Artists devise festival for mentally ill

A new ten week arts festival is being launched tomorrow that brings together artists and those suffering with mental ill health.

Make For Tomorrow has been devised by Arts Council England, the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, artists, mental health carers and service users. The programme, created by Arts Over Borders, will be a series of online conversations with actors, musicians, visual artists and performers as they exchange experiences of living through the coronavirus lockdown.

It begins tomorrow, September 11, with the actor Naomie Harris (pictured) talking to the broadcaster Francine Stock. Later participants will include the sculptor Richard Wentworth, the photographer Steve Macleod, the graphic artist Mark Tichner and landscape painter Hannah Brown.

The ten-week strand includes a digital programme of multi-arts workshops, short courses, discussions, conversations and performances for people both in hospital and in the community, curated by Hospital Rooms. 

Make For Tomorrow is for adults living with mental ill health in both in-patient settings and those accessing community support services, finishing with a week-long digital festival running from November 9 to 15.

“The pandemic has caused great practical and mental challenges for everyone” said Rachael Duke of the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s charity Heads On. “The feelings of isolation and anxiety that are often felt have been multiplied for many people by the lockdown and the continued disruption to lives everywhere.

“At the same time, there is a renewed national appreciation of the NHS, as well as new realisation of the challenges of mental health problems. Make For Tomorrow is an exciting collaboration between an NHS charity, Arts Council England, artists, arts programmers, mental health carers, technology providers and those with lived experience of mental health challenges 

“Art can play a transformative role in the lives of people living with mental health challenges, which in turn can enrich contemporary art. We hope that Make For Tomorrow will be a vital new programme of events in the arts calendar.”

Full details can be found at    


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