As practicing artists and artsworkers, we have known for years the power that the arts has in the health and wellbeing of communities and individuals. It is certainly not a new story to share, but it is one that the pandemic and arts and cultural policy are now bringing back to the fore.
The Queensland Government's "Creative Together Roadmap" highlights the priority of "driving social change across the state". Some initiatives are already in place to support this through Arts Queensland. Soon the "Grow 2022-2026" plan will be released and with that we will see these priorities teased out with further detail. I am looking forward to delving into this document and equally excited about the prospect of a national arts policy by the end of this year and the directions it might give.
I have been privileged to be a part of some strategic arts-led initiatives that have had impact on communities and the lives of individuals, increasing opportunities to engage in creativity for wellbeing. I have previously mentioned some of these projects delivered by former art production company Creative Regions such as the arts-led natural disaster recovery program Afloat Creative Recovery, Place Activation Bundaberg and projects shining a light on domestic violence.
Below are links to interesting articles reflecting on these projects:
For me this collection of words reflect the many benefits of arts-led projects with a focus on health and wellbeing. This is by no means a definitive list and I am sure you can add more...
We know what the arts can do. It is no secret to us, but still news to some. I am looking forward to seeing what exemplary projects emerge in coming years to further demonstrate the impact the arts can make on wellbeing. Let's share these projects far and wide to ensure that we learn from them and keep their impact alive.