Five takeaways from A Culture of Care: Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance national conference

The Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance national conference took place online, a year later than intended, on 21, 22 and 23 April 2021.

This year's theme 'A Culture of Care' had been devised long before the global pandemic, and yet is more relevant now than ever.

The conference explored what it means to care for our communities, environment and ourselves, and challenged a reflection on care deficit. It also facilitated a debate around the structural barriers preventing artists and arts organisations from accessing the care they need to ensure that workforce and collaborators are looked after.

ACAVA's Senior Programme Manager Isabella Niven attended 'A Culture of Care' and listed the five takeaways from this year's conference.


‘Circle of Care’ animation

Performing Medicine’s ‘Circle of Care’ is a framework to help healthcare professionals think about, demonstrate and practice high-quality compassionate care. Designed with healthcare professionals in mind, this wonderfully simple animated explanation of the value of care in the workplace transcends the sector and can teach us all a thing or two about how we interact at work. Watch it here.

'The Colour Green' podcast

'The Colour Green' by Julie's Bicycle is a series of conversations between Baroness Lola Young and artist-activists of colour connecting climate justice, race, power and inequality. Subscribe to be informed, challenged and inspired. Listen to it here.

Dr Eleanora Belfiore's research journal

In January Dr Eleonora Belfiore, Associate Professor of Cultural Policy at Warwick University, published 'Who cares? At what price? The hidden costs of socially engaged arts labour and the moral failure of cultural policy' in the European Journal of Cultural Studies. Her research includes interviews with artists and facilitators who had experienced a lack of support and care while working in emotionally challenging environments. A care deficit caused, in part, by current project-based funding practices. Read it here.

'Reflecting Value' Podcast

‘Reflecting Value’ is a podcast by the Centre for Cultural Value that explores the ways in which the cultural sector can ‘convey its value to the health and social care sector’, finding the balance between reporting outcomes and valuing process, and, ‘the health and wellbeing of the cultural sector workforce, and intersections with ethnicity and gender’. Listen to it here.

May Project Garden

What happens when care is at the heart of a project? The truly inspirational May Project Garden was co-founded by Ian Soloman-Kawall in 2007 from the garden of his council house, in memory of his mother for whom he had cared as a youth. Today the project provides practical, affordable, and collective solutions for people to live sustainably and challenge power structures that don’t serve their interests. Watch this video about the Hip Hop Garden project for a flavour of the incredible work they do.


Image credit: Derby Museums. Photo by David Edge