Does attending artistic events correlate to higher life satisfaction? What about active participation – do those who actually take part in such events enjoy a higher level of well-being? And is being an artist the secret to a happy life?
These are all questions discussed in this first edition of ACMhangouts, a monthly series of streamed discussions among industry experts that is being organised by Arts Council Malta. The series is intended to shine a spotlight on various themes that are related to the creative industries in Malta, bringing in specialists and stakeholders to expand on the chosen theme together with the main panel.
This first episode, titled Creativity And Wellbeing: Links And Correlations, sees moderator Elaine Falzon leading a discussion between Mary-Ann Cauchi (Director Funding & Strategy at Arts Council Malta, Marie Briguglio (economist and well-being specialist) and Emma Hogg (psychotherapist and founder of A Life I Choose).
Among various topics, the three main guests discuss the need to link well-being and the arts, especially after independently carried research has evidenced how the arts play an important role both on a specialised, therapeutic level (particularly with respect to communities, hard-to-reach-groups, children and other specific sectors) as well as from the point of view of general well-being.
Noel Camilleri (President of the Għaqda Każini tal-Banda) and Stephen Clift (Professor Emeritus, Canterbury Christ Church University Visiting Professor, York St John University and Professorial Fellow, Royal Society for Public Health) also weigh in during this month’s discussion.
Camilleri speaks about the lasting sense of belonging that he sees within the community as a result of being part of events like the traditional festa – and also about the negative impact created by the cancellation of such events earlier this year.
His words are echoed by Clift. Having done significant work advocating for arts and health and the relationship between them, he touches upon how, while people can be reluctant to take part in cultural events at first, this reluctance is fast forgotten as soon as the beneficial effects to one’s well-being are felt.
For more information about upcoming ACMhangouts, check out the Arts Council Malta Facebook page.
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