Happy Museum were instrumental in initiating this APPG session, which investigated the role that evidence about wellbeing plays in shaping policy on cultural activities.  

Witnesses and members at the House of Commons were:

Tony Butler, Happy Museum

Daniel Fujiwara, London School of Economics and Happy Museum

Charlotte Jones, Independent Theatre Council

Alan Davey, Arts Council

Gareth Maeer, Heritage Lottery Fund

Dave O’Brien, City University London

David Lammy MP

Helen Goodman MP

Lord (Alan) Howarth


It emerged from the discussion that evidence about wellbeing could be used to serve three key roles:

  • To make a case for increased spending on culture by attaching monetary values to the benefits created by participation in cultural activities
  • To help policy makers maximise the impact of culture policy in terms of increasing wellbeing by understanding whose wellbeing benefits most from different cultural activities, and understanding how cultural policy may be complimentary to policy in other sectors, such as health
  • To help those working in the industry to maximise the impact of their work in terms of increasing wellbeing, by using the evidence to encourage cultural providers to think about the purpose of their work, and inform their strategic decision making,

It was stated that more research is needed in this area to pinpoint which aspects of culture benefit wellbeing, and to be able to prove causation in order to better inform action in these areas.  

Find a full transcript of the session HERE

More details about the APPG on Wellbeing can be found here http://parliamentarywellbeinggroup.org.uk/