CUH Arts

old lady clapping and person playing the violin
Photo Credit: Toby Peters

Supported by Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust, CUH Arts is one of the UK’s leading hospital arts programmes. Initiated over 20 years ago with a small collection of paintings to help lift the clinical environment, CUH Arts has developed into a hugely valued and established programme that works across art forms to benefit the whole hospital community. With a busy year-round series of activities and projects, CUH Arts is driven by one central belief – that creativity has the power to transform the hospital experience for everyone.

CUH Arts works closely with cultural, healthcare and community partners to develop pioneering arts initiatives with lasting legacies. Our programme focusses on the following key areas:

Actively engaging patients, visitors and staff in person-centred, non-clinical arts activities can support their (often complex) experiences of hospital in a multitude of ways. Research tells us that:

  • The arts are an effective antidote to physical and psychological pain
  • Participatory arts generate a safe space for patients and their families to express themselves
  • Arts participation enhances brain and other body functions, improving resilience and providing a powerful alternative motivation towards recovery and rehabilitation
  • Arts can support staff wellbeing, providing much needed creativity to address work stress and increase resilience in the workplace

Dance for Health is CUH Arts’ flagship project; weekly creative movement & music group sessions for adult patients, led by expert practitioner Filipa Pereira-Stubbs. Patients are supported to move and interact with one another, helping to engage not just the body, but the mind and heart too. With generous initial support from ACT donations and Dunhill Medical Trust (2016-19), Dance for Health continues to run weekly sessions on adult inpatient wards including stroke & neuro rehabilitation, diabetes & endocrinology and the department for medicine of the elderly.

One patient said: "Honestly I love it. I have been feeling so low, and it just helped build me up, and I feel so positive now” 

Art in built environments
Evidence shows that visual art in hospitals significantly helps to diminish stress and anxiety, and our work to bring innovative design solutions to our ward and clinics at Cambridge University Hospitals aims to create friendly, welcoming environments that aid recovery. CUH Arts is the proud custodian of over 4000 works of art, including bespoke pieces by well-known artists Quentin Blake, Anita Klein and Damien Hirst.

Live events and performances
Arts and culture enriches hospital environments, bringing much-needed entertainment, distraction, and connection with the outside world. CUH Arts enjoys hosting professional performers including The King’s Men, the Academy of Ancient Music, and Little Angel Theatre.

For more information on CUH Arts, contact Natalie Ellis (Head of arts):

Click here to donate to arts at Addenbrooke's and the Rosie.

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