Global Webinar Debates

Greengross A4D Global Arts for Brain Health Changemakers Conversations

Online: Sept 2023 – June 25

In association with the Age Irrelevance

Innovative inclusive arts practice to combat cognitive decline and rebuild resilience in the community

In the spirit of the late, indomitable Baroness Sally Greengross, founder patron of Arts 4 Dementia and Change Maker par excellence, our Global Arts for Brain Health Change Maker Conversations will open our eyes and mind to wide-ranging creative health practice around the world, how from the start of symptoms of a potential dementia and ongoing, the voices of those living the experience of diagnosis, the challenges they face and how they surmount them using creativity and learning to preserve brain health – for example, how taking up or persevering with arts activity can enable people with young onset to continue study, work and volunteer.

How global social prescribing facilitates access and social change, their medical and neuroscience student champions joining arts students to learn with participants, adapting to cognitive impairment, building resilience, and preserving their brain health through creative engagement and mutual discovery.

Greengross A4D Global Arts for Brain Health Changemakers – Rare Dementias – Conversation, Thursday 18 January 2024 (Recording, Transcript)

Greengross A4D Global Arts for Brain Health Changemakers – Young Onset – Conversation, Thursday 26 October (Transcript, Recording)

Inaugural Conversation: Monday 4 September 2-3.30 pm BST, World Alzheimer’s Month 2023 (Transcript)) (Recording)


Global Social Prescribing: The A4D Arts for Brain Health Debates (2021-22)

The Debates Summaries

We were delighted to celebrate Creative Brain Week 6-12 March 2023 and Social Prescribing Day Thursday 9 March with the launch of our Arts for Brain Health webinar debates, which focus on the global role of social prescription to arts and wellbeing activity to empower people at the onset of dementia to preserve their brain health – and the need for policy change to achieve this.

Arts for Brain Health Webinar Debates 2021-22, hosted by Veronica Franklin Gould, in association with Sir Muir Gray, Director, Optimal Ageing Programme at The University of Oxford.

Experts in culture, health and wellbeing, dementia prevention, creative ageing and social prescribing, debate the vital role of arts and wellbeing activity in protecting against cognitive decline – from the onset of potential dementia symptoms – with actions for social change.

Guidance from 141 speakers from around the world at Veronica’s monthly Arts for Brain Health webinars has been gathered together in a single online resource to be launched on 7 March 2023..

Read how social prescribing is delivered in each country, the pathway from GP surgery to arts programme., via social prescribing link worker, or direct to the cultural organisation – be it visual art, drama, music, dance, story-telling through textile weaving in Peru and basketry in Kenya, forest exploration in Australia, singing in Singapore, update on the pioneering Museum of Modern Art programme in New York, VR to Nigerian Elders and more. Disability arts, cultural diversity are each explored. Throughout policymakers and strategists share their wisdom and the Arts Council and NHS Charities Together and the National Academy for Social Prescribing debate collaborative arts on prescription funding.

These webinar debates were produced in partnership with Sir Muir Gray, Director of the Optimal Ageing Programme at the University of Oxford and with Arts 4 Dementia. Early actions helped to provide supporting material for the Health and Care Bill.

Webinar Debates 2021-22

Global Social Prescribing Arts for Brain Health Conference, Tuesday 6 December, 2-5 pm GMT

In partnership with the Global Social Prescribing Alliance (GSPA)

The uplifting power of cultural and creative activity nurtures our resilience in the community.

Social prescribing to weekly creative, cultural and social activity in the natural environment revitalises and empowers to individuals and their loved ones to combat loneliness, pain and fear and to preserve their brain health, nurturing their sense of identity, of belonging and resilience for years longer.

Our Global Social Prescribing Arts for Brain Health Conference introduces debates between international leaders in social prescribing on the pathway in each nation, on student champion schemes to instil arts prescribing into practice for brain health for students at the outset of their careers and cross sector partnership funding models for sustainability

Following opening keynotes from leading figures in culture health and wellbeing, social prescribing and the NHS personalised care, Dr Bogdan Chiva Giurca and the GSPA development team introduce the global social prescribing map and developments around the world. With Sian Brand, co-chair of the Social Prescribing Network, chairs talks on SP developments in Australia, Singapore and Portugal; and Alexandra Coulter, Director of the National Centre for Creative Health chairs the Arts on Prescription pathway in Italy, Austria and Canada. Finally, Tim Anfilogoff, co-founder of the Social Prescribing Network, chairs the funding arts on prescription debated between policy-makers at NHS Charities Together, Arts Council England and the Head of Thriving Communities at the National Academy for Social Prescribing.



