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CUH Arts

CUH Arts is our hospitals' arts programme, dedicated to transforming the hospital experience, promoting wellbeing and inspiring hope through creativity.

About our arts programme

Established in 1999, CUH Arts began with a small collection of art work, and has grown over the years to engage our hospital community in a diverse and eclectic range of live, visual and participatory arts.

Supported by Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust, we deliver a year-round programme of arts activities, events and exhibitions, as well as getting involved in the design of new patient-facing areas, helping to relax and warm the clinical environment. At any one point, our small (yet mighty!) team will have multiple projects on the go – it is a busy department, and no day is the same!

Alongside looking after our art collection (we now have over 4000 pieces across our hospitals!), curating temporary exhibitions along our art corridor (Level 2 between concourse and ATC) and commissioning new art & design for wards, we run a participatory arts programme, with bespoke activities led by experienced professional artists.

Dance for Health is CUH Arts’ flagship project; weekly creative movement & music group sessions for adult patients, led by expert practitioner Filipa Pereira-Stubbs. Patients are supported to move and interact with one another, helping to engage not just the body, but the mind and heart too.

As artists, we are in a special position; patients do not see us as clinicians - we are not in uniform, and there is often a level of curiosity. “Artists? In Hospital? How marvellous”! We are different. To us, our hospital participants are people first and patients second. We are interested in how we can support people emotionally and socially, as well as physically, during their hospital stay. We also help to build rapport between nurses and their patients; art is a leveller, and it brings our personalities to the surface, enabling connections to be made.

Beyond the mask

To celebrate International Year of the Nurse and Midwife which has bridged through 2020 and 2021, we invited our hospital community to write poetry that explores and acknowledges the skills, qualities, characters and stories that lie beneath the uniform. The project, Beyond the Mask, was guided by professional poet Sean Borodale and contributed to by our staff, volunteers, families, patients and the wider public. We are proud to share here the full collection of poems, along with images and letterpress artwork by artist and former CUH nurse Rae Stevens. A heartfelt thanks to all those who took part.

Get in touch

Natalie Ellis
Head of Arts

Rosie O'Donovan
Arts programme manager

Polly Barnes
Creative producer

Ellen Nowak
Arts manager (major projects)

General enquiries:

Follow CUH Arts on social media!
Facebook: @CUHArtsNHS
Twitter: @CUHArtsNHS