Surviving or Thriving?

Community group Arts All Over The Place tell us about their upcoming event.

SURVIVING OR THRIVING? Interactive Arts In Health Festival

Taking place on: 4th-6th October at The Edge, 79-81, Cheapside, Digbeth, B12 0QH. 7th-10th October 2017 at mac birmingham, Cannon Hill Park, B12 9QH.

By working with the public, we can tackle the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Our aim is to bring people together to experience and enjoy a series of exciting and meaningful events, this includes an interactive arts exhibition, workshops and performances. There will be opportunities to share our best practice together and continue to show the positive impact that creativity has on all of our mental well-being!

Following on from the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week, we will look at mental health from a new angle. Rather than ask why so many people are living with mental health problems, we will seek to uncover why too few of us are thriving with good mental health. With people struggling to cope with the demands of life and stuck on getting through the day, we will explore how many of us are surviving or thriving, and the difference between the two.

In its 10th year, AAOTP celebrates the creative talents of those who have or have had mental health problems across all aspects of the Arts, and promotes the value of the Arts in Mental Health recovery. It gives free exhibition space to people who might otherwise have no opportunity to showcase their talent, and provides free workshops during the event for people to experience a huge variety of Art forms. It also provides information and interactive pop-up events about mental health to the public and acts as a way of reducing the stigma and discrimination many people with mental health problems face.


If you are a carer or individual who has experienced/supported someone with mental health issues, or an artist or community group or a company/specialist who works in the mental health sector with service users, then we would really love to hear from you.

There are a number of ways in which you can be involved! Would you like the free opportunity to have any framed visual art work, sculpture or poetry included in the gallery exhibition? If so then please get in touch via email and we will send an application form. Following this, please send the completed application and some images or files of your work with a covering email. Please note that we can only accept four pieces of digital artwork per person.

Images should be sent in jpeg or png format, each email must not exceed 25MB in size, but each image can be sent in a separate email. Bear in mind that digitally submitted images will be shown on a very large screen, so the larger the image, the better it will look. Please ensure that this is sent by 21st of September, please email

All digital work will be exhibited at mac birmingham from 7th-10th of October. Please note that we have a limited space for exhibiting for all visual art work submissions as we will mainly be showcasing a digital display of works this year. If for some reason you are not able to send digital images of your work and would like some help with this then please pop into The Edge at Friction Arts on Wednesday 5th of October from 2pm-6pm and we will help you curate your art and take photographs of your work.

Either way, if you need help with any of this then just pop down and our team of volunteers will be happy to help you. However, if would you prefer the opportunity to exhibit framed and completed art works, then please ensure that you or someone else on your behalf must be able to drop off your work at either at The Edge @Friction Arts on Wednesday 4th of October or at mac Birmingham on Thursday 5th October from 2pm-6pm on both days.

We can only accept ONE framed piece of arts work or 3D piece per person. At mac B irmingham there is a car park but from 1st October there will be charges – up to 4 hours £2.00 and up to 12 hours £3.00. Due to limited space we can only accept art submissions no larger than 60cm x 60cm . If this is an issue then please get in touch and we will do what we can to help.You or a nominated person must be able to collect your work on Tuesday 10th October from 3pm-6pm at mac as we have no storage facilities to keep any arts works.


Poems should fit one page of A4 (possibly in two columns) or we may just print an extract. Any poems displayed or printed remain the property of the poet. Please add your name or a pseudonym or tell us if you do not want your name included. We regret that we cannot include images in the booklet of poems. All poets whose work is included in the booklet will be entitled to a free copy after the festival.

For any further information about volunteering or anything else then please contact We will be having a pre-festival Surviving or Thriving? fund-raising event on Thursday 21st September at The Station, 7 High Street, Kings Heath.

For more details and a submission form, click here