Arts support health and wellbeing at RPA Hospital Redevelopment

Arts support health and wellbeing at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Redevelopment
Integration of the arts is being planned as part of the $940 million Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Hospital Redevelopment to support the health and wellbeing of patients, visitors and staff.
Applying creative, participatory, or receptive arts across all artforms creates a welcoming space and enhances health and wellbeing from primary prevention to tertiary treatment.
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.
The Curatorium was a collective of leading arts organisations (Art Gallery of NSW, Chau Chak Wing Museum, Powerhouse Museum, Belvoir Theatre) and artists, clinicians and other health care workers from RPA, Sydney Local Health District and Health Infrastructure, who came together over three intensive workshops to explore how the arts can be used to improve the experience of care.
The strategy will build on the work that has been done over many years at RPA to integrate Art into Health care and guide the  integration of art within 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 and Carterie 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/health experiences through the development of multi-dimensional narratives centring 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 video created by Shenali Perera above.