December 1, 2021, 10:28 am

CultureForHealth is a combined effort of local and regional actions in Europe that are growing awareness about the critical role of culture and the arts in improving health and well-being at both the individual and collective level.

CultureForHealth responds to the objective of the Preparatory Action – Bottom-Up Policy Development for Culture & Well-being in the EU which is to (1) facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experience and success stories in the EU related to the role of culture for well-being and health, (2) map the most relevant existing practises, (3) improve the capacity of local actors, (4) carry out small-scale pilot work on the ground and (5) provide a set of policy recommendations on the topic.

CultureForHealth will:

  • undertake a research review clarifying the importance and the role of culture for well-being and health, taking stock of existing knowledge and evidence, and delineating initial recommendations for policy as well as targeted investment measures.
  • map relevant and good examples of EU, national, regional and local programmes, initiatives, projects and will develop a compendium of sustainable culture-based solutions for wellbeing and health targeting practitioners.
  • through the organisation of a series of roundtables and study visits in Denmark, Italy and Romania, webinars, workshops and a final conference, CultureforHealth will facilitate cross-sectorial and trans-European cooperation aiming at the generation of knowledge and compilation of policy guidelines on how to enhance well-being through culture. 
  • Finally, the initiative will also institute six pilot projects in Denmark, Italy, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia aiming at  “management and treatment” of illnesses as well as “prevention and promotion” for a variety of life stages and age groups. 

CultureForHealth Report: Culture’s contribution to health and well-being
A report on evidence and policy recommendations for Europe

The aim of this scoping review is to synthesise existing evidence on the positive effect of arts and cultural activities on health and well-being. This means the review is not limited to a few research questions but seeks to provide a clear indication of the volume of existing literature, the key concepts, focus points and the types of studies that exist. It also identifies knowledge gaps in the existing literature. Finally, it gathers policy recommendations and identifies challenges, further expanding the scope of the report beyond the proposed policy directions and specific policy measures.

As our society faces severe challenges such as a mental health crisis exacerbated by the pandemic, an ageing population, growing inequalities, forceful displacement of people due to war and political conflict, and dynamic changes to work and the economy, new solutions and approaches are needed. The findings of this scoping review and its recommendations throw light on the pathways through which culture and the arts can support individuals and communities in adequately addressing these global challenges, thus identifying further avenues for future research and action.


Full Report (EN):     Summary (EN):


Summary (French):


Summary (Italian):



CultureForHealth is implemented by a consortium consisting of Culture Action Europe, Trans Europe Halles, Central Denmark Region, The Northern Dimension Partnership for Culture, Centrul Cultural Clujean, and Društvo Asociacija. The project will start in December 2021 and will last 18 months- ending previsionary in May 2023.

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