The Association Arte e Salute ONLUS collaborates with the Department of Mental Health of the Bologna Local Health Authority in the development of the project promoted by the Emilia-Romagna Region “Teatro e Salute Mentale“ (Theatre and Mental Health), with the aim of improving the autonomy, quality of life and bargaining power of people suffering from mental disorders, through special activities and work in the theatrical and communication fields.
Arte e Salute was founded in 2000 with the special awareness, by its founding members, that psychiatric rehabilitation does not develop only in health care facilities, and that it is becoming more and more necessary to find alternative ways for rehabilitation which – regardless of the particular diseases and pathologies – should take into account not only the difficulties and limitations encountered by the patients, but above all their potential, abilities and talent.
The activities carried out by the association in the field of theatre are Drama, Theatre for Young People and Puppet Theatre; in addition, they manage the radio station Psicoradio (Psycho-radio).
The theatre company directed by Nanni Garella has, over the years, created and staged several shows based on classic and contemporary texts, presenting them all across Italy.
Success came also thanks to the co-productions with Nuova Scena-Arena del Sole-Teatro Stabile di Bologna and to an unusual and innovative working method, which involved an important national theatre and an artistic/theatrical group with a background of social exclusion and discomfort.
In 2004, the Arte e Salute theatre company and its artistic director Nanni Garella were awarded the “Ubu Prize”.
Theatre for Young People
After the first performances and shows directed by Elena Baredi and Carlo Maria Rossi, a new group of pupils/actors is currently attending a two-year training course held by Gabriele Tesauri in collaboration with La Baracca-Testoni Ragazzi of Bologna, focused on the techniques for creating and staging shows for children.
The puppet theatre company creates shows for very young children and organises puppet-building workshops in kindergartens.
The first shows were created thanks to the work of Tinin Matnegazza, Vittorio Zanella and Elena Baredi. Recently, director Gabriele Tesauri has involved Riccardo Pazzaglia and Sandra Pagliarani, professional puppeteers.
In 2011, the company was awarded the national prize “Ribalte di fantasia“.
The radio station Psicoradio (Psycho-radio), directed by Cristina Lasagni and coordinated by several radio professionals, broadcasts its programmes in the district of Bologna on the frequencies of Radio Città del Capo and at a national level on those of Radio Popolare Network.
The programmes broadcast aim at spreading correct and relevant information on mental health-related issues and at fighting the stereotypes pervading the public opinion about mental illness and the mentally ill.
In 2009, Psicoradio was awarded the Marconi prize, its activity being considered as “the best communication project for an audience of youth, through the radio medium”.