WHY WE ARE HERE
“The vitality of the arts and culture of any society is threatened by those forces that disable its artists.”
Tom Hall, 1987 (letter written to the Medical Journal of Australia)
In November 2006, ASPAH was formed in response to those forces described in the quote above. Its members comprise a broad range of individuals who work as, or have worked with, performing artists at many levels, and who share a passion and common belief in their health and wellbeing.
We are here because:
- The performing arts are a key part of the cultural, financial and day-to-day life of Australia and Australians.
- “Making a living” remains challenging for many performing arts organisations and most performing artists.
- These challenges and pressures can leave little room for health and wellbeing in the day-to-day life of performing artists.
- The healthcare system in Australia remains largely ignorant of the unique health needs of these performers.
We recognise that the health of the performing artist and the quality of their art are inextricably linked. At the same time we understand that the still culturally embedded perspective that artists may need to “suffer for their art” means that, often, wellbeing and artistry are treated as if they are unrelated.
In its broadest sense, then, ASPAH’s aim is to change this culture so that the health and wellbeing of performing artists is treated with the same importance as their craft; not just for the sake of the artists themselves but also for the richness their “health supported” performances bring to us all.