An arts curator has joined Newcastle Hospitals Charity to develop and steer a pilot arts programme aimed at enhancing the wellbeing and recovery of patients and staff across Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Katie Hickman has joined Newcastle Hospitals Charity (NHC) as Arts Programme Manager. Joining from BALTIC, Gateshead where she worked for ten years, most recently as Curator for the Performance and Public Programme, Katie has curated visual art public commissions, major exhibitions and live productions, while leading the development and implementation of performance work during the past five years, embedding collaborative working at the centre of her practice.
The pilot arts programme project, headed up by Katie will have many benefits, core to which will be engaging patients and communities in the work of the hospitals and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of NHS staff. It is one of a range of initiatives supported by NHS Charities Together with the aim of bringing hospitals into the community whilst supporting the recovery of NHS staff.
Katie said: “I’m delighted to be joining Newcastle Hospitals Charity and very much look forward to developing a sustainable and innovative arts programme with staff, patients and our communities. I’m excited to work with artists across disciplines to form an arts programme within the Trust that aligns to its vision and values, both in the region and beyond.
“I believe connecting our incredible local arts communities with such an outstanding NHS Trust, gives opportunity to create truly meaningful projects with positive impact and benefit for both.”
The arts programme will encourage staff to get involved, collaborate with local communities and connect with artists, as well as celebrating excellence in the Trust’s staff groups through a variety of projects.
Newcastle Hospitals has a strong history in the City and the Region and there are collections already held by the hospitals, which can be put on display.
The Newcastle project is the brainchild of Maurya Cushlow, Executive Chief Nurse at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who has seen first-hand the benefits art in hospitals brings for patients and staff.
“I am delighted to welcome Katie to the team, she brings a wealth of expertise and experience and we’re excited to get started on the arts programme.
“There is lots of research on projects like these which demonstrates the positive impact art has on patient and staff mental health and wellbeing and how it also engenders a sense of belonging,” she said.
“Our arts programme will allow patients to get involved in the hospital and the life of the hospital in the broadest sense. We have a long standing history in our local community and populations and there will be something for everyone to get involved with.”
Katie has a keen interest in multi-disciplinary arts and partnership working. Recent projects at BALTIC include: CONTINUOUS, the strategic partnership and national network with Siobhan Davies Dance; exhibitions, BALTIC Open Submission, Mick Peter, To Me to You 2019, Barby Asante, Declaration of Independence 2019 and Lubaina Himid, Our Kisses are Made of Petals 2018; live productions, Ultimate Dancer, Hevi Melte 2020 and Ravioli Me Away, The View From Behind The Futuristic Rose Trellis 2019.
Previous to BALTIC, Katie worked and volunteered in numerous organisations in the North East and holds an MA in Art Museum and Gallery Studies (Newcastle University) and BA(hons) in Fine Art (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee University).