Can we keep you well?

The Rugby Art Gallery and Museum Community

As our latest exhibitions What Do I Need to Do to Make it OK? And Music in Rugby draw to a close we are reflecting on our impact on the wellbeing of visitors through our exhibitions, activities and projects.

 images from shows

Cultural engagement is shown to reduce work related stress and leads to longer happier lives.

"What a friendly and community feel this gallery has"

Since 2016, we have been exploring how our work supports wellbeing. We have asked participants how they feel as a result of activities, and have expanded our social cultural programme as a result of the positive feedback below. 

well being

Over the last six months we have been inviting audiences to enjoy exhibitions from our collections and by national and international artists.  There has also been a subtle message flowing through the art gallery and museum; that the enjoyment of, and involvement in, arts and culture can raise our happiness levels.

Our current exhibitions are not so subtle; with commissions that focus on the impact of creating with the local community, the power of music to lift the spirits and bind people together, and creative areas that encourage people to dwell, make, connect.
Arts Council England reports that ‘people who attended a cultural place in the previous 6 months are 60% more likely to report good health that those who had not’. Do you agree?


well being

The impact of culture
At Rugby Art Gallery and Museum we have always strongly believed in the impact of culture for happiness, fulfilment, bringing people together to create a sense of place and community.  This is why our team work with partners in the town on the Rugby Festival of Culture (now in its 6th year) that brings culture to venues across Rugby every July.
Our work if not always so visible. Did you know that we offer an arts on prescription project at the Benn Partnership?  In its second year and nearly 500 participant sessions have been enjoyed in the weekly workshops.

well being

Also in its second year is The Good Times project taking museum objects out into the community to stimulate conversations and reminiscence.  Particularly aimed at people with dementia and their carers this work brings rewards for everyone involved….
‘What the gallery have bought into the (St Cross) hospital has been fantastic, creative activities and stimulation is something we need so much on Hoskyn, giving our patients something to cheer them up!’


well being

Our volunteers have been an integral part of RAGM’S development of Health and Wellbeing programme, and they have benefited too. 
100% of our volunteers found it rewarding helping others, 100% found connecting with people made them feel positive.
What next….
As we move forward into a new season of exhibitions that celebrate the creative talent of the Midlands our focus on health and wellbeing will not be so obvious but as our Statement of Purpose illustrates it is at the heart of what we do:
We celebrate Rugby’s cultural and artistic heritage, support well-being and combat social isolation through heritage and the arts. 
So please let us know if we are getting it right or wrong.  What could we do to bring culture to more people?
Don’t forget to join us for the final FREE event of the Make it OK exhibition Did We Make It OK for Ourselves? On Saturday 4 November 1pm-3pm. Artists Saidhbhin Gibson, Celia Pym, Freddie Robins, Karina Thompson and Michaela McMillan will be present, with curator Liz Cooper.

02.11.2017 By Nikki Grange


Farah's Art Gallery and Museum

By one of RAGM's supervisors

image of tool trolley

Tell us about your job
I love it! There’s something different every day. Opening and closing the building, checking everything’s running smoothly, toilets are working, tweaking the air conditioning, signing contractors in and out, hanging and taking down exhibitions, setting up schools workshops. We’re on a rota for emergency call-outs – I’ve been called out to floods in the boiler room, and when a poster fell down and triggered the sensor. It’s a great team, and people jump in to help when you need it.

Your favourite painting from the Rugby Collection?
Man with his Shadow by John Davies.
This is painting reminds me that we are never really alone; we always have our shadow for company. It makes me think of this quote from Imam Ali (a, s):
This world is like a shadow. If you chase it, it will run from you, and if you run from it, it will chase you.

The job of an art gallery/museum is…
To provide service to the public, to make unexpected connections and to contribute to wellbeing. Somewhere you can look at something beautiful, a peaceful place.

I keep…    At home, what’s the object you’ve kept for longest
A little summer dress and white jumper, and the babygro my baby wore when she came out of hospital. (They’re 28 and 24 now)

In our ‘Imaginary Collection’…    If we were making an ‘imaginary collection’ of important things we could NEVER put in RAGM, (eg your favourite tree, a memory, the smell of rain, something you believe in) what would you put in? And why?
I’d love to capture the feeling of summer holidays. The sun on your face, the feeling of relaxation. The different foods you try if you go abroad, all the different smells & sounds you encounter on your journey.

I remember in Rugby:
I grew up here playing in the streets. I miss the indoor market. The jeans stall was the cheapest in town. The smell of denim…

Your turn to ask the people of Rugby a question:
When was the last time you came up and visited us at RAGM? It’s cool in hot weather, warm in the winter!


Redding Collection - a snapshot in time

Can you help us identify people in the photos?

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Collectors, keepers... and hoarders

Collecting at the museum

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Jive, jitterbug and reminiscing

Let the Good Times roll

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My Art Gallery and Museum

by Victoria Gabbitas

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Thriving with the museum

A new use for old objects: RAGM working with people with dementia and their carers

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Volunteers at the centre of the world

Transmitting messages... and memories

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Cocktails and colouring

A combination of pleasures

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Why humans have museums

(and why squirrels don't)

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