EU National Institutes for Culture - EUNIC


The Art of Staying Healthy: Can culture improve our well-being?

The project "The Art of Staying Healthy" aims to develop collaboration between the arts and health sectors and to pilot arts interventions on the health and well-being of people and communities in the Northern Dimension area, which covers Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden.

The programme “The Art of Staying Healthy” was jointly launched by EUNIC, Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) and The Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) in the beginning of the summer of 2021. Following the open call we received 56 eligible applications and unique project ideas from the region. With the help of a selection committee of experts, 11 projects from Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden, Russia and Poland were selected.

The selected projects involve different target groups such as hearing-impaired persons, adults and healthcare professionals with mental disorder, cancer patients, pupils, homeless people and others. Each project will use its own methodology to demonstrate the impact on the target group, like dance, storytelling, photography, forum theatre and others.

Programme participants will receive funding for pilot projects, the opportunity to participate in knowledge-based workshops, mentoring support and on-site visits. The duration of the programme is until the end of 2022. The participants will receive support to establish a community and a peer-to-peer network that will remain in place and function after the programme ends.

A toolkit will be developed that will further help organizations to build cross-sectoral partnerships and raise the awareness of the role of culture and creativity for health and well-being. Wider policy reccomendations will be drawn from the lessons learnt during the programme.

The 11 funded projects

  • Danish Cultural Institute: The Art of Mental Health, Denmark/Russia
  • Darni Socialinė Raida: Enabling the Integration of People with Intellectual Disabilities and Mental Disorders into Society through the Forum Theatre Methodology, Lithuania
  • Galerija propaganda: BETTER, Poland
  • Irene F.Arcas: Stimuli, Germany
  • ISSP (International Summer School of Photography): Creatively Feeling: an Artful Approach to Mental Health & Healing, Latvia
  • Karjeras konsultacijas: The Beauty of Self-Mercy and Life, Latvia
  • Karlstad University: Dance for People with Parkinson’s Disease (PD): Understanding its Underlying Mechanisms through Functional MRI, Sweden
  • National Medical Research Centre for Therapy and Preventive Medicine: Fairy Tales as a Tool for the Formation of Motivation to Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle among Primary Schoolchildren, Russia
  • Northern State Medical University: Intergenerational Practices of Art and Fairy Tale Therapy for Improving Mental Health and the Northern Identity, Russia
  • Panevežys City Municipality Administration: CREATIVE HOME(less), Lithuania
  • Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art: Let´s sign the art, Latvia

The Art of Staying Healthy is part of the joint project between EUNIC and NDPC “Support to the NDPC”, co-funded by the European Union.



  • Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture