The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Vital Arts
Vital Arts

Barts Health NHS Trust
3rd Floor
9 Prescot Street
E1 8PR
Arts Organization of the Month Arts Organization of the Month
Mar. 4, 2017
Vital Arts 
Established in 1996, Vital Arts is the arts support organization for Barts Health NHS Trust, the United Kingdom’s largest public service trust dedicated to the health and wellbeing of patients, medical staff and the wider medical community. With five hospitals in east London and over 2.5 million patients, Vital Arts sees these important civic spaces as ideal places to introduce a new audience to contemporary art by bringing art works into and outside the hospital facilities and to other public spaces.
Since its founding, Vital Arts has worked at the forefront of the movement to bridge the gap between the arts and the medical community. The organization has won an international reputation for producing award-winning arts programs that help transform the experience of being in hospital and relieve its psychological burdens for patients and staff alike.
Vital Arts works in partnership with medical staff, artists and cultural organizations to devise and deliver creative therapeutic programs such as workshops, artist-in-residencies, exhibitions, installations and public art commissions that support medical goals and enhance patient well-being. These programs help in patient recovery while providing continual professional development opportunities for staff and creating stimulating and uplifting spaces that help transform the overall gray image of medical facilities.
Among the artists that have been commissioned to do work for Vital Arts programs are the visual artist Catherine Yass, The video artist and sculptor Darren Almond, the Turner Award nominee artist Roger Hiorns, the Jamaican-British painter Hurvin Anderson, the conceptual artist Peter Liversidge and many other front-line young and mid-career artists.
In the spring of 2017, a workshop series titled Arts in Health is being organized in collaboration with the Tate Modern. The series will include discussions on issues such as what kind of effects artworks, design and environment can have on patient wellbeing, how arts can be used in the treatment of dementia and more.