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The Role of Culture in Health Promotion

Central Denmark Region and the Danish Health Authority have decided to cancel the conference due to the current situation with COVID-19 in Aarhus.

Big national conference on culture and health in Aarhus – 2 September 2020

Have you heard about a school for magicians which improves the motor skills of children with paralysis? Did you know that live music has found its way into hospitals – and even into intensive care units? Or that shared reading helps lonely people as well as people living with mental conditions?

These are just some of the many culture and health projects presented at the national conference Culture as Health Promotion in the beautiful surroundings of Aarhus Theatre on 24 March 2020.

WHO will present the conclusions from a brand new global report on culture and health. The Danish Health Authority will present the results of the project Culture on Prescription, and Central Denmark Region will talk about its strategic culture and health initiatives, such as the role of art and culture at hospitals and in the psychiatric area. You can also experience the British Breathe Magic programme – one of the world’s most innovative culture and health projects combining physiotherapy with a magician school for children with chronic illness.

In the afternoon, there is a change of scenery where it will be possible to participate in workshops on literature, nature, art and theatre, music, the Culture on Prescription project, or life with disease. This will take place at some of the attractive cultural institutions in Aarhus, the art museum ARoS, the culture house Dokk1, Concert Hall Aarhus, and the gender and culture museum Kvindemuseet.

The conference is free of charge, but there is a no-show fee of DKK 500.

The conference programme is continuously updated.

Conference Programme

08.00 – 09.00:
Breakfast and signing in

09.00 – 09.30:
Welcome and community singing with Anders Kühnau, Chairman of the Regional Council, Central Denmark Region and others

09.30 – 10.20:
The World Health Organisation presents its new report on culture and health
(presentation in English)

10.20 – 10.35:
Creative Business Network: Creative entrepreneurs show new ways in the area of health

10.35 – 10.50:

10.50 – 11.40:
The Danish Health Authority presents the evaluation of the project Culture on Prescription

11.45 – 12.15:
Central Denmark Region presents specific regional initiatives at e.g. hospitals and among groups of vulnerable people

12.15 – 12:45:
Transportation on foot to workshops at different cultural institutions

12.45 – 13.15:

13.15 – 15.00:
Workshops (choose a theme when signing up for the conference)

15.00 – 15.30:
Transportation on foot to Aarhus Theatre

15.30 – 16.30:
The grand finale: Presentation and magic show by Breathe Arts Health Research
(in English)

"There is a substantial body of evidence on the health benefits of the arts."

- From the WHO report "What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being?"

Who Will Attend?

Among others, you will meet: The World Health Organisation, the Danish Health Authority, Breathe Arts Health Research (UK), Danish Hospital Clowns, the National Gallery of Denmark, Trapholt Museum, the Danish Parkinson Association, Nørrebro Theatre, the Danish Reading Association, the Danish Football Association, Museum of Modern Art ARKEN, the Danish Lung Association, the Writing School PS for people with mental conditions, and Anders Kühnau, Chairman of the Regional Council, Central Denmark Region.


Conference held at the cultural stronghold

Aarhus Theatre rhymes with culture in Aarhus, and we would like to welcome you to Denmark’s largest provincial theatre.

Aarhus Theatre is Denmark’s largest provincial theatre, established in the late 1890s by a group of theatre interested citizens in Aarhus. The Jugend style building is an architectural gem inaugurated on 15 September 1900 and has been a listed building since 1981. The theatre is still an important cultural centre in Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark.

Participants at the conference will have optimal conditions for experiencing the world of culture at the conference Culture as Health Promotion.

Aarhus Theatre was designed by the architect Hack Kampmann, who has been involved in many of the prominent buildings in Aarhus, among them the royal castle Marselisborg.
Aarhus Theatre decorations are made by the painter Karl Hansen-Reistrup and the Holberg characters on the frieze of the theatre are made by professor Hans Tegner.

"Listening to music has been found to help the development of new neural pathways following a stroke."

- From the WHO report "What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being?"


Afternoon Programme - Workshops

The afternoon programme will take place around the cultural scenes and institutions in Aarhus. You choose which scene and which workshop you would like to attend during the afternoon. There is a limited number of seats at each workshop, and seats are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please, go to ticket sales.

Music – the Royal Academy of Music
Participate in a dialogue on the potential of music, and experience the power of community singing. Meet staff from the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus Music School, and music therapists from Aalborg University.

Nature – the community house Domen

How does it affect people being in a hospital bed with a nature view or going for a walk in a green area as a part of rehabilitation? Explore the de-stressing and healing potential of nature together with a research for University of Southern Denmark, project staff from Aarhus University Hospital, a nature therapist, and others.

Literature – the culture house Dokk1

Literature portrays the great pains and joys of life, narratives and questions are expressed in poetry, short stories, and epic novels. Among others, meet the Danish Reading Association, the Writer School PS for people with mental conditions, and Narrative Medicine from University of Southern Denmark.

Life with disease – Aarhus Theatre

Meet a number of people who use culture to manage and treat physical and mental conditions. You can hear about a choir by the Danish Lung Association, Dance with Parkinson’s Disease by the Parkinson Association, the FC Prostate team from the Danish football Association, and Danish Hospital Clowns.

Art and theatre - Svalegangen Theatre

Meet a number of Danish theatres and museums such as Museum of Modern Art ARKEN, the National Gallery of Denmark, Nørrebro Theatre, and Trapholt Museum. They all participate in different projects involving health or well-being.

Culture on Prescription – the gender and culture museum Kvindemuseet

What are the challenges for municipalities when offering cultural activities for citizens with mild and moderate depression, stress, and anxiety? The municipalities of the Danish cities Aalborg, Vordingborg, Nyborg, and Silkeborg have all participated in the project headed by the Danish Health Authority Culture on Prescription. Hear about their experiences, and participate in the discussion.


Further Information and Materials



Project leader Mikkel Ottow
+45 40 92 67 09

Press responsible Kim Michelsen
+45 24 26 71 01

Ticket Info

Get your ticket trought safeticket.dk.
It's free to attend.



The Role of Culture in Health Promotion is a conference held by the Central Jutland Region in collaboration with the National Board of Health.