How cultural experiences can improve health and wellbeing


Coffee, Cake and Culture at @WhitworthArt Making culture accessible for anyone living with a physical or mental he…

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Welcome to the Not So Grim Up North website!

Not So Grim Up North is a research project that addresses the key themes and questions of ‘Health + Culture’. As such, we thought it would be a good idea to have our project website here.

Our research is all about how museum and gallery activities can make a difference in terms of health, and in terms of wellbeing. We are a partnership between researchers at UCL and museum partners: The Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Museum, and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. These partners are based in the North of England – which explains our project name. Indeed it’s not grim up north: there is a vibrant arts and cultural scene, and we are interested in how this can contribute to the health and wellbeing of people in these regions.

Our research is particularly interested in how creative museum-based activities can contribute to positive benefits for different groups of people: for people living with dementia; for stroke survivors; for mental health service-users; and for addiction recovery service-users.

We are about to embark on this work and will be excited to share it with you here. You can find more information about us in the ‘Research Team‘ section.

We will be updating this blog each month with project updates, so you can follow our work and the research findings.