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A prestigious international event at Edge Hill University bringing experts together from all over the world will reveal ground-breaking new findings on how arts research is tackling health inequalities.

News story

Launch event will showcase new research that uses the arts to change lives

June 5, 2023

A prestigious international event bringing experts together from all over the world will reveal groundbreaking new findings on how arts research is tackling health inequalities.

The two-day event on 20 and 21 June will share life-changing results from studies in this area, as well as launch the University’s innovative Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing.

Professor Vicky Karkou

“Arts can play a hugely important role in supporting wellbeing and we are excited to launch our manifesto and strategy of how to scale up place-based arts initiatives that can support mental health and wellbeing.

“The work of the centre will benefit a wide range of people including individuals and communities that are disadvantaged or marginalised.

“We will showcase the work we have done in areas with high levels of health, social and economic inequalities offering opportunities for people to connect no matter where they are based.”

Professor Vicky Karkou, Director, Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing

Researchers from the award-winning Arts for the Blues programme will share how to scale up arts initiatives that support mental health and wellbeing, having a real-world effect on health inequalities.

And results from national and international studies funded by the Wellcome Trust, Arts and Humanities Research Council and Health Education England will highlight how the arts can help support the wellbeing of helping professionals and carers.

Supported by the World Health Organisation Europe, Jameel Arts and Health Lab, UNESCO Artists for Peace, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Arts Council England, Lived Experience Network and Contemporary Visual Arts Network North West, there will also be discussions on new national and international policy directions relating to tackling health inequalities through the arts.

There will also be live performances, workshops and presentations to mark the launch of new research centre, a landmark hub in conducting research in arts and health in the North of England, nationally and internationally, bringing together world-leading experts in identifying and developing good practice in the arts to improve the lives of people and wider society.

This free international event will be held at Edge Hill’s Rose Theatre as well as online.

To book your place for the in-person event or online webinar, go to:

The first day will feature keynote speeches from Dr Nils Fietje of WHO Europe and Dr Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England, as part of a wider discussion on creative approaches to addressing health inequalities.

The second day will focus on the research activities of the RCAW and the Creative Arts Therapies International Research Alliance, headlined by Dr Nisha Sajnani, founding Chair of the Alliance, and Dr Guila Clara Kessous, UNESCO Ambassador of Arts for Peace.

For more information about the work of the centre or Edge Hill courses in the field of arts and health, visit the website

June 5, 2023


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