Our newest CORE, the Centre for Arts and Wellbeing, invited associates from a broad spectrum of interests to its official launch on Monday 24 February 2020.
The University of Brighton is one of a handful of academic institutions that has historically successful schools of both arts and medicine/healthcare disciplines. The new centre formalises the relationship between these two aspects of our academic culture, and points to new directions. With this in mind, the launch day brought together members and senior university staff with representatives of the world of arts, health and wellbeing, aiming to bring new focus to developments in arts and wellbeing that the university’s unique academic outlook can influence and augment.
Associate members attending in person included alumna artist Alison Lapper MBE and Philippa Aldrich, who has a long relationship with the university and whose work includes the educational charity Michael Aldrich Foundation and the support of design student innovations through The Future Perfect Company.
Our guest speaker was Mia Pia Bernardoni, who was introduced by Professor Marina Novelli as part of a joint-hosting with Responsible Futures. She is an internationally-focused curator of photography, who spoke on her role in the African Artists' Foundation and other initiatives that aimed to tackle the fact that, "Africa is a well-photographed continent but is usually photographed by outsiders."
Audience guests came from far and wide to support the new centre and to begin the network connections that are at the heart of successful ventures in community-focused arts and wellbeing.
Among them were Professor Budd Hall, UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, Peter Chivers Head of Music and Arts for Brighton & Hove’s award winning SoundCity music hub, and Nick Ewbank whose company delivers creative solutions and assessments of cultural impact in regeneration, wellbeing and social cohesion. There were also representatives from the London Arts in Health Forum, and local organisations such as Phoenix Gallery, Hove Museum, Jerwood Gallery Hastings, Blind Veteran’s Charity and New Note Orchestra.
Professor Tara Dean, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise), recognised the new centre as, "a genuinely inter-disciplinary concern", while from the thematic lead presentations, Dr Tom Ainsworth noted the special opportunities afforded to university-based initiatives, saying, “a university provides a diverse context, offering flexibility to pursue new directions…[and can] look to solve more than immediate practical problems."
Over 80 members and invited guests attended the launch at Brighton's Old Ship Hotel in February 2020.
Guest speaker at the event, international photography curator Mia Pia Bernardoni talks of her work with the African Artists' Foundation.
Director of the Centre for Arts and Wellbeing, Duncan Bullen.
Stuart Hedley (Knowledge Exchange Manager, Creative Futures), Dr Ben Sweeting (School of Architecture and Design) and Dr Tom Ainsworth (School of Architecture and Design).