The deadline for submission of abstracts has now passed. We welcome submissions of abstracts relating to any of the themes listed. We are not prescriptive about the scope of these themes and have therefore included an open theme for those who would like to submit an abstract that doesn't obviously relate to any of the themes listed.
“I firmly believe that the arts can assist in addressing a number of difficult and pressing policy challenges including ageing, long-term conditions, loneliness and mental health. The arts can help keep us well and be part of creating a healthy society. The time has come to recognise the powerful contribution they can make to our health and wellbeing.” Lord Howarth of Newport

Submission of abstracts for presentations, workshops, performances and films

The deadline for submission of abstracts has now passed.


We particularly welcome abstracts that provoke new ways of researching, conceptualising and creating and will encourage delegates to question assumptions and learn about different approaches to current issues and areas of practice. In programming the conference we will endeavour to encourage lively debates and not shy away from the different and sometimes contradictory perspectives on culture and the arts, health, wellbeing and health inequalities.

As well as addressing the themes we are interested in abstracts that:

  • Inform the development or effectiveness of arts and health practice
  • Advance understanding of participants' experiences of participatory arts for health/wellbeing (including artists' experiences)
  • Advance knowledge and understanding of the role and impact of arts and culture on health and wellbeing
  • Inform the development of health, arts and cultural policy in relation to health and wellbeing
  • Advance the development of methodologies for arts and health research

Conference themes

We welcome submissions involving any art forms or creative approaches related to the themes below:

  • Reducing inequalities
  • Promoting resilience, prevention and early intervention
  • Improving mental health and wellbeing
  • Creative ageing
  • Specific health conditions and care pathways including palliative care
  • Community and social development in different international contexts
  • Designing for wellbeing – services, environments, products
  • Museums, heritage and health
  • Developing national and international networks
  • Models and frameworks for co-production, commissioning, delivery and evaluation
  • Training, education and professional development
  • Open theme


We particularly want to encourage those who have never submitted an abstract before. If you find that the guidelines are not sufficient please contact Alex Coulter by email and she can arrange to speak to you on the phone:

An abstract is a brief summary of what you would like to present at the conference, or in the case of an abstract for a workshop it is a summary of what you will do, and what participants will experience. We are keen to hear how your subject relates to the conference themes. If you wish to suggest an innovative approach to presenting your work please tell us. Please write clearly and in plain English.

In the case of an abstract for a research paper please provide information on:

  • The research question that you address and the rationale for the study
  • The methodology used, including data collection and analysis
  • Strengths and limitations of the study
  • Findings and recommendations for further research

You may submit multiple abstracts but each abstract must be submitted on a separate form. You may also apply to present your abstract in various formats; each format application must be submitted on a separate form.

When submitting your abstract you will be asked to select either Oral Presentation; Poster Presentation; Participatory Workshop, Performance or Film.

You will then be asked to select either Research or Practice. If you are unsure whether your proposal is Research or Practice, don’t worry because we will re-allocate it if it fits better in one or the other category.

Policy will primarily be covered by keynotes and invited speakers but this does not preclude the submission of Research or Practice abstracts that deal with issues of policy.

You will be asked to write a 500 word description of your project or subject plus a Curriculum Vitae (CV) of no more than 500 words. Submissions will be considered by the conference committee. The committee is made up of arts and health practitioners, arts and health academics and policy makers. We also have service user representation on the committee.

Submissions will not be blind reviewed so please feel free to include the names of any partners, collaborators or research team.

Oral Presentations will be grouped in sessions with at least three presenters and time for questions with a facilitated discussion. Oral presentations will be allocated 15 minutes each. Abstracts may be research papers or practice based submissions about arts and health research, policy and practice.

Poster Presentations (size A1) will be displayed in the conference marquee, where all delegates have their lunch. Please indicate whether your poster is portrait or landscape format. There will be a competition and prize for the best poster, selected by popular vote. Click here for more information.

Participatory Workshops will be for 1 hour. Abstracts should indicate the optimum number of participants and any particular space or facilities required.

Performances and Films can be for any length up to 30 minutes. Abstracts should indicate the optimum audience numbers and any particular space or facilities required.

Provocations and Round Tables

In addition to the above options we will have opportunities for delegates to offer 10 minute 'Provocations'. These proved very popular at the last conference. Delegates stand up and talk, without powerpoint, for 10 minutes in an informal setting in the evening. We are also planning to 'curate' round table discussions on specific themes, with participants asked to contribute 3 minutes in response to key questions or issues. If you are interested in either of these opportunities, please contact Alex Coulter directly:

Post conference publication

We have negotiated with the academic journal "Perspectives in Public Health" (a journal of the Royal Society for Public Health and published by Sage) to have a Special Edition of the journal dedicated to papers given at the 2017 conference. Dr Theo Stickley at the University of Nottingham will be the Guest Editor. There will be an opportunity for both practice and research papers to be published. If your abstract is accepted for the conference you will be offered the opportunity to submit a paper for the journal by July 2017. For further information please email:

Delegate Fees

Delegates whose abstracts are accepted will need to register and pay for the whole conference (three days) by the early bird deadline of February 28th 2017. The cost will be £375 for members of AHSW and members of the Royal Society for Public Health Special Interest Group in Arts, Health and Wellbeing. It is free to join AHSW. Registration opens in June 2016.

We will let you know by early February 2017 if you have been successful in your submission. 


We have secured some funds to offer a number of bursaries to artists. You can find out more information here. Please indicate on your abstract form if you are applying for a bursary.


The deadline for submission of abstracts has now passed.