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Manifesto, Arts for Health
Arts for Health publishes part 1 of Manifesto, a conversation on arts, health and society

Written by Clive Parkinson, Director of Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University:

"...This thing that we call arts and health: just what is it? What does it mean to someone walking in the street – a stranger with no interest in the arts and without a moment’s concern for their own health, here and now?
Those of us involved in these words (ARTS/HEALTH) might as well be selling snake oil, the next cure–all, the next big thing…a passing fad. There’s one thing we all know: that art’s not going to change the fact we’re all mortal: FACT. No amount of tinkering is going to alter that. Magic Bullets don’t exist and we can’t cheat death by painting.
We’re told that art might make us happy, (whatever that is) and our well-being may improve – but to that stranger in the street, art belongs in a gallery and all the dancing and singing is something we might taste after a strong drink…nothing more.
      Art? - it’s just the icing on the cake
      Health? -well, it’s just not being sick
So, what have we got to say for ourselves? Who do we think we are?
There’s a crisis going on: we’ve got no jobs, we’re in debt, there are riots on the streets, we’re obese, we’re drunk, we don’t know how to parent and we’re out of control (and we have a deficit of aspiration)…so what does art add to this?  Are we offering a prescription for the maladies of our society? Is that what we’re suggesting? Are we offering a cure-all?..."

Download the full document from the website (address below) as a PDF, Word document or Podcast.
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