Leeds Love Arts Festival to boost mental wellbeing

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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A feast of art, music, performance and creative events are to take place for this year’s Love Arts Festival.

For the sixth year, an eclectic mix of exhibitions and workshops across Leeds will raise awareness of the benefits the arts can bring to mental wellbeing.

Many of the performers have their own experience or interest in mental health issues and the festival is organised by the Arts and Minds Network, part of mental health services provider Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

New for this year is an arts trail taking in the city’s most inspiring and unusual venues, showcasing undiscovered talents.

The festival, which runs until October 20, was launched with an event at the Corn Exchange in the city centre featuring an art exhibition, pop-up music, and creative workshops.

Linda Boyles, Arts and Minds development manager, said: “We never imagined when we started the festival six years ago that it would grow to be such a well-loved and anticipated feature of Leeds cultural calendar.

“Love Arts has helped chip away at the stigma of mental illness by showcasing a wealth of undiscovered talent, and demonstrating how creativity can help people recover.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating the festival’s sixth anniversary, and are looking forward to the people of Leeds joining with us to celebrate.”

Among the events planned are shows from renowned performance artists, the chance to make a “play-in-a-day” and the festival culminates with the Love Arts Awards, celebrating those who have made a significant contribution to mental wellbeing through the arts.

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