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Museums, Health & Wellbeing Summit


Choose Day

29 January 2024

All times are GMT (the time in London)

14:00 (GMT)

Protest, Procession, Parade

Madeleine Roelfsema and Roosje Vreman from Zeeuws Museum in the Netherlands discuss how museums can collaborate with those who experience feelings of fear, anger or injustice through making art.

They share their recent work with American artist Aram Han Sifuentes from the Protest Banner Lending Library, which saw members of the public making their own protest banners before taking to the streets of their city.

14:30 (GMT)

Reunion with the National Museum of Singapore

With a rapidly ageing population and increasing incidence of people diagnosed with dementia, how might the museum support the health and wellbeing of our seniors?

The National Museum of Singapore and its collection, which is focused on Singapore’s history, offers rich potential for unlocking conversations and memories.

Find out how they built Reunion, together with stakeholders, to create the first dedicated social space for seniors, including those with dementia and mild cognitive impairment, in Singapore.

15:00 (GMT)

What role can museums play in supporting parents and carers?

Sheffield Museums public programme offers a wide range of events and activities delivered across their sites to appeal to visitors with different lived experiences and interests and encourage curiosity, learning & thought.

This talk reflects on Sheffield Museums’ development of baby-friendly art classes and memory cafes for visitor wellbeing and how we used existing workshop models to expand our reach to different audiences.

15:30 (GMT)

Small Programmes with Big Outcomes

What does cultural social prescribing look like? A new programme at Oxford University Museums has evidenced a positive effect on the self-confidence and social confidence of young people experiencing mild-moderate mental health issues.

Susan Griffiths, Sarah Levete and participants will reflect on the programme’s unexpected outcomes, from unintentionally supporting families to creating bonds between staff, participants and health professionals.

They will also share practical advice shaping future social prescriptions – how simple ideas can impact wellbeing and the importance of partnering with link workers to provide vital support and opportunities for young people.

16:00 (GMT)

See Listen Talk - a phenomenological study of slow looking for young psychiatric users

In Copenhagen, Denmark, the Frederiksberg Museums have led the “See Listen Talk” project, focusing on young psychiatric users.

The intention has been a phenomenological study of how the museums’ distinctive spaces and artworks can contribute to personal recovery.

The study reveals intriguing aspects, indicating that the slow-looking methods participants learn and practice in the secure museum environment can be applied to their lives beyond the museum walls.

Participants report experiencing a valuable aid that mitigates stress and intrusive thoughts while assisting in structuring their daily work or study life.

16:30 (GMT)


17:00 (GMT)

How can modern art help children take on the challenges of tomorrow?

Transforming the entire country‘s approach to cultural education for children in four years is an ambitious plan for a single museum.

This mission has been a success for the MO Museum! Before its opening in 2018, few could imagine that an art institution could contribute to children’s wellbeing.

Fast-forward to 2023, and around 50,000 children have already taken part in the process. The key to success is the innovative methods to help children develop creativity, critical thinking, and social and emotional skills.

All of these are vital for building resilience and nurturing children‘s adaptability to the challenges of the 21st century.

17:30 (GMT)

The Release: Hip Hop Art and Mental Health

In conjunction with the exhibition The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century, The Saint Louis Art Museum and Harris Stowe State University Counseling Services hosted a public on-campus event focused on mental health art making and the inspirations of hip hop.

Harris-Stowe is the only Historically Black College and University in St. Louis and prioritizes student success by providing affordable and quality higher education to underserved populations.

18:00 (GMT)

St John's Hospital Museum: 800 years of care in Bruges

In what ways is a century-old museum collection about care and history still relevant and engaging to visitors today?

The completely revamped Saint John’s Hospital Museum is a historic hospital from the 12th century and tells stories that guests experience and live with the heart.

Intuitively, the museum develops attractive public tools that connect the historical collection with a story about 800 years of care in the city past and present.

It also engages specific audiences in a museum operation about care and well-being.

18:30 (GMT)

Quiet visits and slow art: making your collection more accessible

Since 2021, Museum Hof van Busleyden has been developing ways to reach an audience that traditionally experiences boundaries when visiting museums.

Through quiet visits and slow art sessions, people with burnout, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and many other types of neurodivergence can enjoy art at their own pace.

These calming cultural experiences are open to anyone. Everyone who enjoys a low-stimulus environment can join: introverts rejoice!

19:00 (GMT)

Patient-Centered Robot Tours at The Ringling Museum of Art

The robot tour program designed by The Ringling allows patients receiving treatment to “walk” the galleries with a museum educator while in their hospital room with an employee from Sarasota Memorial Health Care System.

Rooted in co-visiting and self-regulation, this holistic, patient-centred program allows virtual museum visitors to control their tours. It provides a complementary approach to assisting with difficulties such as pain, anxiety, and general distraction.

Join the presenters in discussing integrative healthcare using virtual museum visits with robots!

