The ARA Network, through its magazine Performing Recovery, regular conferences, and presence at events related to recovery brings together groups, individuals and key stake holders from the the recovery arts sector.

We have three main goals:

To promote groups and individuals in recovery arts so that people from all walks of life can see the incredible work that they are doing and be inspired to participate in and support addiction recovery arts practices.

To encourage discussions and knowledge sharing throughout the recovery arts sector so that different practitioners and key stakeholders can share experiences and learn from each other.

To foster the practice of arts recovery by providing platforms for people to share their work and encouraging collaborations between organisations both nationally and internationally.

“[Arts Recovery] is about positive social connection, which is ultimately a central concept of recovery itself”

Mark Prest, Founding Director, Portraits of Recovery

Addiction Recovery Arts Network Conference 2023

On September 8th, 2023, arts recovery organisations from around the country attended the Addiction Recovery Art Network conference at the University of West London (UWL).

Organised by Dr. Cathy Sloan, course leader for BA  Applied Theatre and BA  Actor Musicianship at the university, the conference intended to bring together active organisations, the Arts Council England, and other key stakeholders in recovery and arts in the country to share knowledge.

Dr. Sloan explained: “Both challenging societal stigma and supporting people in recovery to navigate beyond a stigma-bound identity are important aspects of recovery arts.”

“Recovery Arts can be a very effective conduit for expressing and developing recovery identities. They enable the sharing of lived experience either directly, through autobiographical work, or indirectly, through exploring themes relating to addiction, wellbeing and recovery. The creative and aesthetic elements of these activities enable people affected by addiction to build social confidence and to demonstrate their potential as artists, which disrupts unhelpful stereotypes.”

“Recovery Arts can communicate the nuance of lived experience and therefore advocate for a better understanding of addiction and mental wellbeing struggles, which in turn can contribute to change in how society responds to these issues.” “Most importantly, many of the arts activities I have witnessed reveal the strength, hope, and experience of people who have survived addiction and/or mental health issues and enable participants (performers/artists) to move beyond stigma and isolation through cultural citizenship.”