The Green Ribbon Arts Festival is a brand new event in Wales to promote how the arts can prevent mental ill health, challenge perceptions, and improve networking for artists active in the mental health agenda.

Led by the Mental Health Foundation, and inspired by the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, the Green Ribbon Arts Festival will take place as an online event from 26 October – 7 November 2020. During the fortnight, you can take part in a series of panel discussions and networking sessions; find out about arts activities which support people with lived experience of mental ill health; and engage with an exciting programme of creative workshops and film screenings.

Taking place online, the Green Ribbon Arts Festival presents a fantastic, accessible opportunity for people across the UK to build connections and share learning with people at the forefront of arts and mental health work in Wales, including people leading on arts in health work in health boards, experienced creative practitioners, talented artists, and people working in voluntary organisations and charities. 

We’re particularly looking forward to joining the conversation for these live sessions: 

  • Creating for mental health during Covid-19: An opportunity to hear from people from arts charities, voluntary organisations, the NHS, and individual creatives, who will share how they’ve adapted their work in a variety of innovative ways to keep communities connected.
  • Lived experience influencing artists: A conversation with artists who have all lived with mental ill-health about how their life experiences shape their art and what effect this has on the people who engage with it. 
  • How do we ensure that artists are supported with their mental health?: A networking session to talk about strategies for supporting the needs of artists working in the arts and health, hosted by the Wales Arts Health and Well-being network and led by artist and researcher Nicola Naismith. 

The Green Ribbon Arts Festival will also present a series of films that have featured at SMHAF in recent years, including another chance to see Living With The Lights On – The Film, Mark Lockyer’s remarkable lockdown adaptation of his highly acclaimed solo show about living with mental illness; a filmed performance of Amy Conway’s Super Awesome World; and recent award-winners from our International Film Awards which have strong connections with Wales, documentary I’ll Love You Till The End, experimental essay film Waterfall, and animated short The Waves. 

The full Green Ribbon Arts Festival programme is available on at The festival is free to attend but places must be booked in advance for all live events as they take place on Zoom.

GRAF is funded by the Arts Council of Wales and the Baring Foundation, with support from partners Sixty Six / Ninety Nine, Orchard Media and Events, and the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival. Image by Tamsin Griffiths, from short film Duvet.