COVID-19 CARE: Culture and the Arts, from Restriction to Enhancement: Protecting Mental Health in the Liverpool City Region
This study, led by Professor Josie Billington and Dr Katia Balabanova, will assess the impact on mental health of restricted access to arts and culture in a specific city region, and track, enable and enhance the value of innovation in arts provision in mitigating associated harms.
Liverpool has one of the richest concentrations of culture in the UK, boasting the largest clustering of museums and galleries outside London. Cultural capital is critical to the city region’s economy, contributing circa 10% (Culture Liverpool, 2019). The city also has a pioneering history of harnessing arts for mental health care through partnerships between culture and health providers.
This AHRC-funded study aims to provide both the evidence for, and the tools to assess, the cost to public mental health of the loss of arts and cultural goods as well as the risks of exclusion from new patterns of provision. Building on the University of Liverpool’s strong alliance with organisations across the cultural and health sectors, this project brings together an interdisciplinary team of arts and mental health researchers to devise and conduct, in consultation with our partners, two surveys.
Survey 1 consisting of online interviews with arts organisations, including civic institutions, community arts programmes, representing both ‘elite’ and ‘popular’ arts gathers views about:
- the impact of COVID-19 on public access to arts provision (including those who usually access the arts through formal healthcare routes) and on audience/beneficiary change over time (legacy losses and potential gains)
- the success of alternative (e.g. online/digital) modes of provision by arts organisations in reaching and communicating with established and/or new audiences.
Survey 2 consisting of online questionnaire and supplementary online/telephone interviews) with arts’ audiences/beneficiaries gathers views about:
- the impact on mental health of restricted/non-existent access to usual provision
- the perceived value and accessibility of alternative arts provision and the latter’s impact on mental health/wellbeing
News, blog and publications
Arts and Health resources
COVID-19 CARE: Culture and the Arts, from Restriction to Enhancement: Protecting Mental Health in the Liverpool City Region, is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (Reference No. 167499).
The University of Liverpool’s Central University Research Ethics Committees approved the research ethics application for - Prof Josie Billington: 7994 - COVID-19 CARE: Culture and the Arts, from Restriction to Enhancement: Protecting Mental Health in the Liverpool City Region.