1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. In England, 1 in 6 people experience a common mental health problem (such as anxiety or depression) each week.

Taking place across Birmingham from 1-12 October 2019, BEDLAM is a celebration of how the arts can help wellbeing. Welcoming artists from across the UK, the festival will present a programme of theatre performances, dance, movement workshops, art installations, wellbeing walks, film screenings, family events, Q&A’s as well as a special BEDLAM Symposium.

Visual arts highlights include:

Mirror Image: An opportunity for cultural practitioners to reflect on wellbeing
Thursday 3 October 2019, 1.30-4.30pm, Hexagon Theatre, Midlands Arts Centre. £10 (includes light lunch)

Through talks, discussions and workshops the symposium will explore practical ways cultural practitioners and cultural organisations can embed wellbeing into their own practice. Delegates will learn what techniques they can use to keep or improve positive mental health. Organisations will discover ways they can embed positive mental health into the culture of their operations. There will be an opportunity for networking and sharing good wellbeing practice. Presented by The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance (West Midlands).


State of the mind: A guided tour of art and mental health
Sunday 6 October 2019, 12pm and 2pm, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. £3

As well as a tool for social and political comment, art frequently reflects the mental wellbeing of the artist, either consciously or unconsciously. Join BEDLAM for a fascinating walk and tour throughBirmingham Museum & Art Gallery and through the ages, as they discuss the impact of mental health on art and the way it is received, from the Renaissance through to Victorian artists, and the way in which art has reflected a response to war in the twentieth century.


MAC BEDLAM Festival Commission: Jenna Naylor
Saturday 31 August – Sunday 17 November 2019, 9am-9.45pm. Midlands Arts Centre. Free.

Artist Jenna Naylor will turn MAC’s Community Gallery into a menagerie of strange creatures drawn directly onto the walls. Inspired by MAC’s exhibition The Hills Are Shadows by Jim Holyoak and Matt Shane, Jenna’s commission provides a starting point for a growing collection of drawings contributed by participants of workshops at the Uffculme Centre and people attending workshops at MAC.

Jenna will also be leading several free free therapeutic drawing and wellbeing workshops where you can contribute your own creature to the gallery.

For the full festival programme visit www.bedlamfestival.co.uk



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