30 January 2024

All times are GMT (the time in London)

14:00 (GMT)

Culture Dose for Kids

Culture Dose for Kids is an 8-week arts engagement program supporting children (9-12yrs) with anxiety and their families. It was developed as a collaborative partnership between the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Black Dog Institute.

Culture Dose for Kids explores the transformative capacity of mindfully connecting with art and art-making in promoting mental health in a non-clinical setting.

The Art Gallery’s experience developing inclusive, multi-sensory Access program models, including the Starting with Art program for students with disability and the Art and Dementia program, has informed CDK’s development.

14:30 (GMT)

A Framework for Action: Bringing the arts and mental health together

Do you relax by watching a film, reading a novel, listening to music, drawing or painting? Stop and think about how these activities affect your overall health.

Art can produce feelings of joy, relaxation, and social inclusion and can drastically improve mental health and wellbeing.

A growing body of evidence shows that museums can benefit individual and community health and wellbeing in their role as public forums, including helping people make sense of the world and their place within it.

This talk highlights the development and outcomes of arts engagement programs that bridge countries.

15:00 (GMT)

Trailblazing at the National Gallery of Ireland: Using cultural art therapy to empower women

Lavinia Fontana was a remarkable individual whose life experiences from 400 years ago continue to resonate profoundly with women in the present, highlighting issues of gender inequality and female empowerment.

The recent exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland, “Lavinia Fontana: Trailblazer, Rule Breaker,” served as an inspiration. It aligned with the strategic priority to incorporate the therapeutic health benefits of creativity into the Gallery’s programming.

This initiative led to the creation of an art therapy program specifically designed for women who were utilizing domestic violence support services in the Dublin area. By leveraging the Gallery’s collection, the program aimed to deliver tangible health and well-being benefits to some of the most vulnerable members of society.

The funding for this significant project was generously provided through a donation from Bank of America.

15:30 (GMT)

Nature for Nurture - building wellbeing and resilience through school gardening

Explore the creation and delivery of Superbloom Schools, an impactful gardening and wellbeing project involving 100,000 young people across the UK.

Created in the wake of Covid-19 and its damaging effect on young people’s mental health, the project supported teachers in creating their own ‘Superbloom’ garden for wellbeing.

The experience proved transformational for both the schools and Historic Royal Palaces. This presentation will explore the challenges of moving beyond your comfort zone as an organisation and the multiple rewards it brings.

16:00 (GMT)

Unlocking Our Sound Heritage: Sound, Memory and Wellbeing - the power of listening together

The British Library’s Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project collaborates with partners across heritage, health, and arts sectors, utilizing its sound archives to create programmes for wellbeing. These include nature sounds, music, poetry, and coastal sounds, aiding mental health, brain injury recovery, and dementia support.

This film shares findings from partners like Care Visions, The Brain Charity, and Free Space Project, along with Tyne and Wear Archives and Museum, Recovery Connections, Northumbria NHS Healthcare Trust, and Norfolk Record Offices working with the Restoration Trust.

It will highlight session development, resource types, and practical uses of sound in digital therapy and collective listening.

16:30 (GMT)


17:00 (GMT)

Art and technology for the well-being of dementia patients

ARTEMIS Digital aims to enhance the emotional well-being and quality of life for people with dementia and strengthen the relationship between individuals with dementia and their caregivers.

An innovative art-based web application designed for this target audience will be developed, implemented, and evaluated to achieve this.

This application will be accessible in private settings (care facilities or at home) and within the museum.

17:30 (GMT)

An alliance between Museums for Alzheimers

In Tuscany, 26 institutions, representing 70 museums, created a formalized system, the Museum of Tuscany for Alzheimer’s System, to promote social change and a community response to the issue of dementia more effectively.

18:00 (GMT)

Archaeology on Prescription: A Case Study

Discover archaeology’s power and potential to facilitate wellbeing and support mental health. Just inside Walmgate Bar in York’s city centre, the site of a former care home is due for redevelopment.

However, before this occurs, York Archaeology’s Community Engagement team have been running a social prescribing project called Archaeology on Prescription, which uses archaeological fieldwork to support the health and well-being of local residents.

Breaking down the archaeological process into accessible steps, participants undertake fieldwork, finds processing, recording and researching, ultimately contributing to the final site archaeological record.

18:30 (GMT)

An Exploration of Science Through the Senses

The Science Museum, London, contains several extensive, often busy galleries with exhibits and interactives to stimulate all the senses, but what are these implications for visitors and colleagues with sensory access requirements and people living with Dementia?

Join colleagues from the Community Partnership Team to explore some of the potential sensory barriers across our museum spaces and hear how we use a ‘sense-based’ approach to Collection engagement.

19:00 (GMT)

Libraries for Health and Wellbeing

While libraries actively support community health and wellbeing, they don’t always have the evidence and data to prove their impact.

Developing a world-first Libraries for Health and Wellbeing Strategic Framework has helped Victorian public libraries advocate for key stakeholders and the community.