Home » Artists and scientists in dialogue in Brussels

On January 22, the BOZAR team organized a series of discussions with experts from various fields on the topic of cultural prescriptions. Alongside BOZAR team, experts, cultural workers and artists from KAOS, Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Platform K and FARO participated to the meeting.

Confirmed contributors

  • Juliette Le Corre, BOZAR
  • Ann Geeraerts, BOZAR
  • Karl Van De Broeck, BOZAR
  • Raphael Miles, BOZAR
  • Frederic Meseeuw, BOZAR
  • David Demeuter, Art et marges museum
  • Mike Michiels, KAOS
  • Isabel Vermote, RMFA
  • Marie-Suzanne Gilleman, RMFA
  • Inge Lattre, Platform K
  • Bart de Nil, FARO

Arts on prescriptions worldwide: Inputs in the conversation

A lot of studies emphasize the value of the arts in contributing to core determinants of health; mental illness and age-related physical decline, as well for social inclusion and participation. Cultural prescriptions – artistic activities prescribed by doctors, Arts on Prescription, Social Prescribing Schemes and Cultuurvitaminen initiative are being developed in different countries: in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Finland, Canada (Montreal).

The Arts on Prescription program implemented in the United Kingdom, as part of broader social prescribing schemes, connect individuals who present to their primary care doctor with nonmedical problems (e.g. social isolation or loneliness) or who require additional psychosocial support for their health with community activities, including participatory arts activities.

The Cultuurvitaminen initiative in Denmark is a very accessible model for prescriptions, but is linked to unemployment, not approaching the medical perspective, and also addressing other vulnerable groups than pacients.

Yet, a similar system is not developed in Belgium, except in Limbourg where a pilot-project called LOGO is being developed (focusing on prevention).

Cultural prescriptions @ BOZAR

The meeting was intended to explore how similar ideas, which explore the relationship between arts and well-being, could be implemented in a permanent program provided by an arts institution such as BOZAR. In addition to this meeting, BOZAR met several actors to finetune its project : mutualités, mental health centre, city of Brussels, other international institutions which developed similar projects like Musuem for Fine Arts in Montreal, British Council etc. As a result of these meetings, BOZAR designed some particularities for its cultural prescriptions program.

BOZAR will develop a pilot project with non-medical local partners directly in contact with the target groups as a first step. The designated group of persons will be invited to experience BOZAR’s artistic program with a specific support: workshops, guided tour or other. The format will be developed in collaboration with the partner and will depend on the specific needs of the group.

In addition to these particular formats, cultural prescriptions are to be understood in a large sense as an artistic experience increasing well-being and could benefit everyone whether they experience mental distress or not. The common aim of the different formats developed is to increase well-being through art and to raise awareness among the society on the role of art for the well-being.

In the following period BOZAR, as well as other partners, will implement their particular cultural prescriptions initiatives within the Art & Well-being project.