Global Social Prescribing, The A4D Arts for Brain Health Debates

Global Social Prescribing: The A4D Arts for Brain Health Debates

The Debate Summaries

Hosted by A4D President, Veronica Franklin Gould

in association with Professor Sir Muir Gray, Director, Optimal Ageing Programme, University of Oxford

Experts in culture, health and wellbeing, dementia prevention, innovative creative ageing and social prescribing, debate the range and role of arts and wellbeing activity in protecting against cognitive decline – from the onset of potential dementia symptoms – with actions for social change.

Guidance from 141 speakers from around the world at Veronica’s monthly Arts for Brain Health webinars has been gathered together in a single online resource launched for Creative Brain Week / Social Prescribing Week, 6-12 March 2023..

Read how social prescribing is delivered in each country, the pathway from GP surgery to arts programme., via social prescribing link worker, or direct to the cultural organisation – be it visual art, drama, music, dance, story-telling through textile weaving in Peru and basketry in Kenya, forest exploration in Australia, singing in Singapore, update on the pioneering Museum of Modern Art programme in New York, VR to Nigerian Elders and more. Disability arts, cultural diversity are each explored. Throughout policymakers and strategists share their wisdom and the Arts Council and NHS Charities Together and the National Academy for Social Prescribing debate cross-sector arts on prescription funding.

The Debates 

1. The Science, Evidence and Importance of Arts for Brain Health 

2. Increase Your Brainability and Dance to Preserve Brain Health    

3. Music for Brain Health                                                                    

4. Drama for Brain Health                                                                 

5. International Social Prescribing Day: Arts for Brain Health (partner: International Longevity Centre)     

6. Visual Arts for Brain Health                                                         

7. Heritage and Nature for Brain Health                                 

8. Poetry and Creative Writing for Brain Health           

9. Cultural Diversity in Arts for Brain Health              

10. Co-Creating Arts for Brain Health: A global perspective  (partner: Global Brain Health Institute)

11. Disability Arts for Brain Health                                        

12. VR and Live-Arts Streaming for Brain Health             

Global Social Prescribing: Arts for Brain Health Conference  (partner: Global Social Prescribing Alliance)

VR & Live Streaming Arts for Brain Health, Tuesday 8 November, 12-2 pm GMT 

The uplifting power of engaging with arts activity, participating, using virtual reality to enjoy superb performances or explore museums and heritage venues nurtures a sense of awe, resilience and wellbeing. 

Weekly access to the arts has a vital impact on people’s brain health and wellbeing. In care homes, access to the arts through digital media, live streaming, whether painting, singing, acting, dancing  or watching the most exquisite quality operas or masterpieces of fine and decorative arts in opera houses and other magnificent venues they can no longer visit, live streamed performances, interactive arts workshops, virtual reality bring it to them, inspires them to unlock their creative instincts, helps them to stay lucid and to communicate with their loved ones. Entering a magnificent heritage venue, introduced by the owner must be magical from a care home.

Sir Muir Gray, Director of the Optimal Ageing Programme at The University of Oxford, chairs this innovative, international debate in Virtual Reality and live arts streaming for care homes.

If you work in the arts for health sector, digital technology enabling arts for health, the arts sector, research in the field or for anyone interested in digital access to live arts for brain health, join us for this free webinar on Tuesday 8 November 2022 at 12-2 pm.


Veronica Franklin Gould, President, Arts 4 Dementia introduction.

Martin Robertson, living with Post Cortical Atrophy, shares his VR experiences. 

CHAIR: Sir Muir Gray CBE FRCPSGlas FCLIP (Director, University of Oxford’s Optimal Ageing Programme

PRESENTATIONS I , followed by SPEAKER DEBATE, chaired by Sir Muir Gray

PRESENTATIONS II, followed by SPEAKER DEBATE, chaired by Sir Muir Gray

Social Welfare Institute at Yangpu District, Shanghai, China, ‘You’re never too old to be a pin up Girl




Disability Arts for Brain Health, Tuesday 4 October

Kamran Malik, Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK chairs a debate between leaders in social prescribing, artists, activists and innovative providers of disability arts who present a wide range of practice and opportunities open to people living with a disability and experiencing early symptoms of a dementia.

If you are involved or interested in innovative ways of using arts for the disabled and brain health, or are responsible for culture, health and wellbeing, or are a social prescriber or for anyone interested in culture and creativity to preserve for brain health, join us for this free webinar on Tuesday 4 October 2022 at 2-4 pm BST.

There will be a BSL Interpreter.



Global Brain Health Institute: Co-creating arts for brain health – a global perspective, Tuesday 6 September

To mark World Alzheimer’s Month, in this webinar, chaired by Brian Lawlor, Deputy Executive Director of the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI – University of California, San Francisco | Trinity College Dublin), we will showcase the diverse creative activities of Atlantic Fellows for Equity Health at GBHI that have been co-produced with and for people living with dementia that generate powerful messages of hope, engagement, inclusion and connection. There is so much to be learned from the innovation emanating from different countries and geographies, and this webinar will illustrate the richness and diversity of a number of these global creative interdisciplinary activities. 

The webinar will feature five 10-minute presentations from Atlantic Fellows, followed by a panel discussion of experts in arts & brain health, social prescribing and transdisciplinary approaches for people living with dementia. 



Cultural Diversity in Arts for Brain Health, Tuesday 5 July 2022, 10 – 11.30 am GMT

Dr Sharmi Bhattacharyya, Consultant & Clinical Lead for Older People’s Mental Health at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in North Wales and Editor of The Old Age Psychiatrist at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, chairs a debate between leaders in social prescribing, culture health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on diagnostic tools and arts workshops celebrating diverse cultures. Read more


Transcript Recording


Creative Writing for Brain Health, Tuesday 7 June 2022, 12 – 1.15 pm GMT

Professor Lynne Corner, Director of VOICE and COO at the UK’s National Innovation Centre for Ageing at the University of Newcastle chairs a debate between leaders in social prescribing, culture health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on referral to Creative Writing programmes. Read more


Transcript Recording


Heritage and Nature for Brain Health, Tues 10 May 2022, 10 am-11.30 am

Desi Gradinarova, Head of Wellbeing and Inclusion Strategy at Historic England and Historic Environment Lead at the National Academy for Social Prescribing, chairs a debate between leaders in social prescribing, culture health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on referral to Heritage and Nature programmes. Read more


Transcript Recording


Visual Arts for Brain Health, Tues 5 April, 10-11 am

Professor Martin Orrell, Director of the Institute of Mental Health at the University of Nottingham, chairs a debate between leaders in social prescribing, culture health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on referral to visual arts programmes. Read more


Transcript Recording


International A.R.T.S. for Brain Health, ‘From Despair to Desire’, Tues 8 March 2022, 10 am – 12 pm

In association with the International Longevity Centre

For International Social Prescribing Week, Baroness Greengross, CEO of the International Longevity Centre and Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia chairs a debate between leaders in international social prescribing, culture health and wellbeing, and A.R.T.S. (wide ranging cultural and creative Activities to Revitalise The Soul). Speakers discuss social prescribing developments, innovative presentation of early dementia coping strategy, A.R.T.S. suited to people experiencing early symptoms, educational and partnership practice for sustainable A.R.T.S prescribing programes Read more


Transcript Recording


Drama for Brain Health, Tues 8 February, 10-11 am


Music for Brain Health, Tues 11 January, 10-11 am

[Recording] [Transcript]

Increase Brainability: Dance to Preserve Brain Health & Global Social Prescribing, Tuesday 7 December 2021


Social Prescribing as Diagnostic Practice, Tuesday 2 November 2021