Monday, 29 July 2019

How Many Times

As this blogger happily ages in front of your very eyes, I’m thrilled to welcome new blood into the seemingly frenetic world of arts, health and social change in all its forms. I want to direct you to two blogs this week - the first being an entry from Clare Devaney who is delivering key work for the Manchester Institute for Arts, Health & Social Change and her blog - ‘Getting to the matter of Greater Manchester: How long is a piece of hope?’ In reality Clare has been pushing the social change agenda for years, so it’s great to have her with us here. It’s a great read and relevant to those of you beyond Manchester.

My old (but not that old) mucker at Arts for Health - Kat Taylor has uploaded a new post to her own web page, Art Thou Well. Kat is leading arts and mental health work for the Greater Manchester’s (GM) iTHRIVE Implementation team and her blog can be found here.

Although they have distinct differences, there’s something similar that runs through both these postings - and that’s, that there have to be new ways of understating how the arts influence change and be part of something bigger than the individual (that the arts also have intangible qualities too). So words like hope and love might creep into the tangled language we use. This isn’t to say that certain ways of aggregating more universal factors aren’t important, (see how I avoided standardised measurement and scaling-up?) but our shared thinking and action has to be critical of the cult of reductionism and gross domestic product. God knows, it seems that arts/health is increasingly dominated by the oh-so-plausible utilitarian doyens of arts-friendly scientific objectification! Obliquely on that note, here are the Flaming Lips.

So it is, that the European Office of the World Health Organisation have a call-out for submission of papers for a special issue on "Arts and Health in the European Region", which will be published in March 2020. It aims to showcase: 

. leading examples of arts in health research and clinical practice programmes, interventions, and evaluations;

. case studies where health policy-makers have implemented arts in health policies;
. examples of good-practice in arts and health at a country, regional or local level.

Full details are HERE.

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