GROUND-BREAKING ARTS COMPANY SCOOPS NATIONAL AWARD & BECOME AN ACADEMIC CASE STUDY FOR PROMOTING HAPPINESS IN MUSEUMS
Canterbury based Animate Arts Company scooped the National Collections Trust inaugural national award for Participatory Practice for its pioneering Paper Apothecary Project.
Funded by The Happy Museum project and commissioned by The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge in 2013, Animate Arts designed and built a life-size Apothecary shop made entirely of recycled paper and card. From the shop counter to the chemist’s aprons, everything was made from paper based materials (see photos below), and this extended to the entire contents of the apothecary too!
Artists worked closely with over 200 local community members who helped concoct hundreds of prescriptions to stock the shelves and dispense to visitors. Every prescription included ingredients from The Beaney’s collections, books and art works chosen for their happy-inducing properties. During the ten day exhibition, over 6700 visitors were offered treatments and 97% reported to feeling happier after their ‘treatment’.
In 2016 The Happy Museum brought together all their analysis and data from The Paper Apothecary. They created a case study report of their findings to share best practice and inspire other museums across the UK to use arts in an innovative way to genuinely promote happiness and well-being within museum settings. The report can be read HERE.
Jo Dyer, Artistic Director at Animate Arts was thrilled, she said: ‘It’s fantastic to achieve national recognition such as this in our 10th Anniversary year! Animate has a vision to positively animate everyday lives, engage people and create memories to make you smile, so what better way than to dispense happiness at the Beaney.’
Chair of Animate Arts said ‘We are so proud of what Animate has achieved, receiving national recognition for our amazing work and putting both Animate Arts and Canterbury on the map’.
Short films capturing the magic of The Paper Apothecary are on Animate Arts’ YouTube pages https://www.youtube.com/user/animatearts/videos and further information about the awards can be found on The Collections Trust website at http://www.collectionslink.org.uk/openculture2013/ct-awards.