Skip to content | Accessibility Information

Dr Clive Parkinson

Director, Arts for Health

Dr Clive Parkinson

Clive Parkinson is the Director of Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University; the UK’s longest established arts and health unit. He led on the HM Treasury funded; Invest to Save: Arts in Health Project between 2003 - 2007 and is a passionate advocate for culture and the arts. In 2009 he was awarded an Enterprise Curriculum Fellowship to develop bespoke arts/health training. He delivers regular training for artists and health professionals. In 2016 he was made a Reader at the Manchester School of Art, focusing on Arts, Health and Social Justice and has been awarded a Visiting Fellowship at the University of New South Wales and is a doctor of philosophy.

Through facilitated networking, practical support, training on the ground and high level political lobbying, he has succeeded in gaining strategic support and a greater understanding of the potency of the arts in the UK and internationally.

Over 2011 - 2012 he facilitated a series of participatory workshops with people interested in the impact of the arts on wider society. Under the banner of M A N I F E S T O he has developed proactive advocacy tools, which have a had a direct influence on the development of a National Charter for Arts, Health and Wellbeing. He has been chair and director of the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing.

 between 2012 and 2018.

After leaving art-college, he began his career as a visual artist, working in a hospital for people with learning difficulties and during this time, undertook a degree in Independent Studies at Lancaster University where his research focused on the relationship between creativity, culture the arts and health. Employed variously by the NHS and voluntary sector, Clive has led on mental health promotion for an NHS Trust and managed day services for people affected by schizophrenia in the seaside town of Morecambe. Before taking up his current post, he lived in Cornwall and was the development director of Arts for Health Cornwall, where he established one of the countries leading edge projects.

He is currently looking to develop core elements of the work the department undertakes with specific focus on taught modules at under and post graduate level, bridging the space between research and the taught curriculum. He is currently delivering an MA unit in Arts, Public Health and Wellbeing which began in autumn 2013 in the Manchester School of Art and is developing a stand-alone Masters in Arts and Health.

Clive works closely with Socialiniai Meno Projektai to develop arts and health research, policy and practice in the Republic of Lithuania and with funding from Grudtvig, recently supported visual arts based approaches to recovery from addiction in the UK, Italy and Turkey. He is the author of The Recoverist Manifesto (2014).

A regular speaker at regional, national and international conferences, Clive sits on a number of advisory groups and between 2009 and 2016 he has supported the development of the Australian Centre for Arts & Health and has regularly spoken at The Art of Good Health and Wellbeing conferences. In 2011 he was honored with the International Leadership in Arts and Health Award. Over 2016/17 he was commissioned to create a new piece of work for the BIG ANXIETY FESTIVAL 2017 which was performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

Between 2013 - 2017 he worked with colleagues from other UK universities on an interdisciplinary AHRC/ESRC funded Connected Communities research project, exploring the relationship between the visual arts and dementia friendly communities.

Over 2018 he has embarked on an ambitious strategic shift in arts and health across Greater Manchester collaborating with cultural and health sector organisations alongside artists and activists to develop the Manchester Institute for Arts, Health & Social Change. More details about the emerging institute can be found here:

With funding from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation he is developing a strategic arts and health partnership with the City of Osaka.

Please contact Clive at 

He regularly BLOGS at


Art in Alder Hey in the Park

We will be working with young people at the Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital, Alder Hey to evaluate the impact of its arts strategy as the old hospital begins its transition into a new health park between 2013 - 2015.. Details…

Dementia and Imagination

Arts for Health at MMU is a partner in one of five projects that will see university researchers, community groups and national charities and trusts working together to explore community health and wellbeing, community engagement and mobilisation. Arts for Health is part of a collaborative research group that has been awarded a large grant in the Cultures, Health & Well-Being theme, one of five Connected Communities Programme themes which share funding in excess of £7m. Details…

Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust

We are currently supporting Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust in its aspirations to embed creativity, culture and the arts in its service delivery. This work is focused on culture change and has an emphasis on: How the arts might impact on public health How we can improve health environments How we can engage more with our communities. Details…

