Inquiry into the civic role of the arts

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has launched an inquiry into the ways in which arts organisations can be better supported to play a stronger role in their communities and nationally.

New York hospital partners Lincoln Center

New York city’s largest performing arts centre, Lincoln Center, and NewYork-Presbyterian, one of the city’s biggest hospitals have announced a new collaboration making NewYork-Presbyterian the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA). It is the first time LCPA has designated a hospital as a wellness sponsor.

Guide to community centred approach to health

Public Health England and NHS England have published a guide calling on health commissioners to engage more with local community and volunteer groups to improve people’s health. The guide says commissioners should “use the family of community-centred approaches as a tool to consider potential options for commissioning health improvement and preventive services”.

Report analyses role for culture in local services

A new report by the New Economics Foundation sets out a new model of public services utilising arts and cultural organisations in preventing harm and reducing people’s need for acute services.

The report notes that arts and cultural organisations have long been overlooked by commissioners of public services because commissioning can often be focused on more traditional models of service provision, and procurement documents can be so highly specified that they leave little room for innovation in how organisations meet the outcomes that people and commissioners want.

Reading Well for young people

A reading list of 35 books selected by mental health experts and young people has been launched with the aim of supporting young people’s mental health. Part of the Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme the list aims to provide 13-18 year-olds with a wide range of self-help and information titles, as well as memoir, graphic novels and fiction.

Community library toolkit

The Government’s Leadership for Libraries Taskforce has published a toolkit for communities and local authorities looking to establish community libraries. While the Taskforce does not endorse community managed libraries, the toolkit is to show examples of how local community groups can be involved in running libraries.

Government Culture White Paper response to health

The Government has promised to respond to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts Health and Wellbeing’s recommendations for the role of culture in health and wellbeing when the results of the APPG’s inquiry is published next year. In the recently published Culture White Paper, the Government sets out a range of pledges to elevate the role of culture in supporting health and wellbeing. The National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing was instrumental in establishing the APPG in 2014 and provides the secretariat for the APPG in its current inquiry.

Arts for Health and Wellbeing evaluation framework

Public Health England has published a framework for evaluating arts activities designed to support health and wellbeing.

The document aims to “strengthen understanding of what works in specific contexts and enable realistic assessment and appropriate comparisons to be made between programmes.”

And is intended for:

Local government guidance for tackling loneliness

The Local Government Association has published guidance for tackling loneliness including establishing community choirs and engaging with local voluntary organisations. The guidance is targeted at reducing loneliness among older people but can be applied across the population

Developing the field

Over the next few months, LAHF is planning a series of roundtable discussions to explore specific areas of interest in arts and health to bring together people working in particular aspects of practice. The aim is to share knowledge and learning and to look at the ways LAHF can support those working in specialised spheres within the field of arts, health and wellbeing.


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