Bournemouth’s Arts by the Sea Festival Partners with Dorset Mind and Bournemouth University To Deliver its 2019 ‘Mind Matter’ Theme

Bournemouth’s must-visit arts and culture festival, Arts by the Sea, has announced key partnerships for the 9th instalment of its coastal event. Mental health charity, Dorset Mind and Bournemouth University will feature at the newly announced ‘Mind Matter Hub’, an area set up in Bournemouth town centre to get visitors exploring subjects around mental health and wellbeing through a variety of workshops, talks and installations. Running from Friday 27th September to Sunday 29th September across various spaces in Bournemouth, this news follows the recent announcement of the festival’s ‘Mind Matter’ programming strand – a concept set to tackle the taboos and key issues around mental health within the festival’s wider inspirational and engaging entertainment offer. Arts by the Sea, which is free to attend, is delivered by BCP Council with support from Arts Council England. For more info guests should visit


Each year, Arts by the Sea, attracts tens of thousands of people to enjoy its diverse arts and culture programme spanning music, performance art, poetry, film and more. Also, each year the festival takes a on new theme. In 2019 the ‘Mind Matter’ concept will explore a plethora of subjects relating to mental health through a carefully curated programme. It will explore how the pressures of modern life are contributing to increasing levels of depression, anxiety, and mental ill health, and it aims to give people the tools to improve their own mental health via the practical ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ – a study produced by New Economics Foundation (NEF) and recognised by the NHS.


Dorset Mind is a local mental health charity committed to educating people about positive mental health, tackling the stigma of mental ill health and promoting recovery. In the Mind Matter Hub at Arts by the Sea, Dorset Mind will set up a station to provide a range of information and services about their services across Dorset that will help visitors on the pathway to better mental health. On its partnership with Arts by the Sea, Dorset Mind CEO Marianne Storey, said:


At Dorset Mind we promote the Five Ways to Wellbeing and we know that being involved in the arts, enjoying arts or just talking about art can go a long way to promoting good mental health. It helps people connect with others, teaches us new things and creates enjoyment, and this particular festival is a fantastic opportunity to get people out and about and talking about mental health in a creative and fun setting. I would strongly encourage people to come along and start a conversation about their experience. Every conversation we have about mental wellbeing in whatever form changes the way society views mental health, reducing stigma one chat at a time.”


Also based in the Mind Matter Hub at Arts by the Sea will be Bournemouth University where it will host a variety of talks, hands-on-activities, installations and exhibitions, based on research undertaken at the university. With topics ranging from mental health and environmental sustainability to artists and scientist collaborations, Bournemouth University’s research aims to provide solutions to real-world problems and it will be sharing the impact its research is making to society at Arts by the Sea.


Genna del Rosa, who leads the public engagement with research team at Bournemouth University commented:

Wellbeing is fundamental to Bournemouth University’s vision and so this year’s festival theme is very important to us. We have a wealth of support available at BU for our staff and students, and we undertake research locally, nationally and globally to improve support for mental health and wellbeing. In the Mind Matter Hub we will feature a range of fascinating research projects including how drawing can contribute to positive mental health, how BU research seeks to improve support for the mental health of new fathers, and how suicide can be better portrayed in the media.”

2019 marks the second year that Bournemouth University has partnered with Arts by the Sea. In 2018 it hosted a range of intriguing short films and digital media in Bournemouth Square titled ‘Depth of Field: Research through Film’, created by Bournemouth University’s own award-winning researchers and academics. Cultural Development Manager at BCP Council and Festival Director, Andrea Francis, is thrilled to have them back:


“We are delighted to be working with Bournemouth University again this year. BU is ranked as one of the top 200 young universities in the world and not only inspires learning for their students and staff, but also aims to have a positive impact on the wider community. With values that mirror our own – excellence, inclusivity, creativity, responsibility – we are proud to be working in partnership with BU.”


On the partnership with Dorset Mind, Andrea added:


“We’re very happy to be working with Dorset Mind in 2019. As Arts by the Sea will be tackling the taboos around mental health through the Mind Matter theme, a partnership with Dorset Mind seemed a perfect fit. It has been supporting local people since 1946 by challenging stigma and providing a range of services including befriending, support groups, counselling, workplace training and youth services.”


Arts by the Sea also recently announced that it would be updating its festival format to a 3-day, weekend-long event, meaning the same incredible programme of arts and culture will now be available to audiences over one weekend, with more opportunities every day to have an inspiring, mesmerising and fun-packed experience.


Whilst the core programme for Arts by the Sea 2019 is yet to be announced, another exciting year is guaranteed. From 27th – 29th September, Arts by the Sea 2019 presents an intriguing, lively and truly unique exploration of arts and culture. Keep an eye out for more announcements coming soon.