About

Aesop is a not-for-profit charity and social enterprise.

Aesop is a bridge-builder, connecting the worlds of health and the arts. It’s helping health harness the powers of the arts, and helping the arts gear up to deliver health improvement. Alongside the Conference & Showcase, Aesop’s main programmes are Dance to Health (a falls prevention dance programme for older people), the Aesop Institute (training for health and arts professionals to run successful arts in health programmes) and Aesop Marketplace – an online dating site which matches health decision-makers with relevant arts in health programmes.

Aesop was a partner in the Public Health England Evaluation Framework (already downloaded 3,600 times).

Aesop defines arts inclusively to embrace popular, folk, classical and contemporary forms across combined arts, crafts, dance, digital arts, design, environmental arts, film, games and interactive media, literature, music, photography, puppetry, theatre and visual arts.

Aesop’s proposition is:

  1. The UK is blessed with world-class arts.
  2. Arts programmes are on the periphery of programmes working to achieve positive social change.
  3. The work is almost always ‘arts push’ – arts organisations taking the initiative with limited evidence of impact, sustainability and growth.
  4. The arts have the potential now to add ‘society pull’ – start with challenges/unmet needs in society, scan all artistic options and create something suitable, effective, cost-effective, sustainable, evidence-based, of consistent quality and capable of growing.

Why the name ‘Aesop?’ For three reasons. First, storytelling and narrative are vital aspects of the arts. Second, Aesop’s fables are not just great stories; they are a source of wisdom and practical advice. Third, Aesop stands for ‘arts enterprise with the social purpose’.

Our approach:

Aesop has two main aims:

  • MARKET DEVELOPMENT – This is Aesop’s core programme. It is a pipeline of ‘aesops’, arts enterprises with a social purpose, created to deliver artistic and social impact, grow and be taken to scale.
  • KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT – conferences, training, tools and policy to help the arts and other sectors work effectively together, including the Aesop Toolbox.

Follow us on Twitter @AesopHealth