The 2019 Arts by the Sea festival core programming will take place on 27th - 29th September with Fringe events taking place in the preceding week from 23rd - 29th September. The core programme is a 3-day celebratory explosion of art with many fantatic events taking place throughout the town centre. The festival is focused on programming inclusive and accessible events across a range of disciplines, most of which will be free and unrestricted to attend. The festival is delivered by Bournemouth Borough Council with the support of Arts Council England.
Venues for the 2019 festival encompass Bournemouth's Central and Lower Gardens, Beachfront and Pier Approach as well as including dozens of small gig spaces, theatres, libraries and cafes which participate in the Fringe festival. The theme for this year is 'Mind Matter' which invites artists, Fringe event organisers and creative partners to
Arts by the Sea have been amending our practices over the past couple of years to become more ethical, sustainable and to reduce our environmental impact. We encourage and support our partners to do the same.
Arts by the Sea 2019 asks:
Is modern life conducive to a positive state of mind?
Despite the UK’s status as one of the richest and most secure countries in the World, and a steadily increasing level of awareness about the importance of mental health, 1 in 4 of people in the UK will be affected by depression, anxiety and other mental health problems at some point in their life. While life is arguably far easier than it was 50 years ago, mental illness is on the rise.
Excessive workloads and pressures in the workplace have also led to the claim that the UK is experiencing a stress “epidemic”. Despite this, talking about mental health issues is still heavily stigmatised, and in many societies around the world, they remain a taboo subject.
In the UK the extent of the problem and its social stigma is also evidenced, perhaps most shockingly, by the disproportionate number of male suicides and the rise in suicides among young people. Causes for this have been cited as everything from loneliness and lack of social connections, to family breakdown and financial problems.
An increasing body of research has, however, found that there are practical ways in which all of us can engage with the issue of mental health for the wellbeing of ourselves and others. There have been five key ways identified, which are: 1. Connect, 2. Be Active, 3. Take Notice, 4. Keep Learning, and 5. Give.
In 2019 Arts by the Sea aims to utilise these five key wellbeing points as anchors to help produce an event that highlights some of these stigmas and taboos around mental health, with a wide range of community projects and creative commissions that aim to leave a lasting legacy for Bournemouth and the surrounding areas, promoting wellbeing in all its forms.
Through the 2019 programming strand, Mind Matter, we aim to explore and challenge current attitudes towards mental health and spark conversations through artwork and installations inspired or influenced by mental health issues and experiences.