A new ten-minute online survey has been launched aimed at practitioners working in the participatory arts for health and wellbeing sector.

The survey by artist Nicola Naismith is asking practitioners to share their experiences of the support they receive from commissioning organisations and the effect this has. It also asks what kinds of assistance are preferred and what artists do to support themselves.

Following Naismith’s a-n supported Visual Artist Fellowship with the Clore Leadership Programme in 2017-18, the survey has been made possible by a research grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Clore Leadership Programme.

Assisted by research supervisor Christopher Fremantle, senior research fellow at Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Naismith is seeking to collect the experiences of creative practitioners working in any discipline.

Explains Naismith: “It is essential that the health and wellbeing of artists is properly supported, which in turn will help them to deliver the best quality work in the participatory arts for health and wellbeing sector. The evidence base of the benefits to health and wellbeing from participating in the arts continues to grow, but what about the health and wellbeing of the creative practitioners delivering these activities?”

The survey is aimed at individual creative practitioners who are currently working in the sector or have done so in the last 18 months.

In addition, respondents should have undertaken paid work in this area using any art form including visual arts, theatre, dance, music and performance, writing or any other creative discipline; delivered a minimum of eight sessions per year or have done so in the last 18 months; worked on a freelance or employed basis or both; and worked primarily in the UK.

Naismith adds: “The type of support I’m interested in is affective support, which relates to moods, feelings and attitudes. The research seeks to collate and analyse the ways in which organisations and commissioners who contract or employ creative practitioners support the wellbeing of the workforce. And I also want to find out what kinds of activities practitioners undertake to support themselves.

“In completing the survey creative practitioners will be making a vital contribution to the analysis of what support is currently being offered, what is preferred and what practitioners do to support themselves, all of which will help to build a picture of current good practice and areas for development and improvement.”

The survey is open now and will close at midnight on the 3 December 2018.

Nicola Naismith, A folder called slogans, 2017/18.

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Nicola Naismith. Photo: Cath Cartman; Courtesy: the artist

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