Strengthening the Links between Arts, Education and Health Promotion: A Case for Building the Capacity of Artists to Work Across Sectors

By Rosalie Hastwell.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

There is a growing body of evidence, theory and policy which supports broad participation in arts and cultural activity as an integral element in meaningful, well-lived lives within a socially just society. The contexts in which this participation might occur are being expanded through partnerships between the arts and other fields including education and health promotion. This paper begins with a snapshot of some of the developments in this field within Australia, with an overview of several arts, education and health promotion approaches within schools and communities where children and young people are at increased risk of mental health issues. The paper argues that intersectoral approaches demand particular skills and knowledge from interdisciplinary teams, and that new forms of training and professional development are required for artists and other collaborating professionals. A recent successful example of a capacity developing approach addressing this need was the innovative Artists Training Program. Originating from within the Festival for Healthy Living, a mental health promotion program of the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, the Artists Training Program identified artists’ needs and their preferred modes of learning in order to promote more effective interdisciplinary team work focussed on the wellbeing of children and young people.

Keywords: Arts and Health, Interdisciplinary Collaborations, Intersectoral Partnerships, Mental Health Promotion, Artists Training

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp.243-258. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.719MB).

Rosalie Hastwell

Artists Training Program Director, Community Development, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Rosalie Hastwell has worked extensively in community cultural development as a creative practitioner, trainer and mentor, consultant and manager within local government, the health sector, and community based organisations. In all of these roles her work has been informed by a passion for building bridges between the arts and other sectors. From 2008 – 2011 Rosalie researched, created, implemented and evaluated an innovative statewide Artists Training Program for the Festival for Healthy Living Program at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. During this time the Training Program built the capacity of more than seventy artists promoting the mental health of children and young people across Victoria. Rosalie is currently the Manager of Arts and Culture at the City of Moreland while continuing to promote arts and health partnerships as a member of the National Arts and Health Leadership Group, Arts and Health Foundation.


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