Arts by the Sea Festival is back for 2019

After another successful year, Arts by the Sea festival will be back in Autumn 2019 with a brand new new artistic concept to explore, Mind Matter. The question that Arts by the Sea poses for 2019 is…

Is modern life conducive to a positive state of mind?

Today’s modern society which brings great social and technological advances, also brings with it even greater social pressures. Despite the UK’s status as one of the richest and most secure countries in the World, and a steadily increasing level of awareness about the importance of mental health, 1 in 4 of people in the UK will be affected by depression, anxiety and other mental health problems at some point in their life.

While life is arguably far easier than it was 50 years ago, mental illness is on the rise. Excessive workloads and pressures in the workplace have also led to the claim that the UK is experiencing a stress “epidemic”. The emergence of social media, which is particularly popular with young people and brings the desire to keep up with this ‘perfect’ unattainable image displayed on social platforms is at the forefront of mental health issues among the younger generation. Despite this, talking about mental health issues is still heavily stigmatised, and in many societies around the world, remains a taboo subject.

An increasing body of research has, however, found that there are practical ways in which all of us can engage with the issue of mental health for the wellbeing of ourselves and others. There have been five key ways identified, which are: 1. Connect, 2. Be Active, 3. Take Notice, 4. Keep Learning, and 5. Give.

In 2019 Arts by the Sea aims to utilise these five key wellbeing points as anchors to help produce an event that highlights some of these stigmas and taboos around mental health, with a wide range of community projects and creative commissions that aim to leave a lasting legacy for Bournemouth and the surrounding areas, promoting wellbeing in all its forms.

Through the 2019 programming strand, Mind Matter, we aim to explore and challenge current attitudes towards mental health and spark conversations through artwork and installations inspired or influenced by mental health issues and experiences.

Arts by the Sea is focused on delivering a packed and fun filled festival celebration, while shining a light on mental health and breaking down some social barriers surrounding it. The weekend will consist of an explosion of art with many fantastic events taking place throughout the town which everyone can be involved in. The festival is delivered by BCP Council with the support of the Arts Council England and aims to provide inclusive and accessible events across a range of disciplines, most of which will be free and unrestricted to attend so there definitely will be something for everyone to enjoy.


Arts by the Sea Festival is back for 2019
Arts by the Sea Festival is back for 2019
Arts by the Sea Festival is back for 2019
Arts by the Sea Festival is back for 2019


There are plenty of ways you can get involved in the 2019 festival. Go to our Opportunities page and follow links for more information on our Open Call Commissions and 5 Festivals Co-Commission, on becoming a Supporter, Partner, Trader or Sponsor, on Volunteering for us or being part of our Fringe programme.

The Open Call for artists is now open and the festival is inviting artists to apply and create a commission for the 2019 programme. Successful applicants will receive funding, publicity around their commission and support from the festival’s production team and Creative Producer to realise their idea. This opportunity may be more suited to early career artists, though anybody residing in the UK is eligible to apply. Proposals are also welcome from artists who wish to develop an existing piece of work.

We’re delighted to open our 2019 commission application for UK-based installation artists. This continues the important role of Arts by the Sea in supporting the creation of new work. We’re looking for exciting, original and site specific proposals for artwork that will help bring Bournemouth town centre to life on the 27th – 29th September“. Dr Roxy Robinson, Creative Director


Should you wish to apply and be a part of next year’s festival please go Click Here to go to our sign up page, where you can sign up to receive further information about the brief and application process. The deadline for applications is 5pm on 1st April 2019.