I AM: art as an agent for change

Between 2012 and 2014 Arts for Health is working with partners in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Italy and Turkey bringing together artists, people and communities in recovery from addiction, drug and alcohol professionals and academics, using self-portraiture as a means of exploring identity, stigma and the process of behavioural change. The programme will address this by making recovery communities and recovery itself more visible, transparent and better understood. Details…

Invest to Save: Arts in Health

In 2004 Arts for Health was awarded an Invest to Save Project (ISP) grant from HM Treasury to develop the evidence base around the impact of the arts on public health across the north-west region. To find out more about this work, visit the archived Invest to Save Project website @ http://www. Details…


Working with all those interested in the relationship between the arts and society to produce a manifesto for the North of England that makes clear our vision and promotes action.. Details…

MA optional units in Arts, Health and Wellbeing

The Manchester School of Art at MMU will be rolling out new optional postgraduate units from autumn 2013 and Clive Parkinson is pleased to be delivering one of these focusing on public health and wellbeing with an emphasis on inequalities; prevention; promotion and protection. This unit will introduce students to the notions, ideas, principles and practices of art and design for public health and wellbeing. Details…

Menas ˇmogaus Gerovei

A report of Menas ˛mogaus gerovei (Art for well-being) which was implemented over 2012 by the Artists Association Gallery and financed by the Ministry of Culture of Lithuania. The goal of the project was to promote access to culture and well-being through the creative partnership of professionals within culture, education, health care and social services - presenting new approaches towards arts and health. Details…

National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing

Clive Parkinson is currently chairing the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing which is holding a major international arts and health conference in Bristol in June. Find out more about the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Conference and the Alliance by clicking on the links: http://www. Details…

North West Arts & Health Network and Regional Conference

On October 22nd 2009 we will be holding a Regional Arts and Health Conference.. Details…

North West Arts and Health Network

A key element of my role at Manchester Metropolitan University has been to nurture partnerships with the Department of Health and Arts Council England. To this end I am undertaking action research to further develop regional, national and international perspectives around the arts and health agenda. Details…

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Taylor Woodrow Construction

Arts for Health at MMU have been working with St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Taylor Woodrow Construction since March 2007. Initially the work involved designing an arts strategy and vision for the Trust with the aim of embedding creativity, culture and the arts within the hospital. Details…

The Manchester & Osaka Arts & Health Partnership

With generous funding from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Clive Parkinson is building a collaborative arts/health partnership with the city of Osaka. His Japanese counterpart is the artist Professor Yutaka Moriguchi of Kindai University. Details…

The Manchester Institute for Arts, Health & Social Change

The development of a multi-organisation research centre across Greater Manchester, bridging the arts and cultural sector alongside health and social care to radically re-imagine an arts and health agenda fit for the 21st century. This is an ongoing piece of work: https://www. Details…



Taylor, K., Brent, G., Dacombe, J., Parkinson, C. (Manchester Met and Nottingham Contemporary), 2016. ‘Dementia and Imagination: Connecting Communities through Contemporary Art’, The Parish Centre; The Crooked Spire, Derbsyhire, November 2015.

Clive and Iona HeathMike White and Sam Guglani

Parkinson, C. Gartside, Steven, 2013. MORTALITY: Death and the Imagination, The Holden Gallery, 8th July - 16th August.


Blasting & Bombardiering in Arts, Health and Wellbeing

Parkinson, C., 2014. 'Blasting & Bombardiering in Arts, Health and Wellbeing', Falmouth University: Academy for Innovation & Research, Wed 19th February 2014.

A Recoverist Manifesto (performance)

Parkinson, C., 2014. 'Towards a Recoverist Manifesto', The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 13th November 2014.

Parkinson, C., 2013. 'dis/ordered', Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 23/9/2017 - 27/9/2017.


Parkinson, C., 2013. 'FICTION-NON-FICTION', Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12th November 2013.


Parkinson, C., 2019. 'The Manchester Declaration', Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Parkinson, C., 2017. 'Critical Care', Cad Factory.

