Leading arts venue, Midlands Arts Centre, is paving the way for arts and mental health within the community, as it works alongside Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust this November. Together with other Midlands-based arts organisations, MAC is part of the BEDLAM Arts & Mental Health Festival 2021 that is taking place 12 – 21 November.

The festival has been organised with the consultation of practitioners and those with lived experiences of mental health problems and has been curated specifically to help communities connect and express themselves through art. With open mic nights, theatre performances and musical concerts, MAC has crafted a line-up with events made to entice all audiences.

Health and wellbeing are intrinsically weaved into the events programme at MAC, with its diverse programme specifically created with mental health support in mind throughout the year and beyond the festival. From Hatha Yoga to Yang Tai Chi, MAC has an extensive selection of health, wellbeing and fitness classes available to the local community.

Deborah Kermode, Chief Executive and Artistic Director at MAC, comments:

“Art and culture are vital to mental health in our communities as not only does it bring people together, but it has been reported that engaging with the arts can have a direct impact on someone’s mood, alleviating the feeling of anxiety, depression and stress.

“We are so pleased to be a part of the Bedlam Festival once again. It’s a great opportunity for art venues and medical professionals alike to come together and empower communities. The festival is the perfect place for people in the region to get involved in a range of activities that benefit them and their mental health. Not only does it encourage people to take part, but it also introduces them to other people who may be experiencing similar situations,”

Art has a vital role in tackling mental health issues faced by our communities, especially those issues that have heightened since the pandemic began. Helping to ease mental strain, and unleash imagination to escape, creativity can lead to a happier and healthier mind. With this in mind, MAC is pioneering arts in the community with its series of accessible events, classes and workshops ensuring everyone has the chance to connect with arts and culture within the region.

“The Midlands has always had a breadth of arts and culture available on our doorstep, and here at MAC, we want to make sure that not only does that continue but that it’s accessible to all. Through our initiatives like health and wellbeing classes, accessible music programmes, and our over 65’s Culture Club, we want to ensure that everyone has the chance to join us and experience different mediums of art” Deborah continues.