A look at The Brain Charity’s arts projects 2023
Art is at the heart of many of our activities here at The Brain Charity because of the amazing impact it can have on the brain.
Being creative stimulates intellect, improves attention spans and encourages neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to rewire itself by creating new pathways.
Taking part in creative activities can also improve connectivity between the left and right sides of the brain, improving cognitive function.
Music can remind us of memories and reduces symptoms of anxiety and stress through releasing endorphins, which make us feel happier.
Art brings us together; attending a concert or working in a group on a creative activity is a social experience. Art is also a form of communication, allowing us to express our thoughts and process our feelings in a creative way.
Here are a few of the arts-based activities we got up to in 2023…
The Brain Changer Arts Project
We ran eight more blocks of The Brain Changer Arts Project in 2023, which harnesses the power of the arts to help children and young people with neurological conditions.
Sessions incorporate physiotherapy through dance and occupational therapy through arts and crafts, ensuring attendees engage with these vital therapies while having fun and being creative.
Dancing helps to improve motor control and balance, while arts and crafts supports the development of dexterity, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Summer arts sessions
We hosted our first summer arts sessions in July and August, a creative summer camp for children with neurological conditions.
Each day saw a morning of dance and games, followed by an afternoon of arts and crafts, with different themes such as the jungle, superheroes and space. In addition to fun activities, we also had a dedicated quiet space in case of overstimulation, which was extremely well received by both the children and their guardians.
The sessions were supported by Alder Hey Children’s Hospital’s community occupational therapy and physiotherapy teams, making sure vital exercises and therapies were incorporated into the fun.
Music Makes Us! Dementia project
People with dementia who lose the ability to speak often find that they still sing since music activates different parts of the brain. Songs can spark wonderful memories; many people are still able to remember all the lyrics to their favourites.
Our Music Makes Us! Project was delivered in care homes, assisted living facilities and complex care units, using music-based therapy for people in dementia care.
Sessions used music to help people engage in physiotherapy through dance and speech and language therapy through singing.
The Liverpool Poetry Prize
As the dust settled on an incredible summer of Eurovision in Liverpool, The Brain Charity headed to London for our very own Neurovision grand final.
Inspired by the famous song contest, Neurovision highlighted neurodiversity in music, showcasing the talents of neurodivergent artists at the home of legendary rock star Jack White’s record label, Third Man London.
The audience were treated to a diverse range of genres, from pop to soul jazz to post-hardcore, with each artist pouring their experience of neurodivergence into their music.
Minds Re-imagined: An art in science exhibition
We were proud to host the Minds Re-imagined exhibition at The Brain Charity’s centre in July.
The exhibition was a collaboration between artist Helen Lyndon and neuroscientist Dr Josh Kearney, featuring mixed-media artworks created in response to recent findings in cognitive neuroscience.
The pieces reimagined our brain in different ways, using metaphors of the mind.
A Night at the Electro Circus
The circus was in town for one night only at Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral.
‘A Night at the Electro Circus’ was a gig like no other, kicking off the Christmas season for hundreds of audience members.
Contortionists and acrobatics kicked off the show, followed by a medley of 80s hits by singers Holly Lovelady and ‘East is East’ actor Ian Aspinall.
Headline act UNE – the duo of Mark Radcliffe and Paul Langley – took to the stage to perform their effortless electro set, fusing ambient cool with disco bangers.
But the show wasn’t over yet, with DJ Charlotte Davies getting everyone on their feet to dance the night away.
Our annual carol concert brought festive cheer to St Francis Xavier’s Church in December.
The event showcased talent from across Merseyside, including The Brain Charity’s very own choir, Asylum Link, SingMe Merseyside and LIPA Primary and High School Choir.
Prior to the concert, The Brain Charity Choir were booked and busy, performing Christmas carols at The Capitol Building’s Christmas Fair.
Art is a regular feature of our social activities, with art therapy, knit and natter, and sing and a social as staples of our activity calendar.
In 2023, we also hosted drawing classes and workshops on stone carving, creative writing and origami.