VicHealth supports participation in the arts and access to arts activities to promote health and wellbeing.
We work in partnership with a broad range of organisations – large and small – to develop strategies for engaging with those who face barriers to participating in the arts.
The arts can promote health and wellbeing through building empathy and kindness, developing skills and self-efficacy, reducing prejudice, creating a sense of pride and belonging, and producing further options for increasing physical activity.
Broadening access and exposure to the arts is not only beneficial for individuals and communities, but also for arts organisations, producers, and artists themselves.
The arts are expressions of what it is to be human: they reflect our hopes, dreams and aspirations as well as our foibles, anxieties and imperfections.
The arts are able to present different points of view, while underpinning our common humanity and shared concerns about living. Engaging with the arts draws us into a network of shared experiences and understandings. Communities – which may start with, but go beyond, location, ethnicity, gender and occupation – are created and celebrated.
Arts Centre Melbourne and NGV present Monica Bill Barnes & Company's The Gallery Workout
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2011 – 2014
VicHealth's MOTION program focused on creative community interventions which increased physical activity and social connection.
The projects were designed to inspire people who may not usually see that they could get involved in physical activity to join in by providing fun, welcoming arts activity that brought people together to connect and have fun.
VicHealth wants more people to be physically active throughout their lives and these projects could be just the motivation to help people on that journey.
Arts About Us
2010 – 2015
Arts About Us opens up conversations about cultural diversity and the harms of race-based discrimination.
Working with arts organisations, it gives voice to those who have experienced discrimination.
Arts About Us promotes discussion about cultural diversity and the harms of race-based discrimination.
I Could Have Danced All Night
White Night Melbourne
At White Night 2014, some 100,000 people took part in the 12-hour dance marathon, I Could Have Danced All Night; that’s 100,000 Victorian hearts pumping and 200,000 feet dancing the night away under the stars.
In 2015, VicHealth brought back the hugely popular event to a new location at Lonsdale Street and we got even more Victorians taking part in the dance extravaganza.
White Night is about more than beautiful projections and showcasing our amazing artists and architecture, it’s also about reclaiming our streets as safe and inclusive spaces for everyone.
Darren Sylvester with National Gallery of Victoria
For you was an illuminated dance floor created in the current make up palettes of Yves Saint Laurent – colours that have been ‘proven’ by market research to appear flattering on the widest cross-section of people.
It was installed in the galleries of NGV International and part of the Melbourne Now exhibition. Everyone is invited to have a spin on Darren Sylvester’s dance floor. And shy dancers should not fear – everyone looks good here.
Darren Sylvester’s multidisciplinary practice reflects on consumer culture, advertising, pop music and cinema. He appropriates international products as ‘readymades’ as a way of considering how we are shaped and affected by branding.