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


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