Arts in Health in the Netherlands: A National Agenda

Over the past decade interest has grown in the Netherlands for sustainable arts in health programming. Successful projects have encouraged administrators, funders, governments, researchers, and artists to explore the role that the arts can play in care and illness prevention.

However, the Netherlands has no structures in place to systematically support arts in health programming, to train practitioners, or to encourage research and policy formulation. Arts in Health Netherlands initiated a white paper to survey the current situation and set the agenda for the future. The white paper is a first step toward a sustainable arts in health field.  

Arts in health is not treatment or arts therapy, nor is it passive entertainment. In line with theories of person-centred care and passende zorg, arts in health empowers participants to pursue their own wellbeing.

The goals of the white paper are to:

  • Provide a unified statement from science, government, and the private sector on the situation in the Netherlands regarding arts in health, and the need for a sustainable field.

  • Initiate the active networking, knowledge-sharing, and collaborations required to catalyse the field of arts in health in the Netherlands.

  • Set the agenda for establishing stable, sustainable practice, education, and research in the field of arts in health.

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