The wrap-up of our inaugural March Arts festival.
The inaugural Sydney Local Health District March Arts has been a huge success, with 30 programs and events held across our health campuses during the month-long festival.
March Arts is designed to highlight and showcase the benefits of integrating The Arts into the design and delivery of health services, and health messaging.
Across facilities at RPA, Concord, Canterbury, Balmain, Sydney Dental Hospital and the Concord Centre for Mental Health, a wonderful range of exhibitions, performances and classes took place throughout March.
The events included exhibitions of patient and staff artwork, live music, poetry readings, workshops, art classes, lectures, murals and walking tours.
The feedback from patients, their families and carers, and staff, has been overwhelmingly positive, with the March Arts opening celebration at Concord, the beautiful music of the UltraSounds in the RPA foyer, the Aboriginal Art class with Lee Hampton at Balmain and the opportunity to create tile art at Sydney Dental proving particularly popular.
“I have always loved Aboriginal art and to actually paint with their symbols and relate it to my current journey was really interesting. Thanks to everyone involved in organising this event - there should be more like this.”
- Balmain hospital patient: Aboriginal art class with Lee Hampton.
It’s nice to just sit here and paint this square and to take my mind off waiting for results, even if it is just for five minutes - it makes a huge difference and calms me down.”
- RPA patient: Make Your Mark project.
Some of the artwork created during March Arts will remain on display, including the winners of Balmain Hospital’s school art competition, in which students from four primary schools expressed what being healthy means through painting and drawing.
At Concord, artworks donated by members of the Drummoyne Art society will stay on display in Medicos Café while the window art will remain until the next March Arts festival.
At Sydney Dental, photographs taken by residents of Tierney House have a permanent place on the walls and a mural by artist Annette Barlow in the paediatric ward will continue to grow.
March Arts culminated in a special Arts Pitch, with a three groups awarded a share of $30,000 to bring their innovative ideas to fruition.
A total of 14 applications were received, with five chosen to present their idea to a four-judge panel including Dr Mark Nelson, the vice-president of the Art Gallery of NSW Board of Trustees and award-winning artist Noel McKenna.
The RPA Speech Pathology department presented research showing the benefits of singing in improving voice and speech symptoms in Parkinson’s patients – in particular, breathing exercises and vocal warm-ups.
The team was awarded $20,800 to establish a weekly singing group for these patients. The money will go towards the employment of a speech pathologist, music therapist, musicians and instruments.
Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson says March Arts will be a regular event on the District calendar and the Health and The Arts Steering Committee hopes to build partnerships with local artists, art schools and businesses going forward.
“Every day across our health facilities, our patients and the staff caring for them are faced with challenging and difficult circumstances,” Dr Anderson said.
“Art enables people to share their experiences, to tell their stories and to express their feelings and within a health context, this is intrinsically valuable because it can present complex and difficult situations in a much more accessible way.”
Moving beyond March, Health and The Arts will feature at the Sydney Innovation and Research Symposium on June 22, 2018 at Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh.
See photos and videos from March Arts or visit our Facebook page.