Culture promotes health in Levanger
Detailed description of the Good Practice
From 1997 to 2000, the municipality of Levanger in Central Norway took part in a nationwide project called HELKUL (an acronym for "Health through culture", which in Norwegian can also be read as "Great fun"). The council wanted to check how cultural activities affected people's social networks and health. They started a project that involved 33 Council staff in addition to much of the population of Levanger.
Objectives of the Good Practice
to check how cultural activities affected people's social networks and health
Participants of the Good Practice
the municipality of Levanger
adults and children
Target group of the Good Practice
The project was targeted particularly at groups that traditionally haven’t participated in cultural activities, but also at the population as a whole.
Funding of the Good Practice
The Norwegian Council for Cultural Affairs, The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs
More Details of the Good Practice
The project was targeted particularly at groups that traditionally haven’t participated in cultural activities, but also at the population as a whole. The model that the co-ordinator used wass to discover a need, start an activity, and then let the participants take over. This has resulted in a range of new activities in the community. The "Food demon" is a play directed towards schools and deals with eating disorders. A theatre group has developed both the play and the creative work around it. Pensioners with an interest in reading have been linked in a reading network. This network worked so well, and created so much enthusiasm that they have also organised a travel group that has arranged ten trips in less than two years. The kindergartens have started with African dancing to create a good atmosphere and to promote children's physical co-ordination and development. Around 900 people turned up when a "Sing and dance with us" night was held. The evening was arranged in co-operation with local associations, and food from the Middle East was served. The happening was a meeting-place between cultures and generations.
These are just a few of the wide range of activities that has been started. The project has stregthened cross-sectoral cooperation in the municipal administration and also lead to better contact with the inhabitants. The inhabitants have got access to new networks in their local community. After the HELKUL project formally ended, a lot of the activities have continued under their own steam. Some of those who were centrally involved in the project have also gone on working in two fora with similar goals.
Documentation and documents
Stiftelsen Idebanken http://idebanken.no
Address P.O. Box 130, N-7601 Levanger
Connected to Norwegian Association of Local Government
Telephone +47-74 08 46 00
Telefax +47-74 08 35 40
Data sources and references
Stiftelsen Idebanken http://idebanken.no/english/Goodexamples/hoved.html (Accessed April 13, 2009)