Arts on Prescription in the Baltic Sea Region
Arts on Prescription

Joint effort between project partners to further develop and implement Arts on Prescription programmes in the Baltic Sea Region.

19 September 2023
On 6-7 September 2023, the Marshall Office Szczecin of the West Pomeranian Region hosted the second transnational partner meeting of the Interreg BSR project Arts on Prescription in the Baltic Sea Region.
Technical details

Representatives from 13 partner organisations and 7 countries came together to expand the cooperation between cultural and health sectors and further develop an Arts on Prescription (AoP) programme that will soon be piloted in different partner regions with the aim to increase the well-being of people in the Baltic Sea Region. “Arts on prescription” is a concept that has already been tested through small-scale programs in countries such as the UK, Sweden, and Denmark. The idea is that people with a diagnosed mental condition such as depression, stress or anxiety, or people at risk of developing such a condition (e.g. due to loneliness) get a prescription not for medicine or therapy, but for taking part in regular arts activities in group settings.

Mrs Anna Bańkowska, Member of the Executive Board of the West Pomeranian Region, welcomed the guests to Szczecin and stressed the relevance of AoP as a novel approach of collaboration of the culture and health sectors in Poland.

On day one, much emphasis was placed on the concept of the upcoming pilot activities planned in Odense in Denmark, Bremen in Germany, the region of Norrbotten in Sweden, the Latvian municipalities of Cesis and Saldus, as well as cities in the West Pomerania Region in Poland. Arts and culture activities and courses that are provided to participants in the upcoming pilots will cover more than a dozen disciplines, such as:

  • Drawing and painting
  • Pottery
  • Creative writing
  • Poetry and music
  • Visual arts
  • Theatre and improvisation
  • Cultural walks and museum visits

The first round of pilot AoP programmes will begin in October and last until early 2024. During several workshops on day one, the project partners also worked on online AoP Practitioners’ Guide that will be launched soon, providing arts and culture facilitators, link workers and decision makers with detailed information, training material and tools for an effective and sustainable organisation and evaluation of AoP programmes.

On day two, project partners discussed how the know-how on AoP created in the project can be passed on to other cities and regions as well as relevant decision makers on regional and national level.

On the second day the project organised a Train-the-Trainers workshop for the 20 internal and external link workers who are organising the implementation of the Arts on Prescription pilot programmes in the partner regions. Besides exchange on specific needs and challenges of the link workers to set-up the individual AoP programmes, the workshop provided the participants with a framework and tools to sensitise arts and culture facilitators in their countries to work with people with mental health issues.

The project meeting and the Train-the-Trainer workshop have been co-financed by the Baltic Sea Region Interreg Programme 2021 – 2027 in the frame of the “Arts on Prescription in the Baltic Sea Region” project.

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