Veronica Franklin Gould, President, Arts 4 Dementia, introduces messages from

CHAIR Michael Dooley, Treasurer, The College of Medicine

  • James Sanderson, Director of Community Health and Personalised Care at NHS England and NHS Improvement (on introduction of SPLW as patients’ direct pathway from GP, via SPLW to empowering choice of A.R.T.S. prescription.

GLOBAL SOCIAL PRESCRIBING, chair: Dr Bogdan Chiva Giurca

  • Dr Bogdan Chiva Giurca, GSPA Development lead and founder of the Global Social Prescribing Champion scheme. Medical/neuroscience/social care and arts students interacting with participants for lived experience of arts for brain health.
  • Hamaad Khan, Social prescribing development in 23 countries, advances and barriers.
  • Ronald BennettA4D drama participant and Veronica Franklin Gould, A4D Arts prescription for Brain Health workshop model.


  • AUSTRALIA Sian Slade, Melbourne School of Population Health, Australia.
  • SINGAPORE Professor Kheng Hock Lee, Director, Office of Community Engagement & Education (OCEAN), SingHealth Community Hospitals, Singapore.
  • PORTUGAL Professor Sonia Dias, Coordinator of Public Health Research Centre at NOVA National School of Public Health. Professor at NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal and Dr Maria Marques.

ARTS ON PRESCRIPTION PATHWAY, chair Alexandra Coulter, Director, National Centre for Creative Health. Advances and barriers, champion involvement, arts prescription funding.

FUNDING SUSTAINABLE ARTS PRESCRIPTION PROGRAMMES, chair, Tim Anfilogoff, Head of Community Resilience for Herts Valley CCG; NHS Social Prescribing Network Steering Group Member Sustainable social prescription funding models


Veronica, A4D, and Bogdan Chiva Giurca, GSPA, CLOSE

VR & Live Streaming Arts for Brain Health, Tuesday 8 November, 12-2 pm GMT

The uplifting power of engaging with arts activity, participating, using virtual reality to enjoy superb performances or explore museums and heritage venues nurtures a sense of awe, resilience and wellbeing.

Weekly access to the arts has a vital impact on people’s brain health and wellbeing. In care homes, access to the arts through digital media, live streaming, whether painting, singing, acting, dancing  or watching the most exquisite quality operas or masterpieces of fine and decorative arts in opera houses and other magnificent venues they can no longer visit, live streamed performances, interactive arts workshops, virtual reality bring it to them, inspires them to unlock their creative instincts, helps them to stay lucid and to communicate with their loved ones. Entering a magnificent heritage venue, introduced by the owner must be magical from a care home.

Sir Muir Gray, Director of the Optimal Ageing Programme at The University of Oxford, chairs this innovative, international debate in Virtual Reality and live arts streaming for care homes. The lived experience of VR in dementia and the science and the need are discussed and the use of VR and live-streaming is demonstrated in terms of nature by The Eden Project, Kunle Adewale of Nigeria, live-streamed musical performances by the LSO and Live Music Now, dance by Scottish Ballet and Indian dance by Bisakha Sarker and the Armchair Gallery app offers heritage visiting virtual experience.


12 pm Veronica Franklin Gould, President, Arts 4 Dementia introduction.

Martin Robertson, living with Post Cortical Atrophy, shares his VR experiences.

CHAIR: Sir Muir Gray CBE FRCPSGlas FCLIP (Director, University of Oxford’s Optimal Ageing Programme)

PRESENTATIONS I , followed by SPEAKER DEBATE, chaired by Sir Muir Gray

PRESENTATIONS II, followed by SPEAKER DEBATE, chaired by Sir Muir Gray

YouTube: Social Welfare Institute at Yangpu District, Shanghai, China, ‘You’re never too old to be a pin up Girl


Disability Arts for Brain Health, Tuesday 4 October, 2-4 pm BST

Dr Rashmi Becker MBE, Founder of Step-Change Studios and Sport England Board Champion for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, chairs a debate between leaders in social prescribing, artists, activists and innovative providers of disability arts who present a wide range of practice and opportunities open to people living with a disability and experiencing early symptoms of a dementia.

Kamran Malik, CEO of Disability Rights UK opens the debate with a statement from hospital, the social prescribing pathway is discussed, and the science and efficacy of arts for a range of disabilities are debated, involving learning disabilities, drama, dance, music for the deaf, museum accessibility in New York, visual arts and poetry for the blind and visually impaired, as well as disability arts in Scotland and Wales.

