Practice increases wellbeing of residents of care units, gives new working methods to care units staff, artists work and chance to deepen professional skills
This concept enhances accessibility to arts for people who cannot participate on their own terms, increases wellbeing and quality of life among residents of care units, gives new working methods to care unit personnel and provides artists work and chance to deepen professional skills, and imbeds artistic methods to social and wellbeing services.
Artists are recruited through invitation or open call. Hosting care units can be selected through straight negotiations with individual units, through existing networks, through media coverage and fairs or individual units contacting APCF directly.
Regional artists of the APCF coordinate the activity, make contracts and work as mediators between care units and artist-in-residence. Artist-in-residence works as an entrepreneur. The host of the residence, e.g. City of Jyväskylä or private service provider, pays artists fee and other costs, e.g. travels and materials.
The residence period varies, average being 1-3 months. Artists come up with an idea for the content of the residence, and in case of a specific theme, it is agreed together with the care unit and APCF. Detailed activity plan and contract is made between the unit, artist and APCF. Activities can also be spontaneous and evolve along the residence period, arising from the everyday life of the unit and based on the wishes of the unit residents.
Main stakeholders and beneficiaries are residents and personnel of care homes, as well as artists working with them.
Starting the activity takes about three months working time of the producer for administrative and preparatory activities, ca. 16.000 e (this depends on the general wage level in each country). The funding for artistic activities is about 6000 e/residence, depending on chosen art form.
Evidence of success
Activity has a positive impact on wellbeing and quality of life, according to feedback from care unit residents and personnel. Personnel’s working motivation and wellbeing have increased along with new working methods and collaborators. City of Jyväskylä is committed to fund the activity permanently. Practise has spread nation-wide and internationally.
Since autumn 2017, seven artists working in 11 care units have reached ca. 2450 care unit inhabitants and 120 employees.
Social and wellbeing sector's heavy bureaucracy and hierarchical working culture is challenging, and collisions of different working cultures (artists, care units) can appear.
Artists have varying abilities to work with people with special needs; some need more guidance than others.
Potential for learning or transfer
The concept in itself is simple and cost-effective, and can be carried out with relatively low expenses. Existing networks between art and social and wellbeing sectors actors make it easier to create new activities.
Cooperation with the Artist Residency Networks can help in developing the concept in other countries. Also think tank events together with international operators can help to advance the concept.
Potential difficulty might occur in adapting the model internationally because social and health policies as well as art policies can differ from Finland’s so called “Nordic welfare model”.
Arts Promotion Centre Finland/Regional Office of Central Finland (APCF)
Etelä-Suomi, Finland (Suomi)