Parkinson, C., Windle, G., Taylor, K., 2017. 'Dementia & Imagination: Research Informed Approaches to Visual Arts Interventions', Manchester Metropolitan University.

Gordon-Nesbitt, R. Published by Parkinson,C., 2015. 'Exploring the Longitudinal Relationship Between Arts Engagement and Health', Arts for Health, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Bartlett, V., 2015. 'Group Therapy: Mental Distress in a Digital Age A User Guide'.

Parkinson, C., 2014. 'A Recoverist Manifesto', Arts for Health, Manchester.

Manifesto for Arts and Health (Part 2)

Parkinson, C., 2013. 'M A N I F E S T O (part 2)', MMU.

Gartside, S., Parkinson, C., 2013. 'Mortality Death and the Imagination', Manchester Metropolitan University.

Gartside, S., 2013. 'Mortality: death and the imagination', Holden Gallery.

Parkinson, C., 2011. 'M A N I F E S T O (part 1)', MMU.

Parkinson, C and Garner, C., 2009. 'Fully Engaged and Culturally Connected: Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust and Derbyshire Community Health Services; the Arts, Health and Well-Being', Manchester Metropolitan University.

Parkinson, C. Garner, C. Kilroy, A. Kagan, C. Senior, P., 2007. 'Invest to Save: Arts in Health Evaluation', Manchester Metropolitan University.

Arts on PrescriptionInvest to Save: Arts in Health, Research and Evaluation Day

Kilroy, A. Parkinson, C., 2006. 'Towards a shared vision for Arts and Health: A review of the field to inform creative evaluation methodology.', Departmental Publication.

Book Chapters

Parkinson, C., 2017. 'A Gentle Inquiry into Dark Matter in Arts-based Research'. In Applied Theatre: Creative Ageing, methuen.

Parkinson, C., White, M., 2017. 'Inequalities, the Arts and Public Health: Towards an International Conversation'. In Stickley, T., Clift, S. (eds.) Arts, Health and Wellbeing: A Theoretical Inquiry for Practice, Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Parkinson, C., 2017. 'Weapons of mass happiness: Social justice and health equity in the context of the arts'. In Sunderland, N., Bendrups, D., Lewandowski, N., Bartleet, B-L. (eds.) Music, Health and Wellbeing: Exploring Music for Health Equity and Social Justice, pp. 269-288, Palgrave Macmillan.

Parkinson, C., 2015. 'A Brightly Coloured Bell Jar - A State-Sanctioned Aesthetic'. In Bartlett, V. (eds.) Group Therapy: Mental Distress in a Digital Age, pp. 116-129, Liverpool University Press.

Parkinson, C., 2015. 'A Recoverist Manifesto'. In Lynn Garlick (eds.) Spoonful, Arts and Health Institute.

A young Parkinson exploring his flooded environs 1968

Parkinson, C., 2014. 'Burning in Water, Drowning in Flames'. In Vic McEwan (eds.) Yenda Rain, Introductory Essay, 6, The Cad Factory, Birrego, New South Wales, Australia.

SICK FESTIVAL 11th March 2014

Parkinson, C., 2014. 'Confronting Mortality'. In Helen Medland and Tim Harrison (eds.) SICK 14, 2, The BASEMENT, Brighton.

MORTALITY: Death and the Imagination

Parkinson, C,, 2013. 'Present-Tense'. In Dr Steven Gartside, Clive Parkinson, Zoe Watson and Valeria Ruiz Vargas (eds.) MORTALITY: Death and the Imagination, 30, The Holden Gallery, Manchester.

Parkinson, C., 2013. 'Towards Sentience'. In Graeme Brooker and Lois Weinthal (eds.) The Handbook of Interior Design, 6000 words, Berg Publishers, London.

Parkinson, C., 2013. 'Towards Sentience'. In Brooker, G., Weinthal, L. (eds.) The Handbook of Interior Architecture and Design, pp. 304-321, Bloomsbury.