With BSL interpreters


CHAIR: Dr Rashmi Becker MBE, Founder, Step-Change Studios. Sport England Board Champion for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Kamran Malik, CEO, Disability Rights UK
Dr Michelle Howarth, Lead: National Social Prescribing Network Special Interest Group: Nursing
Dr Lucy Burke, Principal Lecturer, Centre for Culture & Disabiliity Studies at Liverpool Hope University.
Dr Rashmi Becker MBE, Founder, Step-Change Studios, London
Nabil Shaban, Actor, activist, co-founder, Graeae Theatre for disabled people
Fleur Derbyshire-Fox, Director of Engagement, English National Ballet ‘Dance for Parkinson’s’
William Ogden, Trustee Director of Decibels, Music for the deaf
Rebecca McGinnis, Senior Managing Educator for Accessibility, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Furrah Syed FRSA, Artist, Educator, Colour Energy Specialist, Visual arts for the blind and visually impaired
Dr. Beverley Duguid, founder of InsightMind poetry for the visually impaired
Ruth Fabby MBE, Director, Disability Arts Cymru.
Jan-Bert van den Berg, Director, Artlink Edinburgh and the Lothians
Veronica Franklin Gould FRSA (President, Arts 4 Dementia)


Global Brain Health Institute: Co-creating arts for brain health – a global perspective, Tuesday 6 September, 10 – 11.30 am BST

To mark World Alzheimer’s Month, in this webinar, chaired by Brian Lawlor, Deputy Executive Director of the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI – University of California, San Francisco | Trinity College Dublin), this GBHI debate showcased the diverse creative activities of Atlantic Fellows for Equity Health at GBHI that have been co-produced with and for people living with dementia that generate powerful messages of hope, engagement, inclusion and connection. There is so much to be learned from the innovation emanating from different countries and geographies, uncovering the richness and diversity of a number of these global creative interdisciplinary activities. 

The webinar featured five 10-minute presentations from Atlantic Fellows, followed by a panel discussion of experts in arts & brain health, social prescribing and transdisciplinary approaches for people living with dementia. Read more



Cultural Diversity in Arts for Brain Health, Tuesday 5 July 2022, 10 – 11.30 am GMT

Dr Sharmi Bhattacharyya, Consultant & Clinical Lead for Older People’s Mental Health at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in North Wales and Editor of The Old Age Psychiatrist at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, chairs a debate between leaders in social prescribing, culture health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on diagnostic tools and arts workshops celebrating diverse cultures.

This debate celebrates the introduction of South Asians diagnostic tools, dedicated social prescribing, visual arts and dance, Chinese contemporary art, gospel singing, basketry by Kenyan elders, Japanese piano music, art for Hackney Caribbean elders and neurology in Australia. Read more



Creative Writing for Brain Health, Tuesday 7 June 2022, 12 – 1.30 pm GMT

Professor Lynne Corner, Director of VOICE and COO at the UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing at the University of Newcastle chairs a debate between leaders in social prescribing, culture health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on the science of language for brain health, referral to creative writing programmes and a range of poetry approaches, including creative writing for South Asians for brain health are debated. Read more



Heritage and Nature for Brain Health, Tues 10 May 2022, 10 am-11.30 am

Desi Gradinarova, Head of Wellbeing and Inclusion Strategy at Historic England and Historic Environment Lead at the National Academy for Social Prescribing, chairs a debate between leaders in social prescribing, culture health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on referral to Heritage and Nature programmes. Elements of nature and a wide variety of exercise in nature explored includes connecting to nature through sensory trails and bird-watching in Australian bush, intergenerational gardening and , volunteering for health and wellbeing in a Dorset men’s shed, Nordic walking and exercise referral, archaeology on prescription in Yorkshire and green prescribing in Greater Manchester. Read more



Visual Arts for Brain Health, Tues 5 April 2022, 10 am-11.30 am

Professor Martin Orrell, Director of the Institute of Mental Health at the University of Nottingham, chairs a debate between leaders in social prescribing, culture health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on referral to visual arts programmes. The Pleasure Principle – the brain’s response to beauty is explained, a museum in Leeds has invited a Linking Leeds link worker to offer social prescribing from the museum and Leeds Black Elders inspires members through arts. During lockdown the Southbank motivated 4,500 people to overcome loneliness and isolation through creating art and enabled them to send it by post to exhibit at Southbank. Among the many ways The Big Draw encourages drawing is through daily diaries and sketch crawls. The Wallace Collection aired a n significant plan for a year-long arts programme to preserve brain health. The social prescribing student scheme was explained and UCL’s new Masters programme in arts and sciences programme was explained as a key step towards enhancing research policy and practice. Read more



International A.R.T.S. for Brain Health, ‘From Despair to Desire’, Tues 8 March 2022, 10 am – 12 pm

In association with the International Longevity Centre and the Optimal Ageing Programme at The University of Oxford

