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Feel good at Weston Arts + Health Festival (5 - 9 October 2022)

Last updated: 27/09/2022

A woman is standing on the beach at Weston-super-Mare on a sunny day.

Weston Arts + Health Festival returns to the town for the third year to present a diverse programme of free events to make you feel good.

Co-produced by Culture Weston and The Arts & Culture Programme, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW), the theme of this year's annual Festival is Global Weston, celebrating the rich diversity of Weston and its hospital staff and the universal things that connect us - story, food, song and landscape. 

From participatory projects and creative activities to performance and talks there is something for everyone, taking place at favourite locations across the town, at Weston General Hospital and online.  Full programme details at https://cultureweston.org.uk/arts-health-festival/.

Weston Arts + Health Festival 2022 is supported by funding from Arts Council England and Bristol & Weston Hospitals Charity.

The menu of opportunities includes international music, synchro swimming, poetry for wellbeing, live performance, special events at Weston General Hospital and a large scale photography exhibition at Princess Royal Square which will be the centrepiece of the Festival.

‘In Our Hands’ is a unique outdoor exhibition that celebrates the stories of Weston General Hospital’s valued staff members, paying tribute to their huge contribution to the health of the town through a series of photographic portraits. Featuring some of the contributors’ cherished objects and favourite Weston locations, the exhibition created by UHBW Arts & Culture with photographer Paul Blakemore and UHBW Medical Illustration, invites residents and visitors to come and share in the stories of some of the extraordinary people who care for the community of Weston.

The ‘In Our Hands’ exhibition will be installed at Princess Royal Square for the festival and open to the public every day throughout October.   

Fiona Matthews, creative director at Culture Weston, said:

 “Weston Arts + Health Festival celebrates the rich diversity of people, places and things to do that are the beating heart of this coastal town.   Whether you’re enjoying the stories of NHS workers, watching community-created theatre or tuning into young perspectives on what makes a Global Citizen, be swept away by the many voices, skills and passions that make Weston super and be inspired to try something new yourself.”

Frances Macadam, Head of Arts Programme, UHBW, said: “UHBW Arts & Culture are delighted to continue our partnership with Culture Weston, and through the Weston Arts + Health Festival shine a light on the benefits of creativity for health and wellbeing.  The central exhibition 'In Our Hands' is a true celebration of some of our fantastic colleagues who work tirelessly to care for the community of Weston -  we hope you enjoy discovering their wonderful stories."


Weston Arts + Health Festival 2022 highlights

Wednesday 5 October: ‘In Our Hands’ photography exhibition celebrating staff at Weston General Hospital is launched in Princess Royal Square and open to the public every day throughout October.

Thursday 6 October: Enjoy a day of poetry to mark National Poetry Day, including Global Citizen themed poetry workshop, ‘The Elementalists’ al fresco performance by Chapter One on SEE MONSTER and a Speakeasy evening at Loves Cafe.  Beth Calverley’s Poetry Machine will also be roving around town during the Festival period.

Friday 7 October, Go Global in Grove Park, 6pm – 9pm:

Premiere screening under the magical canopy of a stretch tent of University Centre Weston’s short film ‘Global Citizen’, that explores young, intercultural perspectives on the future of our planet and its people. Including food and story tasters from Caribbean Cuisine, music and dance from Flamenco Loco plus tapas and drinks to purchase at Sprout café. Presented in association with Race Equality North Somerset and Loves Café and part of Weston’s series of events for Black History Month:

Saturday 8 October, Bandstand Bonanza & Buffet at Grove Park, 1pm – 5pm:

A feast of free food and family entertainment for all to enjoy featuring a special community afternoon of song, dance, games and creativity. Including local choirs, singers from UHBW NHS Foundation Trust, St George’s Bristol, the middle eastern Hazir Ensemble, Turkish and Chinese dancing, Carboot Disco Bingo, hula-hooping, audio installations, Global mural painting, poetry and more.

Middle Eastern Mezze from Sprout Cafe will be served from 1pm (until it’s eaten up!) Stretch tent shelter provided for all-weather-entertainment – BYO picnic blanket.

Sunday 9 October:

  • ‘Almost Synchro Meets Bollywood’, 11am – 11.30am:

An irresistible mash-up in the water taking place at Marine Lake. Come swim ready and learn some moves.  Or dive into Shruti Bhoyar’s sublime illustrations of cold water swimmers, at an exhibition at the hospital, window display at Weston Artspace and online at cultureweston.org.uk.

  • Autumnal Gathering with Grow Feral and Osprey Outdoors, 2pm – 4pm:

A free, drop-in meeting at the Grow Feral Community Micro Garden

in the Italian Gardens. Find out more about the horticultural artwork, identifying and looking after plants, plus press your own apple juice and apple bobbing.

  • ‘The Ground Between Us’, The Grand Atlantic Hotel, 3pm – 4.30pm:

Multi-media performance involving community members that creatively explores the experience of ‘falling between the cracks’. Pay What You Decide. Details and tickets at cultureweston.org.uk.

Various times throughout the Festival:

  • At Weston General Hospital enjoy drop-in craft sessions at Rafters Café, plus The Poetry Machine, Music in Wards, Bike ride and Cold Water Swimming exhibition.
  • Try out Creative Tasters in yoga, zine making and adult drama.
  • Exercise your mind with talks and panel discussions that offer fascinating insights and fresh approaches to arts + health.