Forum 2021

Culture helps us foster a sense of meaning and identity, it can expand horizons, place contemporary challenges within an historical frame, and inspire us to imagine a better future. Beyond economic benefits, promoting social cohesion, and inspiring contemporary creativity, the arts contribute to the holistic well-being of individuals and communities. On the background of the strong scientific evidence on the power of arts and cultural participation to promote health, manage and treat disease and support well-being, an increasing number of pilot interventions and experimental programmes have been successfully carried out in recent years by artists and cultural institutions across Europe.
The forum offers the opportunity to present best practices, discuss and share experiences among practitioners, and engage in dialogue with experts and decision makers about institutional collaborations and support structures needed to scale up cultural well-being projects and interventions.
The Culture and Well-being Forum was initiated by the Cluj Cultural Centre in 2018. The 2021 edition of the Forum is organised within the Art & Well-being project and includes conference panels and inspirational talks, case studies, workshops, policy discussions and an artistic programme.

To whom is the Forum addressed?

culture professionals
healthcare professionals
decision makers
anyone with an interest in arts and well-being


Marc Vilanova - Invisible Sounds | Lecture Performance

18:00-19:00 (CEST) Art Programme Casa Tranzit, Str G. Barițiu 16, Cluj Live event Online streaming English

As humans we have limited senses to perceive nature. Our audible range is incapable of detecting frequencies below 20Hz and above 20kHz. In this lecture performance, the artist shares the findings of his three-year research on inaudible frequencies and plays an acoustic saxophone solo.

Art for Health and Well-being Research: Ground or Path?

09:30-11:00 (CEST)Panel discussionOn ZOOMEnglish

The panel provides a framework to discuss existing studies and future research directions in the area of arts, health and well-being. It also addresses the role of research in the life of cultural institutions interested in increasing the well-being of their audiences. Host: Pier Luigi Sacco, Bruno Kessler Foundation


  • Katey Warran, University College London
  • Marie Briguglio, University of Malta
  • Grazia Concilio, Ilaria Tosoni, Irene Bianchi, Politecnico di Milano, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies (DASTU)

Programming Art for Well-being in Cultural Institutions

12:00-13:30 (CEST)Panel discussionOn ZOOMEnglish

The session examines how artists and cultural institutions embrace the topic of art and well-being. From artistic research on empathy, meaning or living with disease, to dedicated programmes for special audiences, the panel presents best practice and explores how cultural institutions can develop new programmes and provide new forms of care. Host: Kathrin Deventer, European Festivals Association With:

  • Angeliki Lampiri, Eleusis 2023 European Capital of Culture
  • Ann Geeraerts, BOZAR - Centre for Fine Arts Brussels
  • Jak Spencer, Urban Scales Interventions
  • Jure Kirbis, UGM Maribor Art Gallery

Cultural Interventions for Health

15:00-16:30 (CEST)Panel discussionOn ZOOMEnglish

Starting from tried and tested cultural prescriptions programmes and other cultural interventions for health, the session examines possible models of culture-based welfare services and discusses the conditions for strong institutional partnerships between culture and health. Host: Ștefan Teișanu, Cluj Cultural Centre With:

  • Mikkel Ottow, Central Denmark Region
  • Juliette le Corre, BOZAR - Centre for Fine Arts, Delphine Houba, Alderwoman of Culture of the City of  Brussels, Stephanie Urbain, Member of the cabinet of the Alderwoman of Culture
  • Angelica Postu, Romanian Association of Music Therapy, Charite Hospital’s Psychiatric University Center in Berlin
  • Claudia Cacovean, Cluj Cultural Centre & Marina Dascăl, Babeș Bolyai University

Keynote: Future Perspectives for Culture, Health and Well-being

09:30-10:00 (CEST)Keynote LectureOnline streamingEnglish

Prof. Pier Luigi Sacco, Senior Researcher, Bruno Kessler Foundation, OECD, metaLAB (at) Harvard

Scaling Up Arts and Culture Interventions for Health and Well-being

10:00-11:45 (CEST)Policy WorkshopOnline streamingEnglish

Hosts: Ștefan Teișanu & Rarița Zbranca, Cluj Cultural Centre With:

  • Monica Urian, Policy Officer, European Commission, Directorate-General for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
  • Nils Fietje, Behavioural and Cultural Insights Unit, Regional Office for Europe, World Health Organization
  • Leena Palli, City of Oulu
  • Kornelia Kiss, Culture Action Europe
  • Barbara Bulc, Botnar Foundation, SDG CoLab
Open space
13:00-14:30 (CEST)Networking EventOn ZOOMEnglish

This is planned as an online open space for artists and cultural practitioners with interest in health and well-being to connect, present relevant projects and discuss common challenges and possible collaborations. Participants are invited to propose in advance topics for discussion or express their interest to present their project.

Curator: Rarița Zbranca, Cluj Cultural Centre


Let's explore together how arts and culture can contribute to people’s health and well-being.

Programme sessions take place online, while art events are organised in person, in Cluj-Napoca. You will receive technical details for your participation by e-mail after completing the registration form.

Participation is free of charge and registration is open until October 24th.

We invite you to be part of a dialogue with experts and decision makers about cultural well-being projects and interventions

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