For International Social Prescribing Week, Baroness Greengross, CEO of the International Longevity Centre and Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia chairs a debate between leaders in international social prescribing, culture health and wellbeing, and A.R.T.S. (wide ranging cultural and creative Activities to Revitalise The Soul). Speakers from Trinity College Dublin, the University of New South Wales in Australia, the World Health Organisation, the Director of the UK National Centre for Creative Health, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Arts for Health Austria, Taiwan National Museum, and the Global Social Prescribing Alliance discuss social prescribing developments, innovative presentation of early dementia coping strategy, A.R.T.S. suited to people experiencing early symptoms, educational and partnership practice for sustainable A.R.T.S prescribing programmes 

Drama for Brain Health, Tuesday 8 February

Creating and enacting scenarios with a drama group, in allowing individuals to improvise and develop significant or amusing experiences together, can act as a medium to alleviate depression, which may be a symptom when undergoing assessment for a potential dementia. As Sir Richard Eyre, the director and patron of Arts 4 Dementia, advises continuing the discipline of learning lines. Whatever the genre – classical, rock, pop, community choir, orchestra or band – music has a vital role to play to help preserve brain health. As co-host, Sir Muir Gray points to evidence that we can prevent, delay, slow down, even reverse dementia and to do this we have to increase activity – physical, cognitive and emotional “Few better ways of doing that than through drama.” Chair Dr Peter Bagshawe talks of reducing metabolic syndrome, obesity, loneliness, that cognitive stimulation is recommended NICE procedure [ “post diagnosis” – but we need NICE guidance amended to “peri-diagnosis”]. Dr Sheila McCormick discusses ageism, othering and intergenerational practice. Elders directors of the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester, Leeds Playhouse, Southwark Playhouse and Open Age present a range of drama opportunities for brain health. Among guidance shared by London Arts in Health is the Arts and Culture Social Prescribing Mythbuster, the PartnerUp schema to build creative partnerships and examples of best practice in Culture on Prescription.


Music for Brain Health, Tues 11 January, 10-11 am

Whatever the genre – classical, rock, pop, community choir, orchestra or band – music has a vital role to play to help preserve brain health. With Sir Muir Gray as co-host and the BBC broadcaster Katie Derham chairing the debate, a clinical neuropsychologist from Spain explains the impact of music and social singing on the brain, Dr Bogdan Chiva Giurca, founder of the social prescribing student champion scheme, outlines the value of involving medical as well as music students in music programmes for brain health and the need for culture change to preserve brain health, Phil Hallett discusses the broad range of music for brain health offered by the Coda Music Trust, Grace Meadows shares Music for Dementia’s vision for the Power of Music scheme the government is about to implement. Victoria Hume, Director of the Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance explains how musicians and music organisations can liaise with social prescribers to spread awareness of their offer, the need for this government investment and examples of place-based partnerships responding to local needs. Sian Brand, Co-hair of the National Social Prescribing Network, explains the role of surgery-based link workers and their networks in linking people with music programmes to meet their social and health needs.

Increase Brainability: Dance to Preserve Brain Health & Global Social Prescribing, Tuesday 7 December 2021

Discussing physical activity and digital access, we will welcome a debate between Sir Muir Gray, Director of the Optimal Ageing Programme at The University of Oxford, Fergus Early, Artistic Director of Green Candle Dance, and Dr Bogdan Chiva Giurca, Development Lead for the Global Social Prescribing Alliance and Clinical Champion Lead at the National Academy for Social Prescribing.

  • Chair: Dr Charles Alessi, Senior Advisor, Public Health England
  • Sir Muir Gray, Director, Optimal Ageing Programme at The University of Oxford
  • Fergus Early, Artistic Director, Green Candle Dance
  • Dr Bogdan Chiva Giurca, Founder, NHS Social Prescribing Champion Scheme. Developmental Lead, Global Social Prescribing Alliance

Social Prescribing as Diagnostic Practice, Tuesday 2 November 2021

Following the publication of A4D’s 2021 report, A.R.T.S. for Brain Health: Social Prescribing as Diagnostic Practice for Dementia, its author Veronica Franklin Gould hosts a series of webinar to debates to examine in greater depth the themes which informed the research and developments that follow.  A.R.T.S. (Activities to Revitalise The Soul) for Brain Health centre on the role of social prescription to arts and wellbeing activity for patients at the onset of dementia – and the need for policy change to achieve this.

This first debate between the UK’s leading dementia experts, Professor Alistair Burns and Professor John Gallacher, chaired by Sir Muir Gray, examines ‘The Science, Evidence and the Importance of Arts for Brain Health’ 

  • Chair: Sir Muir Gray, Director, Optimal Ageing Programme at The University of OxfordProfessor
  • Professor Alistair Burns, NHS National Clinical Director for Dementia and Older People’s Mental Health
  • Professor John Gallacher, Professor of Cognitive Health at The University of Oxford; Director, Dementias Platform UK