Kim Morton, director of Ōtautahi Creative Spaces, a creative wellbeing organisation from Christchurch, has received a Churchill Fellowship which will enable her to travel to the United Kingdom and Denmark in 2020 to research arts on prescription.
"I will be investigating arts on prescription, which are similar to green prescriptions” says Kim Morton. “Health and whānau workers connect people who are unwell with arts programmes to build their health and wellbeing.”
“The mental health system is struggling to cope with demand, and arts on prescription is a proven way of improving mental health. Increasing access to creativity through a prescription could make a real difference in New Zealand.”
With widespread mental distress following the earthquakes and the recent terrorist attack on the Muslim community, Christchurch is the ideal place to pilot arts on prescription, Morton says. “There was a lot of interest in arts on prescription during the consultation for Toi Ōtautahi, the arts strategy recently adopted by Christchurch City Council. Hauora wellbeing is one of four pou (pillars) for this strategy, reflecting the level of mental distress in our city, and the desire to make change.”
“Arts on prescription is a really great opportunity for collaboration by organisations from the health and arts sectors, such as Pegasus Health, Canterbury District Health Board, the Ministry of Health, Christchurch City Council and Creative New Zealand. I look forward to sharing what I learn with these organisations, so that together we can create something here that fits our needs.”
Churchill Fellowships allow citizens from all walks of life to design their own research projects, travel the world and further their knowledge in a chosen field, before returning to make their knowledge available to New Zealand society.
The Fellowship is made possible by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, founded at the request of and as a living memorial for Sir Winston Churchill. He believed that world peace and greater international understanding could be promoted through ordinary people travelling to other countries and experiencing other cultures.
As part of the Fellowship requirements, Kim Morton will produce a full report of her investigation within six months of her return to New Zealand. These reports become public and are available online at the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust website.
“I warmly congratulate Kim Morton,” says Chair of the Trust, Dr. Bronwyn Smits. “We look for New Zealanders who, like Churchill, are innovative, filled with a spirit of determination and possess a strong desire to benefit their communities. Fellows are selected from all over New Zealand for their leadership potential and represent a wide variety of backgrounds, qualification, professions and interests.
“Since the Trust was established in 1965, over 800 Fellowships have been awarded. This represents an incredible wealth of knowledge and learning which the Trust has been responsible for generating and making available to our nation.
“The Fellowship is more than a travel grant. It widens an individual’s horizons in such a way that he or she grows in confidence, knowledge, authority and ambition, and can bring benefit to others in New Zealand through sharing the results of their travel. As well as promoting understanding between peoples, the experience makes fellows more effective leaders at work and in the community.”
For more information
Please contact Kim Morton, Director, Ōtautahi Creative Spaces
022 064 7963 firstname.lastname@example.org