Artists Practising Well
There is growing reliable research evidence which supports the claim that the arts are positive for our health and wellbeing. Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing, - the Report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts Health and Wellbeing - offers an overview of practices, detailed case studies and recommendations. There are also a number of good practice guides which help organisations and practitioners plan and deliver participant focused arts initiatives in health and wellbeing settings: many of these communicate academic research into usable guides supporting best practice. These documents mentioned what may be needed in terms of practitioner support, but this varied in explanation and depth.
The phrase ‘caring for the carer’ - where the individual offering the support, encouragement and care to another is often in need of those same things in order the stay safe and well - is applicable in this context. If the arts are positive for participants, so too should they be for the creative practitioners delivering them. This report focuses on support for practitioners, and not the evidence base of the effectiveness of arts for health and wellbeing. The focus for this report is affective support, whilst acknowledging and including the role of instrumental support where relevant.
This Report recognises that the practitioner, commissioner, organisational leader, funder and policy-maker all have roles to play in the health and wellbeing of creative practitioners, supporting them in their making of quality work. This research aims to explore three core questions: what is the current state of affective support for artists working in health and wellbeing contexts? What kinds of affective support could be most useful for creative practitioners working in arts for health and wellbeing? Is there a common understanding of what good practitioner support looks like in participatory arts for/in health and wellbeing?