In 19th Century England, the nature of philanthropy was very different to how we understand it today.
Famed writer Charles Dickens was known for depicting philanthropists in many of his most celebrated novels.
Living in a time when poverty in England was at it’s worst, Dickens witnessed the rise of philanthrocapitalism, a trend which took polite Victorian society by storm and led to the creation of such diverse characters as the generous Mr. Brownlow from Oliver Twist and the rather selfish Mrs. Pardiggle and Mrs. Jellyby from Bleak House.
Since the pride fuelled days of the Victorian age, the way that we view charitable works has changed. Charity has become less about elevating our own standards in society and more focused on inclusivity and open communication – two tenets that we take very seriously here at Open-Art.
These three revolutionary charities are putting creativity at their core to amazing results:
Co-founded by London based artist, Tim A Shaw and arts curator, Niamh White, Hospital Rooms is a mental health charity that believes in the considerable strength of the arts to instil people with a sense of dignity and wellbeing. Their aim is remove the barriers between culture and art for people who are using mental health services.
Using their contacts with ‘museum quality’ artists in London, the charity collaborates with users of mental services, psychiatrists, health professionals and researchers to create environments that inspire the people within them, encourage discussion and improve self-esteem. Their work so far includes a complete redesign and renovation of a Recovery College at Springfield University College – a project that has helped students deal with issues such as dementia, eating disorders and schizophrenia.
Creativity Works are unparalleled in their approach to inclusivity. They seek to work with people experiencing a vast range of mental health problems, families with complex needs, elderly people who are in care, as well those that are isolated from their communities. By bringing these people together in a safe space with an activity that they can all take part in, they hope to bridge the gaps between these disparate groups.
Plymouth Music Zone
There are few Music based UK charities that are as well respected as Plymouth Music Zone. Thanks to years of support from the local council, as well as many kind donations, their practitioners now deliver up to 60 music activities in the Plymouth area a week, reaching as many as 1000 people. Targeting marginalised individuals and those living in isolated social conditions, the charity aims to reduce loneliness by connecting people through regular music sessions.