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Arts supporting health and wellbeing at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Redevelopment

Art will be integrated into the planned $940 million Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Hospital Redevelopment to support the health and wellbeing of patients, visitors and staff.
Recognising the important role of arts in healthcare, the RPA Arts Curatorium was established under the leadership of Michael Lynch AO CBE and Wendy Martin to develop the arts strategy for the Redevelopment of RPA.
Applying creative, participatory, or receptive arts across all artforms creates a welcoming space and enhances health and wellbeing.
The Curatorium is a collective of leading arts organisations including Art Gallery of NSW, Chau Chak Wing Museum, Powerhouse Museum, Belvoir Theatre, as well as artists, clinicians and other healthcare workers from RPA, Sydney Local Health District and Health Infrastructure. The Curatorium recently completed three intensive workshops to explore how the arts can be used to improve the experience of care.
The arts strategy will build on the work that has been done over many years at RPA to integrate art into healthcare and guide the integration of art in the redevelopment and envisions opportunities to reshape the experience of compassion and care environments through the arts.
Currently proposed are five initiatives implemented across 14 key projects that connect with Country, celebrate memory through an extraordinary RPA collection, and build upon the much-loved Arterie @RPA and Carterie @RPA arts programs to support the health and wellbeing of the community.
Developed in consultation with the Sydney Local Health District Aboriginal Health Unit, the arts outcomes embed protocols and practices to promote cultural safety for Aboriginal communities, while creating a welcoming and healing environment for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.
The strategy seeks to deliver world-class arts and health experiences through the development of multi-dimensional narratives centering on Gadigal Land.
To achieve this, a diverse selection of artists will be invited to tender on projects ranging from major public artworks and heritage interpretation in external areas of the campus, through to intimate soundscapes in key clinical ward areas to support respite.
The role of the arts in this context is to present RPA Hospital as an internationally recognised example of the potential for the arts to transform the experience of care.
Culture, community and creativity are at the heart of the RPA Redevelopment Arts Strategy – the immediate next steps are to plan for two major public art works to be integrated within the grounds and façade of the new building and we look forward to sharing progress mid-2024.
To experience the Curatorium workshops discussion that inspired the strategy, we invite you to watch the short visual scribe videos created by Shenali Perera.

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