Using art to improve people’s wellbeing: have you heard about our arts festival?
26 September 2023
We are organising a week-long arts festival to highlight the importance of using the arts to connect people, and to promote creativity.
Dubbed the Harlequin Arts Takeover, the weeklong festival, which is scheduled for Saturday 7 to Friday 13 October 2023, will take place at the Harlequin Theatre & Cinema in Redhill. It will see various artists perform and lead a number of creative activities.
The festival is part of the Council’s long-term strategy to enhance residents’ quality of life by boosting their physical and mental wellbeing.
Cllr Rod Ashford, Executive Member for Communities, Leisure, and Culture said:
“Being creative can reduce stress and improve mental health and wellbeing. Here at Reigate & Banstead Borough Council we believe everyone should have access to art, culture and creativity regardless of income or status. This is why we are working in partnerships with a number of artists and local organisations to encourage everyone to get involved in a whole range of creative activities such as creative writing, singing, drumming, poetry, art and photography.”
Attendance is mostly free, but some sessions are subject to charges. A list of activities, including details of artists, sessions, timings, and charges where applicable, is available on the Harlequin Theatre & Cinema website: https://harlequintheatre.co.uk/whats-on/harlequin-arts-takeover/
Growing Health through Art & Creativity
The festival has been organised in support of the work that council is already engaged in. It revolves around a new project called Growing Health through Art & Creativity (Ghac) which is implemented by the Council in partnership with Growing Health Together, the NHS, Arts Council, HERA, and the Baring Foundation.
Kay Hymas, Arts Development Officer said:
“Evidence shows that 'getting creative' whether through art, music, creative writing, photography, dance or in another art form can have many health benefits including boosting one’s immunity, better mobility, breathing, improved mood and confidence.”
The festival has been organised in support of the work that the Council is already engaged in. It revolves around a new project called Growing Health through Art & Creativity (Ghac) which is implemented in partnership with the Arts Council, Growing Health Together, the NHS, and the Baring Foundation.
Role of art and creativity
The Ghac project was launched in July this year following the recruitment of the Arts Development Officer whose role involves bringing the Council together with like-minded partner organisations to promote the role of art and creativity in residents’ wellbeing. The project runs sessions in blocks of six to eight weeks and is boroughwide. Sessions include singing, creative writing, art, and dance.
Individuals can self-refer to the sessions or be referred by healthcare professionals, community development officers, local charities, and other key partners. For full details about the programme, check: https://www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk/ghac
For those unable to commit to six or eight weeks, there is a monthly drop-in session every last Friday of the month at the Harlequin Theatre. This particular drop-in session is intended to be a low stress way to connect in culture.
Notes to editors
For more information, contact: