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Arts-Led Wellbeing

Bridges Arts-Led Wellbeing Strategy, is leading the way through an innovative and proactive approach to community mental health and wellbeing.

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Bridges has a collective brainstrust of experienced partners to create place-based solutions that address wellbeing needs in the communities we work in.

 

In 2023, Bridges launched its Arts-Led Wellbeing Program Strategy, a framework leveraging creative practices to enhance individual and community wellbeing, based on proven models and practice wisdom. The UK has led the way in “creative health” practice with nationally adopted frameworks, training programs and organisations guiding professional practice. These learnings are being adopted in Australia and contributing to a wealth of research demonstrating how the arts can assist with stress reduction, mood, cognitive function, self-expression, confidence, resilience, social connection, cultural awareness, motor skills and being physically active.

 

For children, these types of activities foster creativity and imagination that are crucial for cognitive and social development. They also assist with emotional regulation and have been linked to improved academic performance.

 

In 2022, Bridges purchased the former Bundaberg Fire Station with the aim of creating Precinct 58 for arts, culture and wellbeing. We aim to develop a range of programs for our community and its visitors that actively engage people in the stories of the site and in the arts. This is a landmark building in Bundaberg’s CBD with many place-based stories. Precinct 58 will offer accessible spaces that will provide:

 

  • Heritage interpretation - murals, interpretive signage, artefact displays, interactive technology and tours

  • Spaces for producing and presenting art in all its forms

  • Digital projections on the iconic training tower

  • A café celebrating local produce

  • Home-grown events showcasing original visual, performing and digital productions

  • Venues available for hire

 

We also aim to connect to existing cultural facilities and heritage sites in the CBD to create place-based, arts-led solutions to wellbeing.

 

Whilst our team are busy sourcing funds for the planning and renovation of the former fire station site, we are actively working towards partnership building and creating opportunities for demonstrating the impact of arts-led wellbeing.

 

Some of our recent and current initiatives include:

 

Bridges are also proudly a part of the DARTS (Driving and Activating the Regional Theatre Sector) initiative with JUTE Theatre (Cairns) as a host of amazing regional Queensland touring work and as a producer of new work. We presented “Grit” by Perseverance Street Theatre Company (Gympie) in early 2024 and are planning to host more through this partnership.

Bridges is partnering with the arts sector locally and across Queensland to create opportunity to our broader region to engage with arts-led wellbeing.

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