The following piece was written by participants and practitioners in arts in health projects during an evaluation programme conference. Courtesy of the Centre for Medical Humanities at Durham University, and published in: Arts, Health and Community – A study of five arts in community health projects by Angela Everitt and Ruth Hamilton, part of the Arts in Health National Evaluation Programme funded by the King’s Fund, the Northern Rock Foundation and the Nuffield Trust.

“Creativity is about problem solving. It brings with it success. It gives you a buzz. It requires and generates ongoing energy, prompts feedback and participation! Which leads to all sorts of things. It leads to making new connections/ideas/links. It is connected with inspiration and understanding things better.

When you are creative together, you feel part of a team and this makes you feel better. It puts new meaning on partnership and working with others. What makes you feel good when you are involved in doing things creatively is the sense of achievement it brings, the praise you get from others. You get a real sense of pride, self-esteem and self worth.

Creativity is about development and personal (deeper) well-being. Through being creative, you acquire and share skills. It’s about learning and discovery as well as discovering hidden talent. What also makes you feel good is working through the process from the beginning to the middle, and through to the outcome. It’s about having a sense of purpose, being appreciated by others, and being engaged.

Having been creative, you take away with you something tangible – it could be an object or could be a feeling. And the importance of your work contributing to a display or exhibition should not be minimised. Creativity beings with it enjoyment, whether individually or in a group: fun, laughter, expression (self-expression). What makes you feel good about being creative is knowing that you can create; a lot of people think they cannot create. All this leads to overcoming barriers.”





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