“Arts and culture, such as music, dance and theatre, can play an important role throughout life in supporting people to be healthier and happier. From community projects to arts therapies in clinical settings across the country, evidence-based arts interventions are making a positive difference to people‚Äôs health and wellbeing.” Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England
This is the website for the Culture, Health and Wellbeing international conference and an opportunity for the international exchange of information.
Vic McEwan, The Harmonic Oscillator: Rehearing Our Hospital Environments.

Culture, Health and Wellbeing 

International Conference 2021


The next Culture, Health and Wellbeing international conference will be on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd June 2021. You can sign up for the newsletter to receive updates here:


During the global crisis, the arts and creativity have helped us navigate uncertainty and been agents of hope. We want the conference to provide a space for exploring our individual and collective experiences and articulating a vision for the future.  We will showcase inspiring work from across the globe and encourage lively debates informed by different perspectives on the arts, creativity, culture, health, wellbeing and inequalities. We want to place lived experience and co-production at the heart of the programme. We will be spanning policy, research and practice, and learning from the whole ecosystem.


In the face of ongoing disruption we have decided to transfer the conference to fully digital. We will be very sad not to see you face-to-face but want to maximise the potential for a digital conference to engage people in the furthest reaches of the globe, notwithstanding inequalities in digital access and the challenges of time differences. We will be inviting you to be part of an experiment in exploring the future of international conferences. This will be a learning process and we hope you will want to be part of the journey. In that spirit, we will be hosting regular monthly drop-in sessions from September where we can discuss and share ideas for the conference content and how we might collaborate with others to ensure access for their local communities. 


Our overarching themes are Inequality, Power and Sustainability. We will open submissions for proposals in September. We hope people will submit ideas based on the learning from lockdown for new forms of digital workshops, films, performances, oral presentations and debates and would like to work with you to explore the range of possibilities.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss ideas.



Prior to Covid-19, we were in discussion with a number of speakers, panellists and performers. We hope that they will all still be able to take part. These include Professor Pascale Allotey, Director of the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health; Taru Koivisto, Director at the Department of Wellbeing and Services, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland; Dr Michael O’Bride, Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, and the team behind Our Future Foyle; and the Setúbal Music Festival Youth Ensemble, amongst others.


This conference is organised by Arts & Health South West in collaboration with the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance.


The 2017 Culture, Health and Wellbeing International conference involved over 400 delegates and speakers from 23 countries.

“This conference has, without a doubt, changed my life. Experiencing a range of approaches has given me invaluable insight and inspiration and challenged my thinking on different areas of arts and health. I’ve also learnt a lot about myself. Met some great visionaries too.”

Conference delegate feedback. 


You can read or download the full report here as a PDF, or read it online below.

For further information contact Alex Coulter, Director of Arts & Health South West:

Conference 2017 photo galleries

If you would like hi-res versions of any of the photos, please contact us and quote the photographer and photo number as displayed beneath each one.

Image credit: Urban Scale Interventions and Public Health NI