Culture and Wellbeing

The sustainable provision of health care is a vital concern for governments around the world, made more acute with demographic changes and increased lifespans. A growing body of neurological and clinical research indicates that participation in cultural activity offers long-lasting benefits for a range of medical conditions.

In this theme we explore the benefits of recognising the vital relationship between culture, health and wellbeing, from the perspectives of governments, clinicians and artists.

How can the social, physical, and economic benefits of arts in health programmes be understood, evaluated and implemented by policy makers, commercial medical insurers and clinical practitioners? How best can culture contribute to the health and wellbeing of human society? How can the arts cultivate diversity and inclusion as a means toward improving health outcomes for traditionally marginalized or neglected communities? How can the arts effectively address issues of an ageing society as they relate to lifeline learning, chronic illness, social inclusion and the management of healthcare costs?

In this session we will hear from scientist, clinicians, and arts practitioners to better understand the benefits on cultural investment in social and health care programmes. Speakers include Professor of Psychology Assal Habibi and Rwandan Choreographer and Dancer, Théogène Niwenshuti, who will also be running a movement workshop the Summit.


The Plenary session will be held in the main Chamber at the Scottish Parliament and will be open to public. There will be a number of key note speakers and responses from Ministers. More information available shortly.

The first speaker in this session has been announced as Professor of Psychology Assal Habibi, more information below.


  • The Creative Brain
  • Healthcare Innovation through Art and Culture
  • The Healing Power of Culture


More speakers to be announced.