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Arts in Health in the Netherlands: A National Agenda

Arts in Health in the Netherlands: A National Agenda

Over the past decade interest has grown in the Netherlands for sustainable arts in health programming. Successful projects have encouraged administrators, funders, governments, researchers, and artists to explore the role that the arts can play in care and illness prevention. However, the Netherlands has no structures in place to systematically support arts in health programming, to train practitioners, or to encourage research and policy formulation. Arts in Health Netherlands initiated a white paper to survey the current situation and set the agenda for the future. The white paper is a first step toward a sustainable arts in health field.  

Arts in health is not treatment or arts therapy, nor is it passive entertainment. In line with theories of person-centred care and passende zorg, arts in health empowers participants to pursue their own wellbeing.

The goals of the white paper are to:

  • Provide a unified statement from science, government, and the private sector on the situation in the Netherlands regarding arts in health, and the need for a sustainable field.

  • Initiate the active networking, knowledge-sharing, and collaborations required to catalyse the field of arts in health in the Netherlands.

  • Set the agenda for establishing stable, sustainable practice, education, and research in the field of arts in health.

Arts in Health Roundtables | June-July 2023

Three half-day roundtables were organised by Arts in Health Netherlands to generate input and feedback for the white paper. The roundtables were co-presented by Leyden Academy, Kunstloc Brabant, and University Medical Center Groningen.  

Before each roundtable, a draft version of the white paper was circulated to attendees to serve as a focal point for reflection and discussion. Then, at each roundtable participants contributed to discussion and brainstorming on the practice, education, research, and policy of arts in health. Participants included healthcare professionals, artists, researchers, policy makers, managers, educators, practitioners and directors, all discussing how to make arts in health a sustainable field in the Netherlands.

Impressions of the roundtables conversations (in Dutch):
Arts in Health in Long-term Care | Co-hosted by Leyden Academy
Arts in Health in Social Domain | Co-hosted by Kunstloc Brabant
Arts in Health in Hospitals | Co-hosted by University Medical Center Groningen

Care through Creativity | Launch event 16 February 2024

Care Through Creativity is the launch event of the white paper and will take place on Friday February 16, 2024, 13:00 - 18:00, at the Grand Theatre in Groningen. Presentations and performances at the event will offer inspiring insights and examples from practice and research. The program will be announced mid January 2024. The white paper will be published (open access) by University of Groningen Press.

The white paper is an initiative of Arts in Health Netherlands, Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health; Faculty of the Arts, University of Groningen; Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing; University Medical Center Groningen; Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Landelijk Kennisinstituut Cultuureducatie en Amateurkunst (LKCA).

Last modified:05 February 2024 1.04 p.m.