Understanding the role and contribution of the arts to wellbeing in health, social care and community settings.

View content

About us

The Centre for the Arts as Wellbeing,part of the University's wider Health and Wellbeing Research Group, embraces the social, personal, spiritual and political aspects of wellbeing. Our mission is to promote wellbeing in individuals, communities, organisations and the environment, through use of the arts.

Our vision is of the arts set in a healing context. It requires an understanding of how other cultures have used the arts as a rebalancing tool, looking at and valuing the work of musicians, dance and movement specialists, theatre performers and art/music therapists. We see the arts in wider contexts than just the concert hall or theatre and we explore new ideas for their relevance to the wider society.

Our aim is to understand the role and contribution of the arts to wellbeing in health, social care, arts organisations and in community settings. Key external partners of the Centre include the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Hampshire County Council Public Health Directorate and the Royal Society of Public Health.

A registered charity, the Arts as Wellbeing Trust (originally the Music Research Institute) works alongside the Centre and aims to enable artists and arts organisations to develop their capacity in the arts and health.

Who we are

The Centre for Arts as Wellbeing was established in 2015 by Reverend Professor June Boyce-Tillman and is led by Dr David Walters. The multidisciplinary team comprises researchers studying areas including music and dementia; music and pain management; and singing and spirituality. To find out more about arts and wellbeing-related projects, contact Dr Kit Tapson. To find out more about music and spirituality, contact Reverend Professor June Boyce-Tillman

What we believe

We believe that performing arts practice is consciously related to personal, social, organisational, environmental and spiritual wellbeing. We are committed to arts as wellbeing in a community context including working within educational groups, along with hard to reach and marginalised people.


  • To work in partnership with local, regional, national and international organisations to deliver high quality research and knowledge exchange in the area of arts as wellbeing;
  • To develop best practice in performing and participatory arts as wellbeing in individuals, communities and organisations;
  • To embrace the social, spiritual and political aspects of well-being and the effect of the inculcation of societal values on the individual and the transformative effects upon artistic practice.

The Arts as Wellbeing Trust Ltd aims to advance a role for the arts in the enhancement of human experience in health and social care settings.


The centre hosts a broad research programme that explores the impacts of arts and culture on health and wellbeing. We also seek to understand the processes that shape experiences of arts, health and wellbeing in individuals and society. Specifically, our current research includes:

  • Evidence reviews of arts & wellbeing
  • Evaluation of music interventions for vulnerable populations
  • Development and evaluation of local arts & health projects
  • Mixed methods and multidisciplinary research to enlighten the delivery of community music and arts projects
  • CPD and public engagement in the arts & health sector (Creative and Credible; Arts and Health Project Advisory Group)
  • Consultancy and guided evaluations for projects in the arts and wellbeing

Postgraduate research

The centre welcomes enquiries about postgraduate research in the area of arts as wellbeing. Explore our members' profiles pages below to find out more about their individual research strengths, and identify academics who can support you.

Find out more about Postgraduate Research Degrees at Winchester.

Meet the team

Core team

Visiting Research/Knowledge Exchange Fellows

  • Dr Elizabeth Scott-Hall, former Assistant Musical Director, Vocal Tutor and an Associate Lecturer at the University of Winchester.
  • Shirley Taylor, former Assistant Head of Hampshire Music Service.
  • Rebecca Seymour, a dance artist with a deep commitment to working with older adults and people with dementia using dance and music.
  • Giorgos Tsiris, Researcher at Nordoff Robbins, London; Lecturer in Music Therapy at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and editor-in-chief of Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy.
  • Dr Jill Bunce, a Dance Movement Psychotherapist and Educational Psychotherapist who established a degree in Dance and Movement Studies at Derby University, followed by an MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy.
  • Janet Sparkes, Head of the Movement Studies Department at the University of Winchester when it was King Alfred’s College.

Links and partnerships

Contact us

For general enquiries, contact the Centre for the Arts as Wellbeing Administrator, Holly Pye.

Find an expert