‘Culture Cures 2017-18’
Owen Evans, the I4P correspondent for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, was commissioned by Wakefield Council in June 2017 to conduct an evaluation of their Culture Cures programme.
Culture Cures is an annual cultural investment scheme overseen by Wakefield Council’s Culture team in conjunction with the Health Improvement team, which looks to support arts and cultural projects that can support the delivery of health and wellbeing outcomes. Arts and culture organisations within the Wakefield area are invited to bid competitively for funding to provide projects that use creativity to address specific issues within the local community. The successful arts organisations in 2017 were: CoActive; Cossins Music School; The Hepworth Wakefield; One To One Development Trust; Stride Theatre; and the Theatre Royal Wakefield.
For the 2017-18 programme, the decision was taken to focus Culture Cures on supporting creative activities in three specific areas in the Wakefield district facing particular wellbeing challenges: Airedale, Lupset, and Ryhill and Havercroft. The programme of activities ran from September 2017 to April 2018, and the change in focus this year, working in the three designated areas, brought with it interesting new challenges, but also rich opportunities, in establishing projects that have the potential to generate longer-term benefits in those areas.
Of particular relevance this year was that Culture Cures was running in the wake of the publication, in July 2017, of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPGAHW) Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing report on arts and health activity across the United Kingdom. As a result, the findings and recommendations of the final Culture Cures evaluation were contextualised within the broader framework of the Creative Health findings. The final report evaluated the individual projects using the New Economic Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing, drew conclusions on the effectiveness of the programme as a whole, and made 14 recommendations.
The evaluation research findings and recommendations have already begun to inform Wakefield MDC approaches to future iterations of Culture Cures. They have also been disseminated at a number of public events, including the Canterbury Arts Conference (CArtsCon 2018) in July 2018, the Nova AGM, and ‘Big Conversation on Social Prescribing’ in Wakefield on 26 October 2018.
In the wake of the report, Professor Evans has been invited to co-present a workshop with the Wakefield Council team at an event coordinated by Minding the Gap entitled ‘Community, Culture and Health: A Christmas Carol’ in Hull on 11 December 2018, which will explore how to tackle inequalities in Yorkshire and the Humber region in the context of The Marmot Review – Fair Society, Healthy Lives and the interconnected nature of culture and health within communities.
The Bond Board Assets Based Research Project
Through an existing reputation for participatory research in Rochdale, the Bond Board approached I4P to conduct a two year Participatory co-produced project. The aim of this project was to help the Bond Board to understand how to design services appropriately in order to promote meaningful engagement. This is the final report of the assets based research project. It summarises the findings of a two year research project with the HARP Project, 2016-2017.
FULL EVALUATION REPORT:
Culture Cures 2017/18 – Research Evaluation Report
Owen Evans, the I4P correspondent for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, was commissioned by Wakefield Council in June 2017 to conduct an evaluation of their Culture Cures programme. The report evaluated the individual projects featuring in the Culture Cures programme using the New Economic Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing, drew conclusions on the effectiveness of the programme as a whole, and made 14 recommendations. The evaluation research findings and recommendations have already begun to inform Wakefield MDC approaches to future iterations of Culture Cures.
EVALUATION SUMMARY BROCHURE:
Culture Cures 2017/18 – Summary Brochure
Culture Cures 2017/18 focused on three pilot areas of Airedale, Lupset and South East (Havercroft and Ryhill) and tested different approaches to the commissioning of cultural activities aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of participants. CoActive, Cossins Music School, Stride Theatre, The Hepworth Wakefield and Theatre Royal Wakefield delivered wide variety of activities for audiences ranging from pre-schoolers to residents of care homes. Edge Hill University was commissioned to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme as a whole, the performance of each delivery organisation and the new approach.
Culture Cures 2017/18
The delivery of the Culture Cures 2017/18 programme was captured by a documentary filmed by One To One Development Trust. The film ‘Culture Cures’ showcases how different artists and arts organisations are using the arts to work with communities promoting health and well-being. The film features projects by The Hepworth, CoActive, Cossins Music School, Theatre Royal Wakefield and Stride Theatre.
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