It was great to spend a year back in Manchester, based at the MIAHSC (Manchester Institute of Arts, Health and Social Change) office at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and working collaboratively with colleagues from the GM Mayor’s Office, GM Culture, ‘Live Well, Make Art’, GM Health & Social Care Partnership and Health Innovation Manchester.
My commission focussed on stakeholder engagement and partnership-working, supporting the MIAHSC’s launch and first year of activity, and co-developing Greater Manchester’s strategic response to the emerging national ‘Creative Health’ agenda.
There is so much superb work going on across GM (and beyond) at the various and critical points where culture and wellbeing intersect. It is work, of course, that has since come into sharp focus with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was a privilege to work with the ‘Live Well, Make Art’ programme and with arts and health colleagues from across GM in revealing and celebrating their work for the forthcoming ‘GM Lives! GM Culture, Health & Wellbeing Study 2020’. The study is due for publication post-lockdown.
It was great too to have the time to reflect on my PhD research and to further my work in exploring new metrics and ways of measuring the economy. Our ‘Yardsticks and Dreamscapes’ event brought partners together in an interactive exploration of sensory ways to measure arts and health impacts through emotions, sentiment and feeling.
Following the event, I was very pleased to be invited to lead a provocation session for colleagues from Public Health England and Liverpool City-Region colleagues around new approaches to commissioning and evaluation in arts and health.
As we look to a post-COVID future, I hope our work at MIAHSC and the research findings presented in the ‘GM Lives!’ report will contribute to shaping a progressive and collective route forward.