Partners & Cooperations Digital cultural meetings

According to the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has ”the right to participate freely in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits” (article 27); in other words, all human beings have the right to culture, even when limitations are imposed by ill health or restricted mobility.

Around 1.1 million people in Sweden find themselves in some form of care situation, be it at a hospital, in a nursing home or in their own home. For many people, a lack of cultural experiences can entail a lower quality of life. Through, people who are unable to visit our cultural venues in person can still enjoy a rich selection of concerts and other forms of artistic expression. Naturally the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra is delighted to be part of this initiative.

Part of a research project

Kulturarenan is part of the ”Digital Cultural Meetings” research project, with the aim of examining, through a qualitative study, the importance of digital access to arts and culture among recipients of care and healthcare. The study has examined whether digital access to arts and culture is of importance to the well-being and existential health of recipients of care and healthcare and their close relatives and caregivers. The organisation behind the project is the idea-based Betania Foundation, and the participating music institutions are the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Musik i Syd – both with regional assignments.

The study was carried out by two researchers at the Institute of Health and Care Sciences at the University of Gothenburg: Helle Wijk and Eva Jakobsson Ung, with support from the Kamprad Family Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Research and Charity, which has provided a grant of SEK 1.6 million.

– Music makes it easier to continue living, says one of the care recipients who participated in the study. The research results can be read in the article “Exploring the use of music as an intervention for older people living in nursing homes” published in the international journal Nursing Older People 2021.

GSOplay is one of the keys

– With the help of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra’s fine work with GSOplay, and a clear desire to be accessible to each and every individual, through our collaboration the digitalisation of arts and culture can actually reach those who perhaps need it most of all. Music experiences as a meaningful pastime and form of existential support, and being seen and appreciated as an audience, can be extremely valuable when life is otherwise very difficult, says Ulrika Lind, Development Manager at the Betania Foundation, which runs Kulturarenan as a non-profit activity.

Musicians from the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra have also played live concerts at nursing homes with the help of GSOplay. In these cases, the soloist is on location with his or her instrument, while the rest of the orchestra is experienced via a pre-recording. In this way an entire symphony orchestra can be experienced and enjoyed by the residents of the nursing home.

Close cooperation between care and cultural actors

Kulturarenan is based on close collaboration between healthcare and cultural actors and is available free of charge via mobile, tablet, computer and TV with network connection. The visitor is directed directly to the culture’s own play channels or equivalent.

-This service is a great example of how idea-based welfare through the Betania Foundation succeeds in getting more organisations to collaborate so that the activities are able to be enjoyed by a large number of people.

says Ulrika Stuart Hamilton, General Secretary of Famna – the national organisation for idea-based care and healthcare – and Chairperson of the Swedish Arts Council. It also seems to have all the conditions necessary to fit into Sweden’s vision of becoming a leading nation in e-health.