The Art of Healthy Lifespans

The Art of Healthy Lifespans Event poster

Event details

Saturday 28th January 2023 - Saturday 4th February 2023 (see below for individual event dates)
Individual event times vary
Channing Hall & The Workstation, Sheffield City Centre (see below for more details)
Tickets for all events are free and should be purchased in advance online via the Eventbrite link below.


A series of free events in Sheffield, exploring ageing and health across the life course

Saturday 28 January – Saturday 4 February 2023

Join us at The Art of Healthy Lifespans for a series of inclusive events and exhibitions showcasing the role of art and creativity in understanding and enhancing health and well-being across the life course.

Free and open to all.

The Art of Healthy Lifespans Festival is brought to you by the University of Sheffield Healthy Lifespan Institute in collaboration with the University of Derby.

The Healthy Lifespan Institute brings together over 180 academic researchers from different disciplines to provide a uniquely holistic view of the factors that impact how we age. We’re pioneering new medical treatments, lifestyle interventions, health and social care policies and public health guidance across the lifespan, to help people age better and lead healthier, more independent lives for longer.

Exhibition (Saturday 28th January – Saturday 4th February 2023)

SCRAPHEAP: Exploring Menopause

  • The Workstation, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield S1 2BX
  • Open 8am-6pm, from Saturday 28th January until Saturday 4th February 2023​​​​​​
  • No booking required
older woman laying in messy bed

Artwork by Donna MacKenzie-Smyth and Laura Page 

Exhibition curated by Donna MacKenzie-Smyth

This photographic exhibition presents images of 12 women from the ongoing SCRAPHEAP project - a creative and participatory art project examining women's thoughts and feelings about their own personal menopause journeys. The images explore the taboo topic of menopause, at the same time as celebrating women’s bodies.

There will be an exhibition opening event at 7pm on Saturday 28 January. Book your free place here.

Events (Saturday 28 – Sunday 29 January 2023)

Festival Opening

  • Channing Hall, 45 Surrey St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2LG
  • 10.45am-11am, Saturday 28 January 2023
  • No booking required

Professor Alan Walker, Director of the Healthy Lifespan Institute and Dr Lorna Warren, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Festival Director will open The Art of Healthy Lifespans with a short introduction and welcome. 

Music To Relax To

  • Channing Hall, 45 Surrey St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2LG
  • 11am-12pm, Saturday 28 January 2023
Listening to music with headphones

Book here

Workshop led by Professor Renee Timmers and Dr Justin Christensen, Department of Music

Many people use music to perk up their mood, or to create a relaxing atmosphere. In this workshop exploring how people use music to regulate mood and emotion, Music Researchers will demonstrate ways in which music may be part of relaxation and sleep interventions. Participants will be invited to share their experiences and feedback and to take part in some informal group relaxation with music. 

Research in this area aims to understand why and how music works for people, and finds considerable individual differences, such as variations with age, personality traits, and mental wellbeing. 

Voice Works

  • Channing Hall, 45 Surrey St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2LG
  • 12.30-1.30pm, Saturday 28 January 2023
six people sat in a circle doing a breathing exercise

Book here

Workshop led by Dr Michael Bonshor, Department of Music 

Can anyone sing and enjoy singing, even people with voice problems? This participatory workshop will illustrate the use of singing-related techniques to support confidence in speaking and singing. 

The workshop design is based on techniques developed as part of a collaborative research project that incorporated voice coaching, speech therapy and music psychology principles to enhance the vocal confidence of people with inducible laryngeal obstruction (ILO). The project aims to raise awareness of the impact of respiratory conditions affecting the voice, and the potential for singing and singing-related techniques to support voice confidence.

OutoftheBox: Wellbeing across generations through sharing stories

  • Channing Hall, 45 Surrey St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2LG
  • 2-3.30pm, Saturday 28 January 2023
Group of people of mixed ages in a circle, sat in a forest, interacting with "out of the box"

Book hereWorkshop led by Kathryn Lord, OutoftheBox

This ‘story sharing’ workshop, run by OutoftheBox, will explore intergenerational relationships, ageing and the impact of Covid-19 through a multi-sensory storytelling approach. 

OutoftheBox uses story and play for personal and community wellbeing, and creates inclusive spaces for people to make connections. This workshop is designed to be suitable for everyone, including people living with dementia.

The Crone Spoken Library: A biographical approach to exploring age and ageing

  • Channing Hall, 45 Surrey St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2LG
  • 4-5pm, Saturday 28 January 2023
Two older women chatting

Book hereTalk led by Dr Lorna Warren and Pam McKinny, Sociological Studies, and Justine Gaubert, Crone Club

The Crone Spoken Library draws on the Danish storytelling tradition of The Human Library. Under this initiative, a ‘book’ is a person that volunteers to represent a stigmatised group using their personal experiences to answer questions from ‘readers’. Each reader has a face-to-face conversation with the book about that person’s story.

This talk offers a brief 'illustrated library visit' showcasing the spoken library as a shared biographical approach to exploring age, along with its outcomes.

I Was, I Am, I Will Be: A dance from the heart of who we are

  • Showroom 5, The Workstation, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield S1 2BX
  • 12-1.30pm, Sunday 29 January 2023
Two older women and a man posing as part of a dance routine

Book hereChoreography and direction by Gus Watcham and Karla Jones, Third Bite Dance

Production and workshop led by Lucy Haighton, Third Bite Dance

How do we see ourselves? How might we answer that simple question - who are you? In this short performance piece Third Bite Dance explores a sense of identity - both real and imagined - and how we, as individuals, make our way in a world alongside others.

The 10 minute performance will be followed by an informal workshop led by Artistic Director Lucy Haighton, which playfully explores who we imagine ourselves to be. No dance experience needed - you are invited to join in, whoever you are!

Third Bite Dance is a Sheffield-based contemporary dance company composed of dancers aged 50 and over.


  • Creative Lounge, The Workstation, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield S1 2BX
  • 2-4pm, Sunday 29 January 2023
Image of woman being interviewed by film crew in Sheffield's Winter Gardens

Book here

Hosted by Eve Wood, Filmmaker

Panel includes Dr Lorna Warren and Professor Jenny Hockey, Sociological Studies, and Professor Susan Hogan, University of Derby

Filmmaker Eve Wood will host this special screening of 3 short films that examine the use of the arts to explore aspects of well-being over the life course. The films cover birth experiences and transitions to motherhood; identity, becoming and shoes; and representations of women and ageing. 

The screenings will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker and the researchers involved in the projects.​​​

Events at the University

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