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Handle with Care: Culture for Social Well-being
Mystery 79 Beyond the Obvious 2023

Elefsina, Greece 6-10 June 2023



6 June | Day 0

Old Railway Station, 20:00-24:00
Open to Culture Action Europe mem
bers only

Culture Action Europe members reception (for CAE members only)

7 June | Day 1

The X-Bowling centre
Language: English
Open to Culture Action Europe members only

10:00 – 18:00 Culture Action Europe Members’ Forum (For CAE members only)

10:00 - 10:10      Welcome Ines Camara, Culture Action Europe

10:10 - 10:25      Guided Meditation by Michail Marmarinos, General Artistic Director (2023 Eleusis)

10:25 - 11:00      Speed dating (meet CAE members)

11:00 - 12:50      CAE circles: Updates on CAE activities

12:50 - 13:20      Culture Action Europe Strategy presentation

13.20 - 15:00      LUNCH BREAK (not provided by the conference)

15.00 - 18:00      Open Space Technology (facilitated by Niels Righolt, CKI)

18:00 - 19:30      Cultural visit: Visit of Mystery 57 Climbing Over Elefsina-Revisiting the landscapes of Elefsina

Eleusinian Mysteries
Language: English & Greek
Open to all registered conference delegates

Welcome words from Ines Camara, Culture Action Europe, Michail Marmarinos, General Artistic Director (2023 Eleusis) 

8 June | Day 2

The X-Bowling centre
Language 10:00-12:00 English & Greek
Language 12:00-18:00 English
Open to all registered conference delegates


10:00 – 18:00  Handle with Care: Culture for social wellbeing | Beyond the Obvious 2023

10.00 – 10.10     Welcome and opening Lars Ebert, Culture Action Europe

10:10 – 10:30     Activation by Andrew Greenwood, Artistic Director, Switch2move

10:30 – 11.45     Different takes on care, Speakers: Katerina Gregos, Philsan Osman, Liz Atkin, moderated by Natassa Dourida

11:45 – 12.00     BREAK

12:00 – 14.00     Circles of Care, participatory discussion circles addressing various aspects of notions of care

  1. Care and Mental Health

  2. Care and Youth

  3. Communities of Care

  4. Curating Care

  5. Care for Culture (and cultural workers)

  6. Care for Climate

  7. Care for Commons

  8. Care and Borders


14:00 – 16.00     LUNCH BREAK (not provided by the conference)

16.00 – 18.00     Handle with Care Projects’ Agora, a marketplace of 30 selected projects

16:00 – 18:00     The Elefsina Manifesto co-writing session

18:00 – 19:30     Cultural visits

Cultural Visit 1: Visit of MYSTERY 134 Persephone, the Red Carpet, Old Railway Station

Cultural visit 2: Special guided tour of MYSTERY 139 Alienation by the local photographer Vangelis Gkinis, Kanellopoulos

9 June | Day 3

Workers’ Union and Kanellopoulos
Language 10:00 – 13:30 English & Greek
15:00-17:45 English
Open to all registered conference delegates

10:00 – 18:00  Handle with Care: Culture for social wellbeing | Beyond the Obvious 2023 Focus on the Culture for Health project

10.00 - 10.30  Welcome and presentation of the CultureForHealth project by Kornelia Kiss (Culture Action Europe) and Mafalda Damaso


10:30 - 11:45 Next steps to take - Achieving true policy change and scaling up. Reflection on the EU comprehensive approach to Mental Health Speakers: Andrew Greenwood (Artistic Director, Switch2move, Netherlands), Monica Urian, Policy officer, DG Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Unit D1 Cultural Policy, Noemi Avila Valdes Associated Professor at the School of Education of the Complutense University, Ana Casla, Head of Mental Health Promotion of Madrid Salud. Moderator:  Rarita Zbranca, Programme Director, Cluj Cultural Centre


11.45 - 12:15 COFFEE BREAK

12:15- 13:00 Keynote by Margaritis Schinas, Vice-president of the European Commission, introduced by Lars Ebert (Culture Action Europe)

13:00-13:15  Cultural Prescription program in Greece (introduced by Lars Ebert, Culture Action Europe). Speakers: Nikos Stefanis, Prof. of Psychiatry, Chairman First Department of Psychiatry National and Kapodistrian University of Athens - Eginition Hospital and Margarita Alexomanolaki , PhD, Head of Directorate of Performing Arts and Cinema, in charge of the Implementing Body (Ministry of Culture and Sports) of the project "Cultural Prescription."

