On Tuesday 11 September we were at King’s College London for the launch of Active Ingredients.

The Active Ingredients Project, developed by Aesop with BOP Consulting, aims to deepen our understanding of the ways in which arts interventions in health and social contexts work – and to improve the ways these are designed and their impacts measured.

The Project and its first report uses the medical/pharmaceutical metaphor of the ‘active ingredient’ to emphasise that there is something particular in the arts experience itself which enables certain outcomes to occur. It presents a way to describe what is going on in an arts experience and the changes that arts experiences achieve – which does justice to their power and richness.

The launch event welcomed arts and health practitioners, researchers and funders. Following presentation of the Project, three respondents offered an artist’s, funder’s and non-arts sector’s perspective: Jeanefer Jean-Charles (Choreographer and Executive Director of Tomorrow’s Men), Chris Chaney (Chief Executive, CW+ [official charity of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust]) and James Sanderson (NHS England Director of Personalised Care).

James Sanderson said the Active Ingredients Project was a “game-changer”.

Tim Joss, Aesop’s Chief Executive and Founder said, “the enthusiasm of the launch respondents and audience confirmed that we’re on to something. I hope the Project will be a confidence-booster for the arts sector. For at least 20 years, they’ve had this concern about being instrumentalised – just an additional resource for health and other sectors, and not valued artistically. Using ‘active ingredients’ they can communicate the unique power of the arts and be proud partners of other sectors.”

Find out more about the project, download the Active Ingredients report

Download Active Ingredients press release