We were delighted to take part in the Arts & Health Showcase that took place in Stoke-on-Trent on 12th October. Over 100 delegates came along to the recently refurbished Mitchell Arts Centre in the city centre to a wonderful programme of workshops and discussions.
Michael Murray in opening the event identified three aims – to showcase examples of ongoing arts and health work in the region, to provide an opportunity to meet and network with fellow arts and health workers, and to consider opportunities and challenges for the future.
The day was filled with great conversation with other arts practitioners, academics and health professionals, a wide choice of workshops and a wonderful lunch. Members of the Ages and Stages team (led by Jill Rezzano and including Mim Bernard, Michelle Rickett and Michael Murray) delivered its own workshop exploring the possibilities of intergenerational learning through Drama.
Using images from a New Vic Theatre production set on a hospital ward, we explored a variety of scenes all focusing on a single moment of human interaction. Having participants from such a wide variety of backgrounds, ages and experience shaped a rich range of responses and perspectives. The understanding of feelings within the scenes drew us together despite our own differences and equally gave the discussion variety and texture. The group entered into the workshop with great energy and generosity making it a great experience for us too.
The showcase ended with a panel discussion on future opportunities for arts and health workers in the region. After the success of this event there is already talk of further events in which the Ages & Stages team will be keen to be involved.
Jill Rezzano and Michael Murray