Arts and mental wellbeing

Our sharing practice themes in 2021 link to topics in the Museums Association manifesto for museum learning and engagement.

The topic for March and April, Arts and mental wellbeing, has come from the point on activism in the manifesto:

Museums are not neutral. Museum activism should be based on listening, acting and delivering with our communities.

Museum activism is about taking positive action to make the world a better place. Museums are part of the fabric of society and are impacted by and can have an impact on events outside their walls.

Museum activism can mean supporting campaigns that our communities care about in an open and collaborative way. This could be working on issues where museums, through their collections, interpretation and programming, can add understanding, knowledge and perspectives on issues such as anti-racism and the climate crisis.

Museum Association manifesto for museum learning and engagement
  • Case studies which demonstrate the benefits of engagement in and with the visual arts for mental health and wellbeing.
  • Case studies which relate to the negative impact of the pandemic on mental health and wellbeing.

Ideas on the action which Engage and other sector organisation may take to support arts interventions which support mental health and wellbeing.

About Sharing Practice

With c.800 members in the UK and around the world, the Engage team is lucky to be in regular contact with colleagues working in gallery and visual arts education who are leading the way with fascinating and diverse practice in a great variety of areas.

In order to share this learning with the wider sector, and promote our members’ work, we invite our members to present examples of their practice that fit within monthly themes. These case studies are available on our website to both members and non-members alike.

Contribute to Sharing Practice

If you are an Engage member interested in submitting a case study on this theme or to a theme we’ve covered previously please get in touch.

To submit a case study, email Lillie Mason, Business Development and Marketing Officer, at with a short summary of your proposed case study. You may wish to use the Sharing Practice submission guidelines to frame your practice. We also welcome submissions in other formats, such as films or visual summaries.