Why have Arts Council England (ACE) published data and a report about how culture can, apparently, help regenerate high streets now? Particularly given that the report does not even consider the devastating effects of COVID-19 on our everyday lives and, of course, our high streets.

The report, produced by social and economic research consultants Wavehill and entitled Arts and Place Shaping: Evidence Review, was written in May 2020 (when COVID-19 was reaching its first peak) but only published a few days ago.

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This is my take on what rewilding the arts means to me. I wrote this for Rewild the Arts . The original can be found here.

 

 

The nation and many Western countries have successfully suppressed, oppressed and controlled our arts and our cultures: narrowly defining and policing terms and practices, building brick and glass citadels for a wealthy minority and a false vision of economic growth, and creating a hierarchy which places artists as servants and denigrates many working-class communities as “hard to reach” and uncultured.

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Perhaps, it’s time for artists to learn from the COVID-19 Mutual Aid groups that are self-organising and self-seeding across the UK and the globe? Imagine if artists set up local Artists’ Mutual Aid groups to support each other through these difficult times; to begin setting out ways of speaking to power with coherent voices; to start using art to demand radical changes to the way we work and live together.

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A GUEST BLOG BY DR STEPHEN CLIFT

 

In Stephen’s last guest blog in this series, he demonstrates that a highly cited arts and health paper is a ‘fairy tale’ that has cast a collective spell over the field. Stephen wishes he had published this debunking in 2008. Now, 12 years later, here it is…

 

Stephen Clift (BA, PhD, PFRSPH) is Professor Emeritus, Canterbury Christ Church University, and former Director of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health.

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A GUEST BLOG BY DR STEPHEN CLIFT

 

In Stephen’s penultimate guest blog, for now, he provocatively argues that, sometimes at least, ‘research in arts and health can produce findings that are banal, trivial or spurious’. His final guest blog in this series will be published tomorrow.

 

Stephen Clift (BA, PhD, PFRSPH) is Professor Emeritus, Canterbury Christ Church University, and former Director of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health.

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A GUEST BLOG BY DR STEPHEN CLIFT

 

This is the third guest blog by Stephen Clift. Here he asks questions about the value, relevance and usefulness of some research into ‘arts and health’, and wonders how such examples were funded and why they garnered such favourable, unquestioning reviews.

 

Stephen Clift (BA, PhD, PFRSPH) is Professor Emeritus, Canterbury Christ Church University, and former Director of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health.

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A GUEST BLOG BY DR STEPHEN CLIFT

 

In this second guest blog by Stephen Clift, he questions the WHO scoping review of arts and health (Fancourt and Finn, 2019), particularly its headline: ‘Arts ‘crucial’ to reducing poor health and inequality’. Here, Stephen asks if the existing body of evidence really supports such ‘grand claims’.

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A GUEST BLOG BY DR STEPHEN CLIFT

 

This guest blog by Dr Stephen Clift calls for a thorough appraisal of research about how art might contribute to health and wellbeing and argues for greater critical debate about arts and health practice and research.

 

Stephen Clift (BA, PhD, PFRSPH) is Professor Emeritus, Canterbury Christ Church University, and former Director of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health.

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This is the transcript of a 4 minute talk I did as the first of The Parallel State ’s RANT series. You can listen to the podcast here .

Remember what is was like to be sung to sleep?

 

Remember what is was like to be sung to sleep. If you are fortunate, the memory will be more recent than childhood.

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This is a guest blog by curator and researcher Ghazaleh Zogheib. It’s a review of Gil Mualem-Doron’s exhibition Cry, the Beloved Country.

 

Dr. Gil Mualem-Doron (1970) is an Arab-Jewish artist, born and based in the UK. His work is research-based, often collaborative and focuses on issues such as identity politics, nationalism, placemaking and histories of place, social justice, and transcultural aesthetics.

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