Bridging the gap between Arts and Play for Health and Wellbeing in Research, Policy and Practice 

Over the last decade there has been a burgeoning interest in the benefit of arts and play for our health and wellbeing. However, despite evidence that shows the arts and play to have close connections in how they contribute to and achieve health outcomes for children and adults, there has been a dearth of action to encourage knowledge-exchange between these fields or to understand how the processes across these interventions may be similar. This conference aims to address this gap, encouraging shared learning and asking critical questions that will support us to move forward in arts and play with new-found insight. 

This is a 2-day conference that will include: 
• Keynote presentations from Dr Rosie Perkins and Dr. Wendy Russell.
• Creative workshops, lectures, and poster presentations.
• Creative ‘energiser’ sessions led by arts and play practitioners.
• Arts and play materials to creatively express your response to the conference.
• A panel session about opportunities across the arts and play sectors.
• A ‘world café’ to explore the intersections of play and art, and to foster connections, particularly between researchers and practitioners. 

Keynote speakers

Dr Rosie Perkins: Reader in Performance Science at the Royal College of Music
Dr. Wendy Russell: Senior Lecturer in Play and Playwork at University of Gloucestershire

The conference details

Who is the conference for?
This conference is for anyone working within or interested in the use of arts and/or play interventions for health and wellbeing. We take broad conceptions of these disciplines and of health and wellbeing, and we intend to attract a diverse range of people to present, such as those from the social and political sciences, arts, humanities, health and medicine. We invite those working within research, policy and practice, and seek to provide a platform for discussion across these fields.

When is it taking place?
Wednesday 9th September (9.15am - 6pm) and Thursday 10th September 2020 (9.30am - 5.30pm)

Where is it being hosted?
Chrystal Macmillan Building, The University of Edinburgh, 15a George Square

Call for abstracts

This is a creative conference and we are open to creative modes of sharing your ideas. We are offering 20-60 minute slots which can be filled with spoken or poster presentations, workshops, or group activities. As this is an art and play conference, we welcome creative approaches to share experiences and ideas. Please submit your abstract integrating one or more of the suggested themes below. We are also open to options outside this list that align with the overarching conference theme:

• The interconnections between arts and play interventions
• Play and/or art for psychosocial wellbeing or mental health
• The biological and physiological impact of engaging with arts and/or play
• Play and/or art for specific patient populations
• The social experience of engaging with arts and/or play activities
• The connection between play/art and nature
• How play and the arts can support a social prescribing model
• The value of the artist/practitioner
• Methodological challenges within arts/play research
• How play/arts is viewed within evidence-based policy
• The intervention itself: how do we determine what an intervention should be?
• Is Play Art? Is Art Play? Is there value in separating them? 
• What is the future of arts and play interventions?
• Provocations: critical reflections on how arts and play interventions are delivered
• Anything else you can think of that links arts and play - be creative!

Click here to submit your abstract. The closing date to apply is 20th March 2020 at 5pm!

Sign up

We will soon be open for delegates to sign up to attend. Watch this space!

Want to know more?

If you have any further questions, please contact us.

This event is being organised by four doctoral researchers: Katey Warran (University of Edinburgh), Laura Wright (University of Edinburgh), Stacey Marko (Heriot-Watt University) and Grant Barclay (The University of Glasgow). It is being funded by the Cohort Development Fund (Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities) and led in partnership with the Arts Health Early Career Research Network and the International Institute for Child Rights and Development.
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