Beyond the Toolkit: Understanding & Evaluating Crafts Praxis for Health & Wellbeing

Material & Visual Culture - Many Hands
Wednesday 19 February 2014 14.00 to Thursday 20 February 2014 16.30
Booking URL

Dr Fiona Hackney: or
Dr Ann Roberts:

An Arts & Humanities-funded symposium organised by Falmouth University in collaboration with Arts for Health, Cornwall.

The event will be held in Falmouth University's Academy for Innovation & Research (AIR) building at the Penryn Campus, Cornwall

Creative expression can make a powerful contribution to wellbeing and the healing process, and its benefits are recognised as social inclusion, economic growth and health promotion. Attempts to define the success of the mechanisms through which these might occur, however, tend to rely on straightforward models of impact assessment. This has resulted in a standardised 'toolkit' approach that may be replicated across differing contexts, art forms and audiences, but which neglects the material and experiential qualities of creative practice.

Beyond the Toolkit explores these benefits with an emphasis on the particularities of crafts practice. It focuses on problems of understanding and evaluating the experiential affects of creative making, and foregrounding the value of qualitative evidence that is all too often overlooked by policy makers.

This event includes national and international speakers, workshops delivered by creative practitioners, and an exhibition of work made by community groups in a range of arts for health settings. It will be of interest to a multidisciplinary audience of academics, arts for health practitioners, crafters, health professionals and representatives from patient groups. As part of the AHRC-funded Connected Communities programme, the event aims to connect arts for health communities and projects in Cornwall and the South West with current national and international research and practice. It will examine a range of projects and approaches that recognise and support the role of community creativity in sustaining and enhancing quality of life.

Speakers and workshop leaders include: Monkia Auch (Stitch Your Brain project NL), Sarah Desmarais, Sarah Corbett (Craftivist Collective), Mah Rana, Alison Gilchrist, Jayne Howard (AFHC), Shane Waltener, Maria Whatton, Deidre Buckley (Craft in Mind), Jacqueline Atkinson, Anni Raw, Maria Whatton.

Follow us on Twitter @AIRfalmouth and joing the conversation with #beyondthetoolkit.

Symposium programme

Registration will be at 2.00pm on Wednesday 19 February, followed by keynote speakers and an evening reception.

Day 2 will be devoted to presentations and workshops and will finish at 4.30pm.

Download the Beyond the Toolkit programme


The event is free but places are limited. Book tickets for Beyond the Toolkit online

Travel and accommodation

Disclaimer: Although Falmouth University provides information about accommodation in good faith, the University cannot be held responsible for the quality of the facilities or services provided.

Further information

For further details, please contact Dr Fiona Hackney or Dr Ann Roberts:

AHRC, Connected Communities, and Arts for Health Cornwall and Isles of Scilly logos