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Active Ingredients

Active Ingredients Launch

Aesop and BOP Consulting launch Active Ingredients, a new approach to aid practitioners and commissioners, working across the arts and social sectors, to understand more about how arts interventions actually work.

The Active Ingredients Project aims to deepen our understanding of the ways in which arts interventions in health and social contexts work - and to improve the ways these are designed and their impacts measured.

The Project and its first report were launched on 11 September. It uses themedical/pharmaceutical metaphor of the ‘active ingredient’ to emphasise thatthere is something particular in the arts experience itself which enables certain outcomes to occur. It presents a way to describe what is going on in an arts experience and the changes that arts experiences achieve - which does justice to their power and richness.

The launch event welcomed arts and health practitioners, researchers and funders including representatives of Arts Council England, Big Lottery and Heritage Lottery Fund. Following presentation of the Project, three respondentsoffered an artist’s, funder’s and non-arts sector’s perspective: Jeanefer Jean- Charles (Choreographer and Executive Director of Tomorrow’s Men), Chris Chaney (Chief Executive, CW+ [official charity of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust]) and James Sanderson (NHS England Director of Personalised Care).

James Sanderson said the Active Ingredients Project was a “game-changer”.

Tim Joss, Chief Executive and Founder of Aesop, said, “The enthusiasm of thelaunch respondents and audience confirmed that we’re on to something. I hope the Project will be a confidence-booster for the arts sector. For at least 20 years,they’ve had this concern about being instrumentalised – just an additionalresource for health and other sectors, and not valued artistically. Using ‘active ingredients’ they can communicate the unique power of the arts and be proudpartners of other sectors.”


A PDF copy of the Active Ingredients report is attached HERE.



Posted on 17 September 2018

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