Ieva, Clive and RomaMenas ˛mogaus gerovei

Parkinson, C., 2012. 'Beyond the States of Arts and Health: Public Wellbeing + Civic Good'. In Audronė Brazauskaitė, Simona Karpavičiūtė, Ieva Petkutė, Roma Survilienė, Viktorija ˇilinskaitė–Vytienė (eds.) MENAS ˇMOGAUS GEROVEI, Plečiant meno ir sveikatos sritis: visuomen&#, 8, Lietuvos Respublikos kultūros ministerija.

Internet Publications

Parkinson, C., 2015. 'A Recoverist Manifesto',

A Bird in a Gilded Cage

Parkinson, C., 2013. 'A Bird in a Gilded Cage', ixia - Public Art Think Tank,

Parkinson, C., 2012. 'FCnK (Fur Coat and no Knickers)', ixia - Public Art Think Tank,

Journal Articles

Parkinson, C., Bennett, J., 2017. 'Diversity and disruption in arts and health', Artlink: Australian contemporary art quarterly, 37 (3), pp. 12-19.

Windle, G., Joling, KJ., Howson-Griffiths, T., Woods, B., Jones, CH., van de Ven, PM., Newman, A., Parkinson, C., 2017. 'The impact of a visual arts program on quality of life, communication, and well-being of people living with dementia: a mixed-methods longitudinal investigation.', International Psychogeriatrics, 30 (3), pp. 409-423.

Swindells, R., Lawthom, R., Parkinson, C., Clennon, O., Kagan, C., De Bézenac, C., 2016. ''I'm not a therapist you know... I'm an artist': Facilitating well-being and basic psychological needs satisfaction through community arts participation', Journal of Applied Arts & Health, 7 (3), pp. 347-367.

Newman, A., Baber, M., O Brien, D., Goulding, A., Jones, CH., Howson, T., Jones, C., Parkinson, C., Taylor, K., Tischler, V., Windle, G., 2016. 'Carrying out research across the arts and humanities and social sciences: developing the methodology for Dementia and Imagination', Cultural Trends, 25 (4), pp. 218-232.

Windle, G., Newman, A., Burholt, V., Woods, B., O'Brien, D., Baber, M., Hounsome, B., Parkinson, C., Tischler, V., 2016. 'Dementia and Imagination: A mixed-methods protocol for arts and science research', BMJ Open, 6 (11), pp. e011634-e011634.

Karpavieiute, S., Parkinson, C., 2015. 'Arts Activity and Well-being in the Workplace: a Pilot Study of Health Service Workers in Lithuania', Neurologijos seminarai (Seminars in Neurology), 2015; 19(65): 210-216, pp. 210-216.

Parkinson, C. Gordon-Nesbitt, R, 2014. 'The Arts: Authenticity and Exchange', Public Health Today, September 2014, 1.

Windle, G. Gregory, S. Newman, A. Goulding, A. O'Brien, D. Parkinson, C, 2014. 'Understanding the impact of visual arts interventions for people living with dementia: a realist review protocol', Systematic Reviews, Systematic Reviews 2014, 3:91, 14.

Parkinson, C., White, M., 2013. 'Inequalities, the arts and public health: Towards an international conversation', Arts and Health, 5 (3), pp. 177-189.

, 2010. .

Parkinson, C., 2010. 'A Neo-Romantic Bookplate by Keith Vaughan', The Bookplate Journal, Volume 8 Number 1, 2.

Parkinson, C., 2010. 'Big Society: Arts, Health and Well-Being', Arts at the Heart: nalgao trade journal, Issue 26, August 2010, 5.

Parkinson, C., 2009. 'Invest to Save: Arts in Health - Reflections on a 3 year period of research and development in the North West of England', Australasian Journal of Arts and Health, 1, pp. 40-60.

Clift, S., M. Camic, P., Chapman, B., Clayton, G., Daykin, N., Eades, G., Parkinson, C., Secker, J., Stickley, T., White, M., 2009. 'The state of arts and health in England', Arts & Health, 1 (1), pp. 6-35.

