The Love Arts Conversation | a chance to have your say on Arts & Mental Health
There are a growing number of arts organisations across the UK exploring the effect of the Arts on health and wellbeing. Take English National Ballet’s partnership with Dance East and National Dance Company Wales for example, extending the reach of their Dance for Parkinson’s programme; or the Chelsea & Westminster Health Charity (CWHC)’s arts programme that runs within the C&W hospital. Leeds also has a wealth of arts organisations exploring these issues, and this year the Love Arts Conversation hopes to encourage the people of Leeds to have their say.
Each year, the Arts & Minds network together with the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, brings the Love Arts Festival to Leeds; an Arts festival that explores themes of creativity and mental well-being. This year there’s an addition to the festival, a 2-day interactive conference held at major arts venues across Leeds – The Love Arts Conversation.
For 9 days in October, no less than 46 arts organisations from across Leeds will come together as part of Love Arts Festival 2014. We were lucky enough to chat to Linda Boyles, Development Manager at Arts & Minds, to talk about this year’s festival and the Love Arts Conversation.
Founded in 2003, the Arts & Minds Networkworks to bring people together to share creativity, knowledge and resources so that the arts can flourish in health and social care settings, increasing public knowledge and understanding of mental health and disability through the arts.
“Love Arts is an Arts & Minds project that’s funded by Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. It’s very much a partnership project – we’ve got about 46 partners that we work with on the festival, which takes place all across Leeds. Some of the events we run ourselves, but we also invite our arts and mental health partners across the city, such as West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds Art Gallery and Leeds Central Library to take part and contribute; whether these are things specially designed for the festival or things they might already have in their programme, that fit well with the theme.
It’s very exciting because it involves the whole city – it’s really nice to see everyone come together behind it.”
Launching on October 15th in The Light, Love Arts 2014 promises a wealth of Arts events across all art forms.
“We’ve got a whole range of events on this year. There are exhibitions people can come to look at, various theatre, dance and music performances, film and participatory workshops to name just a few. We’ve also got an exciting two-day conference in the middle of the festival this year that we are putting a lot of time and energy into – the Love Arts Conversation.”
The Love Arts Conversation will be taking place on the 21st and 22nd October around Leeds City Centre at a variety of major arts venues, including Northern Ballet, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Yorkshire Dance, Leeds College of Music, Leeds City Museum, Leeds Art Gallery and Leeds Central Library. As well as getting people talking about mental health and creativity, the event will be a chance to have your say, and possibly hatch the next great arts and mental health project.
“The Love Arts Conversation will be a festival flavoured conference. There will be facilitated conversations about different aspects of arts and mental health, and lots of opportunities to get involved. There will be participatory workshops where you can have a dabble at making things, films, performances – a whole range of really exciting things to take part in. We hope that it will inspire more of a debate than would usually happen as part of the festival – it will mean we have more time to really explore the nitty gritty issues that affect arts and mental health and move the whole agenda forward in Leeds.”
The Love Arts Conversation is open to everybody: artists, academics, mental health workers, arts organisations, carers, people who’ve used mental health services, commissioners, anyone with an interest in the issues. Whether you’re new to the notion of creativity, or a veteran, there’s something for everyone.
Love Arts Awards 2013
On the final day of the Festival, 23rd October, the Love Arts Awards will be taking place at much-loved Leeds venue, The Tetley.
“We are now inviting people to nominate! There are 5 categories and all nominations need to link with mental health in some way. The categories cover visual arts, performing arts, volunteering in Arts & Mental Health, and health & social care services that involve the Arts through their practice. Information is now up on our website to tell you how you can vote!”
Many of the Love Arts events are free to attend and take part in. By visiting the website below, you can see all festival events taking part across the city.
To book your tickets for the Love Arts Conversation, visit loveartsleeds.co.uk/conversation.
For all information regarding Love Arts Festival & the Love Arts Conversation, visit www.loveartsleeds.co.uk