This series of talks offers five queer perspectives on the idea of ‘creative health’, the new name for the field of practice also known as Arts For Health. QUEERCIRCLE have invited a city-wide strategist, an artist, a historian, a community organiser and a ‘recoverist’ to speak on this topic as it relates to our experiences of grief, drug and alcohol addiction and neurodivergence - amongst others. There will be opportunity to reflect, discuss and respond together as part of this five week evening class.
01.06.2023 | 6.30-8.30
Exploring Policy Wonkiness, with Julie McCarthy
Julie McCarthy is the strategic lead for Creative Health at Greater Manchester Integrated Care, a city region that lays claim to being the ‘birthplace’ of Arts For Health. Julie will chart her own divergent journey into Creative Health and talk about her latest role placing this Northern English city region as the first ‘creative health city region’ in the UK. Where do LGBTQ+ communities sit within this policy and research framework? And what about intersectionality? Julie will talk from her unique perspective as a maker of strategy and as a queer, neurodivergent, older woman.
Communicating ‘Lived Experience’, with Daniel Regan
08.06.2023 | 6.30-8.3O
Daniel Regan is a visual artist, Founder and Executive Director of the Arts and Health Hub, a not-for-profit organisation that supports artists exploring health, wellbeing and what it means to be human in their practice. Arts & Health Hub provides opportunities for peer to peer support, professional development sessions and more with the aim of supporting artists to build connections and confidence against a backdrop of worsening pay and working conditions. Daniel's own work often focuses on his lived experiences and how his intersecting identities as a queer, brown and disabled man have shaped his work within creative health. His practice often engages with questions around how the experiences of those most excluded can be expressed, seen and heard.
Remembering Art-Health Histories, with Frances Williams
14.06.2023 | 6.30-8.30
Frances Williams has recently published a book titled When Was Arts in Health? A History of the Present. In this talk, she gives a long view on how queer histories have informed the development of the field of Arts in Health, charting gay liberation groups of the 60s and 70s - alongside AIDS activism in the 1980s - as part of wider movements for health that also challenge biomedical models of health. She will be joined by colleagues and friends with first hand experience of these movements and together they will discuss how these histories are currently informing the present.
Facilitating Collective Grief, with June Bellebono
22.06.2023 | 6.30-8.30
June Bellebono is a community organiser, event producer and writer. June will talk about the importance of embracing, tackling and dealing with grief in LGBTQ+ liberation movements. June has run peer support groups by and for bereaved LGBTQ+ people as well as zinemaking workshops centred around grief for trans and non-binary people. Using personal lived experiences of loss as a stepping stone, June approaches the topic under a wider political angle, specifically centred on the way loss is currently affecting the trans community and thinking of how healing can come into place.
Curating Queer Sobriety, with Mark Prest
29.06.2023 | 6.30-8.30
Mark Prest is the found Director of ‘Portraits of Recovery - a pioneering Manchester-based visual arts charity. POR works with leading contemporary artists, people and communities in recovery from substance use to create high quality transformational art. Mark will talk about how being a Queer man and its relationship to alcoholism was overlooked during his time in rehab, forcing him to feel that his queer and recovery identities were at odds. He will also talk about the value of queer sober space and some of the art projects he has commissioned which explore alternate ways of relating to one another and ourselves - such as My Recoverist Family featuring performance artist, David Hoyle.