National news

WHO fact sheet on the role of the arts in health and wellbeing

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a fact sheet on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being in the WHO European Region, ahead of the launch of the Health Evidence Network (HEN) synthesis report on arts and health on 11 November. 

AMA research finds it's tough at the bottom

The Arts Marketing Association has published the results of its first benchmarking survey. The research looked at key benchmarking factors for members to use in their daily activity and planning including: budget breakdown, email open rates, social media channel, and website trends. Details of this can be found in the full report.
It also explored how members feel about their roles and organisations. This data was then broken down against the geographical location of the organisation, culture and art form, and career stage of respondents.

BBC Radio 6 presenter Lauren Laverne appointed ambassador for Music for Dementia 2020 campaign

BBC TV and radio presenter Lauren Laverne has been appointed as the ambassador for Music for Dementia 2020, a new campaign calling for music to be accessible to everyone living with dementia. Lauren, who hosts Radio 6 Music’s flagship Breakfast Show, has joined forces with Music for Dementia 2020, to highlight the powerful impact music can have on people living with dementia.The campaign, which is also backed by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP aims to make music available to people living with dementia and their carers across the UK.

Music in schools an ‘ever more urgent necessity’

Schools and governments should make music central to the curriculum to reap the benefits the artform can bring to personal growth, a major new study argues.
The Music Commission’s report, which follows an 18-month inquiry, says every secondary school should have at least one specialist music teacher on its staff, that there should be free school-based instrument tuition for all, and that school inspection models should “acknowledge the importance of music”.

1,000 social prescribing link workers by 2021

NHS England has announced it will recruit 1,000 link workers to support social prescribing by 2021. The link workers will be affiliated to the new primary care networks proposed in the NHS long-term plan, and will help direct patients to local services and activities. Almost a quarter of GPs surveyed by GPonline in 2018 say that they already use social prescribing as a referral method. Funding for the local services has yet to be secured.

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Paintings in Hospitals celebrates 60 years with new blog series

National charity Paintings in Hospitals is marking six decades of work in the UK’s health and social care spaces with 60 weekly blogs detailing the impact of art on our wellbeing from well-known artists, academics, critics, patients, carers and more. 60 Years, 60 Voices aims to highlight the contribution Paintings in Hospitals has made to the nation’s physical, mental and social health since the charity’s founding in 1959 by sharing personal stories from its diverse community of supporters.

Find out more about the MARCH Network

The MARCH Network is one of 8 new national networks funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of the 2018 Cross-Council Mental Health Plus call to further research into mental health.

MARCH focuses on social, cultural and community assets – which includes the arts, culture, heritage sites, libraries, green spaces, community centres, social clubs, community associations and volunteer groups – and the role they play in enhancing public mental health and wellbeing, preventing mental illness, and supporting those living with mental health conditions.

DCMS turns its focus to social prescribing

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport acknowledged in his recent speech at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry that that 'culture plays a big part in making us healthier and happier people', as well as its contributions to the economy, and announced that the DCMS 'is working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, and NHS England, to support greater use of social prescribing, in particular to address loneliness and help people with their mental health.' Mr Wright went on to say that he looked forward to social prescribing 'becoming a mainstream part of NH

Arts Council England updates on Brexit

ACE has commissioned two surveys of culture sector organisations as well as a study of EU funding for culture in England.

Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre launched

A consortium of university and industry partners led by Nesta will be deliverying a new policy and evidence centre (PEC) as part of the UK's Creative Industries Clusters Programme. The PEC is being designed to support policy decisions relating to the creative industries. Industry partners include the Creative Industries Federation, the British Film Institute, Creative England and Tech Nation.

The consortium also includes:


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