Welcome to the Arts Wellbeing Collective, it’s so good to have you here
Born out of a desire to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for every person working in the performing arts industry, the Arts Wellbeing Collective is a community of practice made up of more than 400 organisations and individuals from across the live performance sector, united by a shared vision.
Arts Centre Melbourne established the Arts Wellbeing Collective in 2017. At that time, we could never have predicted the events of 2020 and the impacts of COVID-19, or anticipated how deeply the Arts Wellbeing Collective program and services would be needed.
We continue to be humbled by how valued and engaged with the Arts Wellbeing Collective is by those who work in the performing arts. We value every conversation we have with our members and performing arts workers across all roles and organisations.
We are strongest when we work together, listen carefully to each other, and celebrate the richness of our community.
We see a future where:
Performing arts workers across all roles are enabled to do their best work, bring their whole selves to work, and have energy to spare at the end of the day
Performing arts workplaces are consciously designed to support psychosocial safety
Sector leaders, peak bodies, and organisations work together to support the mental health and wellbeing of their people and to positively contribute to broader cultural understandings of mental health
Every person in the performing arts has what they need to work safely and work well
There are many examples in the performing arts where individuals and organisations are taking simple steps to prioritise and promote positive mental health and wellbeing for themselves and their teams. These actions combined are building a broader movement for positive change, systemic reforms, and a better future for us all.
It is vital that we share our stories with each other, what’s working, and what we’ve learned from our mistakes so that we can make positive mental health and wellbeing the norm rather than the exception across our industry. Looking after ourselves and each other is not something we should do just if we happen to have the time and resources, but a hallmark of the way that we go about our work in the arts.
We are conscious that the Arts Wellbeing Collective is not the ‘be all and end all’ solution to every problem experienced by performing arts workers, but we are heartened by the changes that are happening all around us.
We hope that the performing arts sector becomes known not only for our world class work, but for the way we develop and present that work. When we care for ourselves and each other, and are well supported at work, our creativity flourishes.
We will always do our best to listen and support you as we all improve the way we do business together. Thank you to everyone who has so generously shared their stories and experiences over the life of the program so far. We continue to be thrilled by people’s willingness, openness and generosity in supporting the objectives of the Arts Wellbeing Collective.
Together, I know we can make a difference.
Claire Spencer AM
Chief Executive Officer, Arts Centre Melbourne
Arts Centre Melbourne
The Arts Wellbeing Collective is an initiative of Arts Centre Melbourne, Australia’s largest performing arts centre.
Arts Centre Melbourne has showcased the best of Australian and international performing arts for over 30 years, and is the proud home of flagship Resident Companies — The Australian Ballet, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Theatre Company and Opera Australia — and a range of other presenters who collectively bring our stages and spaces to life. Through these works, together with our own program of performances, events, and activities, we offer diverse audiences a distinctly multidimensional approach to participation, education and entertainment.
Arts Centre Melbourne’s purpose is to enrich the lives of Victorians – culturally, educationally, socially and economically and to provide leadership in the promotion and development of the performing arts (Victorian Arts Centre Act 1979).
The Arts Wellbeing Collective is an example of our commitment to providing leadership in the promotion and development of the performing arts in line with our core values – Leadership, Community, Care More, Creativity, and Equity.