Arts online for mentally ill

Leading actors, visual artists and writers are collaborating with mental patients in a week-long online arts festival next week.

From Monday, the Make For Tomorrow festival will see artists and performers connecting with patients and carers in the culmination of a two month programme.

The line-up includes actors Fiona Shaw, Naomie Harris, Imogen Stubbs and Minnie Driver alongside artists Richard Wentworth, Mark Titchner, Hannah Brown and Sophie Clements, and the novelist Marian Keyes.

Highlights will include streamed and live conversations with actors and performers, revealing shared experiences of living through the coronavirus.

The project aims to highlight the stories and talents of those who often face real barriers to enjoying cultural experiences, and since September visual artists have led multi-arts workshops, short courses, discussions and conversations for people in hospitals, secure wards and in the community.

Main image shows some results of a workshop on trees

Make For Tomorrow is the result of a partnership between Heads On, the official NHS charity for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust) and the trust's arts and health service Make Your Mark, its arts partners Arts Over Borders and Hospital Rooms, and technology partner CogApp.

“The pandemic has caused great practical and mental challenges for everyone. Feelings of isolation and anxiety have been multiplied for many people by the continued disruption to lives everywhere” said Head On’s head of charity Rachael Duke. “At the same time the pandemic has created special moments that just would not have happened otherwise. The renewed national appreciation of the NHS; Arts Council England supporting our festival and programme; and our reliance on technology to bring us together has created unimagined collaborations between artists and patients.”  

For full programme details and to join all events live throughout the festival visit makeyourmarknhs.org or follow  @makeyourmarknhs

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