13:15-13:30 Q&A

13.30 - 15:00 LUNCH BREAK (not provided by the conference)


15:00 - 16:15 Parallel workshops in Workers’ Union (1-2-3) and Kanellopoulos (4-5) 


1. Care-cities: Strategies for Enhancing Urban Well-being through Culture

Moderator: Rarita Zbranca (Cluj Cultural Centre)

The workshop focuses on how cities across Europe can harness the power of the arts to catalyse resilience, promote health, and cultivate thriving communities. More specifically, we explore how cross-sector partnerships integrating artistic expression, cultural programming, and health initiatives can nurture social connections, enhance mental well-being and revitalise public spaces, and foster community engagement. The workshop looks into possible synergies with a range of European policies, presents inspiring case studies from cities that have already developed cultural welfare strategies and facilitates a conversation on models, tools and approaches that can be adopted by cities aspiring to enable a culture of care in their communities.

2. Talking Points: Arts and Health in Communities

Moderator: Inga Surgunte

The workshop will explore five basic principles to be considered when implementing a culture and health project: Participation and co-production; Being outcomes focused; Iterative learning; Universal design; Social model vs Medical model. The principles reveal challenges of the intersectoral collaboration and possible solutions through different approaches to project design. During the workshop participants will have the opportunity to discuss more deeply on the practical implications of each principle. The workshop is based on the guide “Talking Points: Arts and Health in Communities” published by Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture  (NDPC) and Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) in May , 2023.

3. Pushing the policy and practice in your country

Moderator: Mafalda Damaso and Polona Torkar

The Workshop will dive into the recent  “Compendium of sustainable culture-based solutions for well-being and health” publication of the CultureForHealth project  that aims to inspire more cultural organisations across Europe to join the culture for health and well-being space. Find out about how cultural interventions can support positive health and well-being outcomes and draw on guidance to equip your organisation for the journey towards a culture-based project for health.


4. Do we need to start a new arts & health profession?

Moderator: Kornelia Kiss, Lars Ebert

Let’s imagine that policy makers support politically and financially the arts and health field.  How shall we start? If we set up trainings -what should be the content of those trainings? Are there some ethical aspects that we would need to consider? Can we draw upon already existing materials? Should arts and health professionals (who are not art therapist) be accredited or registered? What is the common ground between the more regulated  health sector and cultural sector?


5. What the arts can do in social prescribing

Moderator Mikkel Ottow

Arts on prescription and social prescribing is spreading in Europe. But what is the particular role of the arts in these health promoting concepts? What are the ingredients that trigger health promotion when dealing with arts in different ways? And can we create a set of European recommendations for cities and communities that want to implement arts on prescription or social prescribing?


16:30 - 17:15 Plenary reporting back from workshops (discussion among workshop chairs, moderated by Lars Ebert)


17:15- 17:45 Closing of the conference, the Elefsina manifesto read-out and announcement of the Beyond the Obvious 2024 host

19:30- 20:30  Cultural visit 1: MYSTERY 38 Music From the Inside, Kalympaki neighbourhood (Meeting Point: IRIS Factory)

20:30 - 23:00 Cultural and culinary visit 2: MYSTERY 49 Symposia in Kalympaki neighbourhood

10 June | Day 4

Cultural visits in Elefsina for those staying longer!

09:00-12:00 MYSTERY 42 Futuring Waters, Old Canteen

18:00 - 21:00 MYSTERY 144 Leave What You Loved Once, Anapsyktirio

19:00 - 22:00 MYSTERY 142 Oh So Now Eleusis Is Growing Wheat!, Karaiskaki & Kanellopoulou 

21:00 MYSTERY 168 Mobile Solar Cinema, Old Railway Station

All day long MYSTERY 134 Persephone, the Red Carpet, Youth Park

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