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Suffolk organisations offer new opportunity for artists to develop a mental health support project

The Suffolk Libraries' Arts team is collaborating with organisations across Suffolk to invite six local artists to get involved with an exciting project to explore how creativity can nurture mental health.

This creative opportunity is aimed at Suffolk-based artists and offers a paid, mixed media artist residency in libraries and museums in early 2022. Following the residency, the artists will be asked to develop and deliver a course over seven weeks, co-designed with people who have experience of mental health challenges.

The project, based in Ipswich and Stowmarket, will run between January and April 2022. The project will help people to develop their practice as a community artist, as well as helping them develop skills to nurture their own mental health and support people of all ages living with mental health challenges.

The opportunity is being provided by a partnership of organisations across Suffolk who have a wealth of experience in mental health and wellbeing programmes. This includes Suffolk Artlink, Suffolk Libraries, the Association for Suffolk Museums, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Suffolk County Council.

Melissa Matthews, Suffolk Libraries Creative Programmes Manager, said:

“Creativity has been proven to nurture mental health, which is being recognised in the clinical sector more and more. With social prescribing to creative activities becoming more common, we believe it is important to equip our local artists with the tools they need to both look after their own mental health and the mental health of others.”

Alex Casey, Co-Director of Suffolk Artlink, said:

“Collaboration and innovation are key to creating new solutions to community issues, and we are delighted to be working with our parnters to develop this exciting new approach to supporting mental health.”

Jayne Austin, Museum Development Manager at Suffolk County Council said:

“Museums offer a safe and stimulating environment for people to explore their creative skills and develop individual artworks inspired by the buildings, objects, and stories around them. Stories held in collections can resonate with individuals. This is an opportunity to explore how artists collect and gather material and how their work is influenced by museum collections.”

Anyone interested in applying for this creative project can visit our Arts page for full details and for information on how to apply. The deadline for applications is Monday 29 November at 12PM.