Anxiety Arts Festival 2014
Anxiety 2014 is a new London wide arts festival curated by the Mental Health Foundation and supported by funding from Maudsley Charity. Taking place this June, it will explore anxiety through the arts: looking at its causes, how it affects all of our lives, and how it can act as an exciting, motivating force.
Anxiety disorders are amongst the most common mental health problems in the world and are diagnosed in about 1 out of 20 adults in Britain. By focusing on an all too common experience, Anxiety 2014 aims to open up wider conversations about mental health issues, and to demystify and tackle associated stigma.
The festival brings together leading and emerging artists to address both positive and negative aspects of anxiety through a dynamic, city-wide programme of visual arts, film, music, theatre, dance and talks.
‘The aim of the Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014 is to open up a wide ranging conversation with the public about mental health and how the arts can be a valuable way of tackling stigma and promoting well-being,’ says Errol Francis, Head of Arts and Mental Health and Festival Director at the Mental Health Foundation.
Engaging with communities in London and inviting audiences to explore their own sense of community is central to Anxiety 2014. The festival includes hands-on creative collaborations involving hospital out-patients, men from Brixton Prison and people with lived experience of mental health issues. The programme is working in collaboration with NHS mental health services and community organisations and in doing so aims to inspire and create new ways of promoting health, wellbeing and a sense of belonging.
We’ll shortly be posting the full programme of events, but some of the highlights include:
- A collaborative arts project between service users in Peckham and visual artist Kathrin Böehm to be showcased at Peckham Platform 20 May – 27 July.
- A series of events and screenings in collaboration with the Dragon Café throughout June.
- A concert series featuring a specially commissioned Anxiety Fanfare by renowned composer Jocelyn Pook to be performed with the Aurora Orchestra and the Maudsley Hospital Mind and Soul Choir at the Wigmore Hall on 12 June.
- Stereohype Inside/Outside Brixton – a community event taking place on 21 June focusing on the theme of sharing stories of resilience to strengthen communities across Brixton. A parallel programme, Strength Within, allows men living in Brixton Prisons to share their stories of resilience through storytelling and drama.
- The festival has enabled Friends of Cathja, a charity working with people with enduring mental health problems, to work with artist Albert Potrony to develop a series of prints and songs about living and creatively making on Dutch barge, The Cathja. Albert Potrony’s film about this creative community will be screened at the festival.