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Arts for health's sake

South East Arts are inviting artists and arts organisations, as well as health workers and providers, to get together and explore the potential of arts and health projects in our region.

The first key event of South East Arts’ arts and health initiative will be SWELL – Talking Arts and Health - a networking and brainstorming event taking place in Batemans Bay on Tuesday 7 March at Batemans Bay Hospital.

“We want people from the arts and health sectors to network and discover what projects currently exist in this domain and talk about what they see as the future of arts and health for our community,” said Andrew Gray, General Manager of South East Arts.

South East Art’s SWELL – Talking Arts & Health is backed by the organisation’s Arts and Health Strategy which will guide their work across the region in this important new area. Their vision is to build stronger, healthier and happier communities, supported by strong networks, resources and opportunities for participation and learning.

“Supporting the development of arts and health initiatives in health care settings and facilitating connections and alliances is our priority,” said Mr Gray.

In the Eurobodalla, there are currently a number of arts/health projects underway or in planning stages. An example of this is the inclusion of the CEO of the Arts Health Institute, Dr Maggie Haertsch in the Southern NSW Dementia Network Symposium in Batemans Bay in May where she will be presenting ‘Music and Memory’.

Identifying the needs of the community is high on the agenda for SWELL – Talking Arts and Health, with Jenny Symonds the Chair of the Southern NSW Local Area Health District addressing the gathering. Tracey Callinan - the Executive Director of Arts Out West, South East Arts’ sister organisation, who have been active in the arts/health sector for the last 12 months in the communities in Central West NSW will also be showcasing some of their successful projects in this area.

See southeastarts.eventbrite.com.au for further information and registrations. Similar events will be taking place in Bega and Cooma throughout March.

Above: Kerry Symons, Chair of the Southern NSW Local Area Health District, Kerry Devine, South East Arts' Arts & Health consultant and South East Arts' board member and artist Mandy Hillson at the launch of SWELL in Bega Media Release

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