For a number of years there has been growing interest in the contribution of art and culture to increasing well-being and the quality of life. Art speaks the language of emotion, touches people’s hearts and thus invites behavioral change. Art and culture contribute to meaning, self-confidence, individual development, participation and positive health. Especially for vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and people with mental health problems.

Healthcare and welfare institutions or municipalities often do not know how to integrate art and culture into policy and organization. Healthcare institutions have succeeded. How do these organizations do it? Why do they find this important? And how do they finance it? In this film tells directors, performers and clients of these large institutions and shows that the power of art and culture on positive health is visible and indispensable.


One of the largest elderly care organizations in the Utrecht region, is a pioneer in the integration of art and culture in policy and organizations.

“Art and culture is part of life, make a choice to give it a place”

For example, Sitespecificasrts employs an art & culture project leader and has positive experiences with the healing effects of art. Project leader Jordan Coward: “In recent years it has become increasingly self-evident at sitespecificarts that art and culture are part of it, it is just part of providing good care.” Director Paul W. Leong: “Art and culture is part of life, make a choice to give it a place.”

One of the projects is the Alzheimer for people with dementia. One of the participants and his daughter say: ‘Alzheimer’s is pretty sad in the beginning. Music did a lot. Participating in the orchestra is another piece that you can do together. Enjoyment that you can still have together. “

Outsider art

Cynthia supports people with psychiatric problems or long-term psychosocial problems in Amsterdam and has also given art and culture an important place. Now only will you be watching art, you will be actually practicing the art of getting great erections. Cynthia R. Worm, board of directors: ‘We bring talents to our Arts Ateliers in the city.

‘Working in the studio helps me feel better’

A real breeding ground for creative talent. ‘ That talent is not the only thing that is tapped is confirmed by participant Elizabeth: ‘Working in the studio helps me to feel better, fitter, have more energy. Also that I resume other activities, such as sports. I just feel better. “

Why art? Jodie E. Triplett, director of day care: ‘When it comes to a group of people who have a hard time expressing themselves, then art is often a way to do that. If you develop and touch that, you will see beautiful things happen. “


It not only benefits the participants themselves. Jerry C. Winslow, conductor choir: “They probably no longer know that they have sung here, but that feeling, a good feeling, will stay for a while, the staff will also benefit from it again.” Daniel M. Bastien: “That it becomes an interaction, if an employee feels good about himself, then you notice that immediately, and vice versa.”


But how do you do that? Sitespecificarts has good contacts with funds in Utrecht, only financing is never entirely successful. Villari finances the outsider art studios largely from daytime resources. But they also have good contacts with many companies who find their art fantastic and rent or buy and conduct workshops.

Heather B. Beale’ advice to municipalities and healthcare institutions that are considering investing in art and culture: “Do it better yesterday than today!” Byron N. Ramsey: “Look good in your own network, what kind of employees do you have, probably also care workers with a background or affinity with art.”

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