The Arts Council of England funded The Cultural Commissioning Programme aimed at integrating arts and cultural activities into public services such as mental health and wellbeing. Such an initiative can engage people emotionally and help them to build stronger communities. The method of using arts in public services can also be valuable for a wide range of social work such as early intervention, environmental services and support for elderly people.
The report explores the results of two pilot projects to implement arts in public services and share experience, lessons and practical tips on how to work with this method. The authors are sure that it can improve the quality of services but the innovation can face different barriers. For instance, “the burden of proof” for new providers. Raising awareness about the benefits of a new system and engaging the cultural sector at a strategic level can reduce obstacles. The experience of The Cultural Commissioning Programme and their report will be useful both for professionals from public administration and cultural organisations which are willing to empower these sectors and increase the level of wellbeing in their communities.