Arts on Prescription in the Baltic Sea Region
Arts on Prescription

Cēsis and Saldus successfully completed 1st pilot phase

08 March 2024
At the end of 2023, the 1st of 3 pilot cycles of the Arts-on-Prescription programme was completed in Cēsis and Saldus. Preparation for the 2nd round is in full swing.
Technical details

In Latvia, the municipalities of Cēsis and Saldus are among the Arts-on-Prescription (AoP) programme implementers that sucessfully finalised thier first pilot phase. Each has chosen its own approach: As a continuation of the More Light! project launched in 2022, Cēsis invited AoP participants to 4 museums and heritage sites in the municipality and to 5 different art and cultural activities, while Saldus offered 4 different cultural and art activities across the city.

At the end of 2023, the first of three pilot cycles of the Arts-on-Prescription programme was completed, bringing together 15 participants from Cēsis County and 12 participants from Saldus city.

The size of the groups is determined by the programme methodology, with each participant having active involvement and socialising opportunities during the eight-week (Cēsis) and ten-week (Saldus) programme. Three participant surveys and focus group interviews were conducted under the guidance of the project’s international research team from the University of Southern Denmark and the Turku University of Applied Sciences to ascertain the positive impact of the programme. After compiling the data, first iterim evaluation results reveal promising impact of the Arts-on-Prescription programme on the participants’ well-being. Final results are planned to be summarised in a scientific publication after the 3rd piloting phase. Currently, the project partners are in preparation of the second pilot cycle taken place in spring 2024. Participants are being identified and registration via referall channels as well as self-referral has just started.

In addition, the AoP project partners are starting to transfer their experience to their “twin” partners. This so-called One-on-one twinning with cities/regions outside the partnership provides interested local or regional public authority, or a cultural organisation, support in initiating their own Arts-on-Prescription programme. These replicating cities/regions have the chance to observe the piloting process in partner cities/region, e.g. by way of a study visit, and in the transfer phase of the project, by regular contact with and advice by their projects’ twin partners. Accompanying support will be provided by the information package to raise awareness and the online practitioner’s guide to supply the twin city with the needed knowledge on organisational and administrative steps.

Cēsis and Saldus are in close contact with the twin-municipalities of Rezekne and Kuldīga, and are currently preparing an experience sharing workshop for a wider audience. At the end of the project, a conference will be held in Cēsis in 2025 to share the project’s experience and to outline opportunities for cooperation between the culture and health sectors in Latvia. The project activities can be followed also on the municipality websites for Cēsis and Saldus and Facebook pages of Cēsis, Saldus.

A video footage of the first piloting round in Cēsis can be watched here (in Latvian, external link on youtube).

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