As Dutch partner, we explored the current situation on Culture on Prescription in The Netherlands. Doing so, we met wonderful people who are very much concerned with providing wellbeing facilities and arts to people who feel lonely or struggle with mental health issues.
At national level we met specialists of arts and wellbeing on prescription from LKCA (National knowledge center cultural education and amateur arts) and Welzijn op Recept (Wellbeing on Prescription). At the moment both approaches are still separated from each other. Wellbeing on Prescription is being executed in 135 out of 352 municipalities in The Netherlands. Municipalities provide budget to wellbeing coaches to support people to find the best places to combat isolation and find a meaningful life. General practitioners provide the prescription. Arts on Prescription was initiated by LKCA and currently mainly consists of projects that are funded by several resources.
We interviewed the coordinators of 5 interesting initiatives on Arts on Prescription: Stichting BlauwLicht, Kunst op Recept DE KOM Nieuwegein, Kunst op Recept Leiden, Het Beste van Kampen and Kunst op Recept Amsterdam-Oost. These 5 initiatives have different approaches, varying from individual to group classes, on prescription only or free access for other people as well, a varied number of classes. Common is that classes are provided by professional artists, although from different disciplines, such as painting, photography, dancing, singing, sculpture and clay. Participants report to gain (back) meaning in their lives, inspiration, empowerment, connectedness and joy. These effects last for a longer period of time. Another interesting aspect is that several of these initiatives are bridging the gap between the different wellbeing and arts approaches. Municipalities acknowledge arts or culture as part of the social domain and provide funding for it.
The results of the desk research and interviews will lead to a European Compendium on Culture on Prescription. With this Compendium the curriculum of Culture on Prescription will be defined that will be tested at local level at a later stage in the project. The national report will be published in Autumn 2022.