Culture, Health and Wellbeing International Conference, Bristol 2017 invite abstracts for presentations, workshops, performances and films 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. The conference will encourage lively debates and not shy away from the different and sometimes contradictory perspectives on culture and the arts, health, wellbeing and health inequalities. The deadline for submission of abstracts is midnight on 20 November 2016.

As well as addressing the themes abstracts should:

  • 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

Provocations and Round Tables
In addition to the above options there will be 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 28 February  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.

You will be informed by early February 2017 if you have been successful in your submission.

We hope to secure funds to offer a number of bursaries to self-employed practitioners and project participants (‘service users’). We are unable to confirm these at present but will provide further information by the end of September 2016. If you would only be able to attend the conference with a bursary, we suggest that you wait to submit your abstract until more information is available.

Click here to submit your abstract.


Sign up to our e-bulletin to keep up to date with the latest news and opportunities.