Pallant House Gallery in Chichester has selected 100 local organisations to receive free entry to the Gallery for a year. The Access to Art Pass, launched during Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May), enables members of local community groups to take full advantage of having one of the best Modern British art galleries in the country on their doorstep.
Launched during Mental Health Awareness Week, the Access to Art Pass is part of the Gallery’s wide range of creative opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds, which help them to discover how art can have a place in their lives. Eligible groups will be able to bring their members on visits to the Gallery for free until April 2020. Following this trial, the Gallery hopes to continue the scheme in 2020 and beyond and will welcome applications from interested groups.
The groups included serve a wide range of ages and needs, including organisations such as The Chichester Centre, Age UK, Home-Start, Coastal West Sussex Mind and Starburst Arts, and reach outside of Chichester to Selsey, Littlehampton and Bognor Regis.
Laura Southall, Head of Public Programmes, said: “Our Community Programme has been running successfully for 17 years and has made such a tangible difference to people’s health and wellbeing. We want everyone to feel welcome at the Gallery and this is an exciting next step to share the benefits of leading a creative life with even more people.”
Mental Health Awareness Week aims to encourage people to talk about their mental health. Art and creativity have been proven to improve the quality of peoples’ mental health by decreasing anxiety and increasing feelings of social connection and inclusion.
The Access to Art Pass is one of several initiatives within the Gallery to make its world-class collection of Modern British art more accessible and to exemplify how art can have such a positive impact on mental health. The Gallery’s Community Programme provides participants, who have a range of support needs, with long-term, meaningful opportunities to develop their artistic practice, make connections and feel they “belong”. Yoga and mindfulness workshops taking place in the heart of the Gallery’s collection also encourage participants to practice mindfulness exercises while inspiring creativity – see the Gallery’s website for more details.