What is Creativity and Wellbeing Week?
Running from the 17th to the 23rd of May 2021, Creativity and Wellbeing Week is a massive celebration of arts, culture and mental health. It’s a chance to come together with friends and family (whether in person or online) to reflect on our feelings, and create new things.
The theme for 2021 is CARE, which is something that we all need as we gradually ease out of lockdown. As we reconnect with other people and the environment, adding a little bit of extra care to our everyday lives can make all the difference. Also, we must not forget to care for ourselves, and take the time to relax and unwind. Art can be a great place to start!
Creativity and Wellbeing Week was launched in 2012 as a small celebration of arts and health in London. Now, each year an open festival is held all over the UK, with the opportunity for anybody (and everybody) to host their own events. In 2019, there were 636 events stretching from Cornwall to the Shetland Islands!
In 2019, 92% of visitors asked said that the week improved their understanding of the benefit of arts, culture and creativity on health and wellbeing. This is supported by wider research: a huge study with 50,000 participants at the BBC Arts Great British Creativity Test found that creativity can help us with many different things. This includes distracting ourselves from stress, making space in our minds for problem-solving, and developing self-esteem.
Free Creative Activities with Art at the Heart This Week
Here at Art at the Heart, we’ve been promoting the link between arts and wellbeing for years. We know that just 45 minutes of making art can reduce cortisol, the stress hormone, and help to promote general happiness. Creativity supports our health, so it’s not just ‘art for art’s sake’, it’s also ‘art for HEART’s sake’. That’s why we have an exciting programme of events lined up not only for this week, but all year round!
On Wednesday the 19th, illustrator Jon Shariat will be running a Zoom masterclass all about capturing facial expressions. Using just a mirror, a pen and pencil and your own beautiful face, you can learn to get in touch with your feelings through art. Then on Thursday the 20th, you can join us for a ‘Me and My Pencil’ drawing workshop – a special Hanami event! In Japanese custom, Hanami celebrates the arrival of spring, as ‘Hana’ means ‘flower’ and ‘Mi’ means ‘look’. The Japanese cherry blossom is very important, as a symbol of friendship, used to bring people together to appreciate the natural environment. Take inspiration from the blossom as you learn to sketch your own floral scenes!
Continuing the Hanami theme, you can join us on Saturday the 22nd for an origami workshop. Keep checking our social media pages for more information including booking details and Zoom links, and check out our galleries for the beautiful Hanami work produced in previous years.
If you’d like even more inspiration this week, then why not visit our Creativity and Wellbeing Calendar for May? With activities ranging from nature appreciation to homemade craft, you’ll find plenty of ways to CARE for the world around you this month. Download your free copy of the calendar here!
We’d love to see pictures and updates of your work this week, so remember to tag your posts #ArtattheHeart, and #CWW21
Community Project Big As A Bus–Hanami