Conference Papers

Parkinson, C., 2015. 'Towards a Recoverist Manifesto', Managing Art Projects with Societal Impact, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tallinn, Estonia, 6/7/2015 - 7/7/2015, in


Parkinson, C., 2016. 'All the Time the Buzzing', The Art of Good Health and Wellbeing, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, 17 - 19 November 2015, in Forthcoming book chapter.

Parkinson, C., 2016. 'Weapons of Mass Happiness:Social justice and health equity in the context of the arts', Arlands 2017, Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia.

Parkinson, C., 2015. 'Towards A Recoverist Manifesto', Managing Art Projects with Societal Impact, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tallinn, 6th - 7th July 2015, in

Parkinson, C., 2014. 'Towards a Cultural Shift: The Arts and Public Health', The 11th International Conference on Urban Health, Manchester Conference Centre, 4th - 7th March 2014, in

Parkinson, C., 2013. 'A small scale global phenomenon: revelation or revolution?', The Art of Good Health and Wellbeing, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle WA, November 2012, in Submitted to Arts and Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice, Special Issue July 2013 (in print), 14.

Parkinson, C., 2013. 'State of the Arts (and health)', UK Arts, Health and Wellbeing Research Network, University of Nottingham, 7th March 2013, in

Parkinson, C., 2013. 'The Interior, Design and Health', The Art of Good Health and Wellbeing, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, November 2011, in Published as a book chapter, Towards Sentience in The Handbook of Interior Design, July 2013, 6000 words.

Parkinson, C., 2011. 'On Fortuitous Novelties', National Conference on Dance and Dementia, Bluecoat, Liverpool, 11th December 2010.

Parkinson, C., 2010. 'A Brightly Coloured Bell-Jar', The Art of Good Health and Well-Being, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, University of Melbourne, Victoria, 16 - 19 November 2010, in Online.

Parkinson, C., 2010. 'The Arts, Popular Culture and Inequalities (Painting by Numbers: Headlines Don't Tell the Full Story)', The Art of Good Health and Wellbeing,, The Glass House, Port Macquarie, Australia, 7th - 13th November 2009, in Video available at:, Departmental Paper, 23.

Parkinson, C., 2009. 'Invest to Save: Arts in Health - Reflections on a 3 year period of research and development in the North West of England.', Art for Health: Experience and Prospects, Vilnius, Lithuania, 1-2 June 2009, in

The Glasshouse under construction, Port MacquarieUniversity of Newcastle (taxi service)The Minister receives the Prospectus for Arts and Health

Parkinson, C., 2008. 'Invest to Save, or the Ministry of the Bleeding Obvious', Arts and Health Symposium 1, University of Newcastle, Australia, 8th/9th October 2008, in

The North West, NHS Health Trainer Conference, Forum TheatreThe North West, NHS Health Trainer Conference, Nov 06

Parkinson, C., 2006. 'Creative Approaches to Health: Examples and Evidence.', Creating Positive Health, Rheged Centre, Penrith, November 2005, in Creating Positive Health Report, 1, 40.

Other Outputs

Parkinson, C., 2019. 'The Manchester Declaration'.

Parkinson, C., 2017. 'Dementia & Imagination', The is a multi-site, interdisciplinary research project funded by the AHRC Connected Communities Project..

Parkinson, C., 2015. 'Art, Design and New Technology for Health: The Sackler Conference 2015', Chair of Conference Session One: The role of interactive and digital art in healthcare.

Parkinson, C., 2015. 'BBC Health Check', Expert guest on BBC World Service health programme. This edition focused on Arts and Health and was presented by Claudia Hammond.

Parkinson, C., 2010. 'Stop Measuring and Start Thinking', Web based critique of the drive to measure the arts in relation to cost benefit..

Parkinson, C., 2006. 'Culture, Creativity, the Arts and Mental Health', Internet Publication.

Parkinson, C., 2006. 'Taking the Picasso', This paper explores the sometimes difficult relationship the tabloid press has with the arts and in particular, dispels myths about public perceptions around NHS spend on the arts..