The Arts An Incubator For New Ideas

25050029The arts are sometimes offered up as a panacea for all life’s ills. They are not – life is finite – but improvements in the way services are delivered, health is understood and new technologies are developed that potentially contribute to 21st century holistic care, need deep exploration.

Wellbeing is the political flavour of the month with national wellbeing indicators held up alongside GDP. But is this transient political spin and is wellbeing and its attendant subjective measurement of ‘happiness’, simply an extension of selfish individualism? The value of creativity, culture and the arts and their impact on health, extends beyond crude measurements of individual health.

Rich experimental collaborations between diverse disciplines, offer new ways of enabling public health. We will nurture sophisticated explorations around the value of the arts that consider the societal and environmental. For example, The Manchester School of Art is an incubator of new ideas – perhaps blue sky and visionary – perhaps with revolutionary and life-changing practical applications.

Health and social care services are in crisis, but as we reimagine how the NHS evolves, the time for culture and the arts to inform social change, is now. How we articulate new possibilities to engage with citizens, refocusing on the social determinants of health is a challenge that we embrace.