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Bringing London’s often hidden community health,
creative arts and disadvantaged groups centre stage for
the month of June...
The Festival also has a strong community arm and its programmes, in collaboration with hospital
out patients, men from Bri...
The Visual Arts programme aims to shed light on the complexity and prevalence of anxiety in con-
temporary society through...
Anxiety Arts Festival London June 2014 Press Release   communities programme
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Anxiety Arts Festival London June 2014 Press Release communities programme

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PRESS RELEASE - Communities programme
Anxiety Arts Festival London June 2014
Bringing London’s often hidden community health,
creative arts and disadvantaged groups centre stage for the month of June 2014

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Anxiety Arts Festival London June 2014 Press Release communities programme

  1. 1. Bringing London’s often hidden community health, creative arts and disadvantaged groups centre stage for the month of June 2014 www.anxiety2014.org The Dragon Cafe, Good Enough Mum’s Club, Union Dance, Playing On Theatre Company, Julie McNamara, South London and Maudsley Foundation NHS Trust, Bethlem Gallery Anxiety 2014, a London-wide arts festival exploring the relationship between anxiety and art, brought to life by the Mental Health Foundation with genuine creative collaborations with London’s finest and often hidden excluded communities, is showcasing work at top and some less well known London venues throughout June 2014. Community groups experiencing disadvantages due to mental health, social deprivation and poverty of opportunity across London have been collaborating with a range of visual artists, drama, spoken word and education partners. Throughout June they are offering Londoners insight into their multi- faceted experiences of anxiety through the communities, visual arts, films and performing arts programmes in the festival. Many of the groups will be less well known to the wider festival going audiences of London and this is the point. Since January 2012 the projects have been developed to bring authentic lived experience into the spotlight have been being formed and produced with everyday Londoners; Sarah Wheeler, founder of Mental Fight Club and weekly Dragon Café sessions in Borough; “It’s about time groups like ours are recognised by people across London as bringing Self generated and genuine creative solutions to the problems we face everyday be it lived experience of mental health, isolation through lack of money or access to transport. Most people can relate to having an anxious time at one point of other in their lives. Our Oasis of Calm for the festival is something different, fun, relaxing and healthy. We would love it if journalists and TV came to see what we are all about…” Why a festival about anxiety? Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions in the UK and, while arts and health is a growing sector, this is the first time artists are collaborating with leading mental health professionals and academics to explore it in such detail.
  2. 2. The Festival also has a strong community arm and its programmes, in collaboration with hospital out patients, men from Brixton Prison and people with lived experience of mental health, aim to challenge commonly preconceived stereotypes and give individuals and groups so often not heard or seen equal platform with professional artists where we have been working to- gether these boundaries and hierarchies are not in place. Anna B. Sexton, Communities Curator at the Mental Health Foundation, said: “The festival has dared to put Communities at the heart of the whole programme and not to one side as generally happens within most festivals. My vision for the programme is to challenge Londoners to question where they make the boundaries of community begin and end for themselves. What would a festival look like it those who are generally excluded from society formed events and projects at the heart of our festival i.e. patients in locked wards, prisoners, recovering addicts? We have worked with men in Brixton Prison since the summer last year who have co-curated their own creative and mental health awareness learning programme ‘Strengthen Within’ happening 11th and 18th June in the run up to StereoHype Brixton 21st June 2014. Participatory arts programmes, for people with lived experience of mental health problems, include the premiere of a new Anxiety Fanfare written by composer Jocelyn Pook and performed with a choir from the Maudsley Hospital at the Wigmore Hall and Balance/Imbalance with Union Dance Company working with dance, movement and music with adults in addiction recovery and community mental health care programmes. An Oasis of Calm on every Monday throughout the festival in June at the dynamic Dragon Café at St George the Martyr Church in Borough and Dulwich Picture Gallery offering Healthy Debates about the nature of art making in communities and what does it mean to be labeled as an ‘outsider’ artist. Playing On has been enabled to develop Hearing Things to be performed at The Albany 26th June 2014 having worked with patients and doctors in locked ward situations to uncover new ways of working in the NHS to inspire better levels of care and recovery. ENDS Notes to editors To book tickets for Anxiety 2014 and for further information, please visit: www. anxiety2014.org For further press information about Communities programme and images please contact Anna B Sexton on 07941 655 856 or asexton@mentalhealth.org.uk The Mental Health Foundation has a long history of exploring the relationship between Mental Health and the arts, having founded the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival in 2007. Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014 The Anxiety Film programme will be hosted by the Barbican, Picturehouse cinemas, the National Portrait Gallery and the ICA and include a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 silent classic the Lodger at the Barbican with a new electronic score. Ari Folman’s Waltz With Bashir will be screened at the JW3 Jewish Community Centre with a talk by Dr Nick Grey from the Centre for Anx- iety Disorders and Trauma at the Maudsley Hospital.
  3. 3. The Visual Arts programme aims to shed light on the complexity and prevalence of anxiety in con- temporary society through exhibitions, performances, residencies and talks at Peckham Platform and the South London Gallery with an international residency based at Gasworks and Bethlem Royal Hospital and an exhibition of art works at the Crisis Bermondsey Project On Stage presents a programme of anxiety through music, the voice, spoken word and comedy. There is the premiere of a new Anxiety Fanfare written by composer Jocelyn Pook and performed with a choir from the Maudsley Hospital at the Wigmore Hall. There is a week-long programme of shows at the Albany Deptford featuring Let me Stay by acclaimed disabled artist Julie McNamara . Errol Francis, Head of Arts and Mental Health and Festival Director at the Mental Health Foundation, said: “The festival allows an open space to engage in a positive dialogue about anxiety and we hope the opportunity to start this conversation at leading venues will further challenge the stigma and discrimination that continues to surround mental illness. “By exploring the links between art and anxiety, which affects us all to varying degrees, we aim to channel a fresh perspective on anxiety and to approach it in a way which allows us to live life to our full potential.” Anxiety Anxiety disorders are amongst the most common mental health problems in the world, affecting about 1 in 20 adults in Britain (NHS 2013). Anxiety is experienced by everyone at times and is per- fectly normal. However, people with generalised anxiety disorder find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and often affect their daily life There are increasing numbers of people suffering from anxiety disorder in the UK: • the total number of people with anxiety disorders in England was estimated to be 2.28 million in 2007. This is projected to rise to 2.56 million by 2026 (The King’s Fund 2008) • 51% of people with anxiety disorders are not in contact with services (The King’s Fund 2008) • there has been intense public discussion about increased levels of anxiety since the start of the current economic recession (The Guardian, 2013; Daily Telegraph, 2012) The Mental Health Foundation Established in 1949, The Mental Health Foundation is the leading charity in the fields of mental health research, policy studies and integrated service development. It is committed to reducing the suffering caused by mental ill health and to helping everyone to lead mentally healthier lives by: tackling stigma and discrimination; carrying out research; developing practical solutions for better mental health services. Supporters Anxiety 2014 is core-funded by the Maudsley Charity. The visual arts programme is funded by Arts Council England. University of the Arts London is the academic partner. Additional funding comes from Britten-Pears Foundation, PRS Foundation for Music and The Peter Minet Trust.

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