The future is unwritten


TalkMarch 22 through March 26 20215 p.m. - 7 p.m.

The Healing Arts 2021 campaign, a call to action by the world of the arts in response to the mental health crisis caused by COVID-19, is being launched in the UK on 22-26 March 2021 by CULTURUNNERS as part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) series of solidarity events.

Healing Arts London brings together a cultural coalition of partners including University College London, Tate, The Art Newspaper, Community Jameel, Castello di Rivoli, Hospital Rooms, and the National Centre for Creative Health to present a five-day programme of events alongside a charity auction by Christie’s on 25 March of works donated by Antony Gormley, Ragnar Kjartansson, William Kentridge, Martin Creed, and Yoshitomo Nara.

The Healing Arts’ online events begin on 22 March with an exclusive conversation between Gillian Anderson (known for her roles in Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ and ‘The Crown, The X-Files and The Fall) and Christopher Bailey, a former actor and now Arts & Health Lead at the WHO, with special guests, sculptor Sir Antony Gormley and the WHO’s Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Over the following four days there will be:

  • virtual ‘artists’ house calls’ exploring creativity in various places of confinement, including artists’ studios, a hospital psychiatric unit, and a prison;
  • a webinar with medical researchers, art therapists and policy-makers about the evidence for the efficacy of the arts improving mental health and the quality of life of people living with dementia;
  • curators and activists giving practical examples of the role of art in improving mental, societal and environmental health on the frontline of global challenges like COVID.

As COVID-19 has confined our lives, the arts have emerged as an essential part of our mental wellbeing. Researchers have collected convincing evidence that they bring consolation and healing to people suffering in the mind*.

“Cases and deaths can be counted. Less easy to measure is the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on the mental health of so many people. We call on every country to include services to promote mental health and to prevent and treat mental health conditions as part of its plan to respond to and recover from the pandemic. I’m grateful to Healing Arts for drawing attention to mental health, and for highlighting the role that the arts can play in supporting and sustaining mental health.”

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-Genera