts within the hospital. Following the development of the strategy, Arts for Health continued to work within St Helens Hospital commissioning artists to produce works for the new St Helens Hospital, which opened in October 2008.

Previous Projects

Arts, Health & Well-being

2nd Year BA (Hons) Embroidery Students at MMU have been involved in an enterprising project as part of a collaborative venture with Arts for Health and Derbyshire Community Health Services.

North West Arts & Health Partnership

Between 2007-2010, Arts Council England, North West and the Department of Health, Public Health, North West are working in partnership with Arts for Health to develop the regional arts and health infrastructure.