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WHO project explores sustainable strategies for integrating the arts within the health sector

Date posted: 6 July 2021

WHO/Europe and the Nordic Culture Fund are partnering on a project to explore effective and sustainable strategies for integrating arts and culture into the wider healthcare sector. Led by WHO/Europe’s flagship unit on behavioural and cultural insights for health, the project will bring together academics, artists, cultural institutions, healthcare practitioners and policymakers from different countries.

Through implementing an arts-based health intervention in Denmark and Romania, the aim of the research is to identify good practices for the implementation of effective and sustainable arts and health interventions, while studying the impact on the local population.

WHO/Europe is partnering with University College London (United Kingdom), University of the Arts Helsinki (Finland), BOZAR (the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium), the Central Denmark Region and the Cluj Cultural Centre (Romania) to support the development and execution of the project.

The aim of the project is twofold: first, to evaluate the impact of the chosen arts-based health interventions on the local population; and second, the project will enable WHO to develop guidance on how to integrate arts and health into the wider health system and make these interventions more accessible to Member States across the WHO European Region.

The project is an exciting and ambitious step forward. Engaging with the arts is good for you and can tangibly improve lives. While there is increasingly robust research that shows the arts can have a demonstrable impact on health, we still know little about how to implement these interventions at scale and in different cultural contexts. This project is an excellent opportunity to explore these questions further.’ – Nino Berdzuli, Director of the Division of Country Health Programmes at WHO/Europe.

The project is part of the Nordic Culture Fund’s new Globus programme, which aims to expand the reach of Nordic cultural cooperation by investing in stronger international connections and long-term networks. The Fund is contributing kr. 400 000 to the project, which will support the in-country implementation of the arts and health interventions.

Visit www.nordiskkulturfond.org for further information.

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