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CUH Arts

Shaping care through creativity

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CUH Arts is our hospitals' arts programme, dedicated to transforming the hospital experience, promoting wellbeing and inspiring hope through creativity.

About our arts programme

Established in 1999, CUH Arts is a diverse, person-centred, multi-disciplinary programme of live, participatory and visual arts, facilitated and managed by an expert team of arts professionals in collaboration with artists and cultural partners.

With support from Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust (opens in a new tab), we deliver a year-round programme of arts activities, events and exhibitions, and input into the design of new patient-facing areas, helping to transform clinical environments.

We strive to promote wellbeing, distract from illness and improve the hospital experience by providing excellent creative and cultural opportunities for our patients, staff, visitors and wider community.

Our work falls into three key strands:

Collections, exhibitions and commissions

We care for the CUH Art Collection, comprising of thousands of artworks populating the walls across our hospitals. In addition, CUH Arts curate a diverse programme of temporary exhibitions in our Addenbrooke’s Gallery, which runs along the ground floor corridor between the concourse and Addenbrooke’s Treatment Centre. We are involved in commissioning new art and design for wards and hospital spaces, and consult around the redevelopment and improvement of our existing built environments.

Live and participatory projects

We run a varied programme of live and participatory arts, with bespoke activities led by experienced professional artists.

Staff wellbeing

Our creative wellbeing programme for CUH staff has been growing over recent years, including creative workshops, social wellbeing sessions and online resources. We have been working with partners across staff support sectors to ensure creativity has become embedded in the CUH staff support strategy. If you would like to join our staff CUH Arts newsletter, please email

CUH Sounds

CUH Sounds is our regular live music programme, welcoming a range of professional musicians to play for patients, visitors and staff in wards and waiting spaces across Addenbrooke’s. Our partnerships with Britten Sinfonia (opens in a new tab) and Music in Hospitals and Care (opens in a new tab) ensure we are able to bring a diverse range of styles and genres.

Dance for Health

Dance for Health is CUH Arts' flagship project; bespoke 1:1 and sometimes group-based creative movement & music sessions for our patients, led by expert practitioner Filipa Pereira-Stubbs. The programme aims to improve the hospital experience for our inpatients so that they can regain confidence, overall wellbeing and physical strength, and avoid readmission to hospital. Since its inception, the programme has worked with thousands of patients with a wide range of abilities and needs.

Weekly sessions are currently delivered on elderly, stroke rehabilitation, paediatrics, and diabetes and endocrinology wards. Supported by clinical ward staff, Dance for Health is a non-clinical creative health practice that is embedded into the culture of care at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Future hospitals

The introduction of an Arts Strategy at the earliest stages of the planning process ensures that the arts are strategically integrated into our new hospitals from the outset. We work closely with architects to weave the arts through every aspect of a new hospital’s design, from landscaping and interior design to wayfinding schemes and commissioned artworks. Our goal is to create welcoming, positive and inspiring environments that surpass expectations and play a genuine role in patient care.

From the very beginning of the journey for each major project we engage creatively with staff and patients (opens in a new tab) in order to develop an Arts Strategy that is bespoke and site-specific. This allows us to create healing, humanising environments that feel personal and relevant to the communities who will use them in the years ahead.

We are currently delivering work for Cambridge Children’s Hospital (opens in a new tab) and Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital (opens in a new tab).

Get in touch

General enquiries:

Natalie Ellis
Head of arts

Rosie O'Donovan
Arts programme manager

Ellen Nowak
Arts programme manager

Polly Barnes
Creative producer

Cerys Whiles
Arts assistant

Follow CUH Arts on social media @CUHartsNHS

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