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Creating a healthier capital: new Well London arts commissions announced

27 March 2009

Arts Council England is pleased to announce the latest arts commissions as part of the Well London programme.

Communities across London will be using the arts to make a positive impact on their health. Whether they are dancing their way to fitness, using the arts to express themselves or improving their local environment – these commissions offer the potential for a healthier London.

Well London is a programme that aims to improve the health and well being of 20 of London’s most disadvantaged communities, through community led activities in areas such as healthy eating, being active and improving mental health. As part of the programme, Be Creative Be Well (run by Arts Council England) commissions arts and cultural activity to help engage communities in leading healthier lifestyles.

The projects include…

Communities across London will be putting a foot in the right direction with dance projects across a number of London boroughs, including a modern tea dance in Upper Edmonton; a Bellingham Big Dance; and local residents will be able to have a go at salsa, ballroom, bhangra and Irish dancing with taster workshops in South Acton.

In Queen’s Park, Avenues Youth Club has received funding for a documentary about the local community made by young people. Addressing what is perceived to be a generational divide, the youth club wants to use the creation of the documentary to create a healthy and vibrant community, breaking down barriers between young and older people.

Following on from the success of last year’s Big Chair Dance, Entelechy Arts will be working with isolated older people in Bellingham to get them involved in arts activities in the local area. While PINS has received its second commission to enhance the Handcroft Road Centre in Croydon and to increase the community’s use of the space. This follows on from the t-shirt printing workshop at last year’s Love Croydon event.

Moira Sinclair, Executive Director of Arts Council England, London said:

‘The Arts Council’s involvement in the Well London programme highlights the important role that the arts can play in our health and well being.

‘By taking a broader, more holistic approach to health, the arts offer new and engaging ways to stay healthy - mentally, physically and spiritually. These commissions will work towards bringing communities together in a celebration of healthy living, and we look forward to hearing about the impact these projects will have for local people.’

A full list of commissions is available on the Well London page of our website. For more information, see the Well London website:

Well London was awarded £9.46m from the Big Lottery Fund’s Well being programme.