Creating Cultures of Care - SPRONG

Caring for each other, and collective care: what will that look like in the future? This social challenge is the focus of the partnership Creating Cultures of Care, formed by educational institutes and partners in professional healthcare. Together they approach the healthcare challenge from an artistic perspective and by utilising the power of design.
Duration: 1 March 2023 - 29 February 2027 (phase 1)

Nine professorships of HKU, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Fontys Academies and HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht join their efforts with Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht. Their mission is to create new visions for getting to an art-based approach to healthcare. They are supported in this by a SIA-SPRONG fund. Through their transdisciplinary approach, this research group is developing new work methods, practices and scenarios for the healthcare and wellbeing sectors. Not for each other, but with each other.

Healthcare is faced with increased scarcity. The current healthcare system will have to go through a transformation from ‘receiving care’ towards self-care. Proper healthcare is therefore no longer guaranteed, which makes caring for each other increasingly important. This asks for a caring society. In Creating Cultures of Care, artists, professionals in healthcare and wellbeing, policy makers, patients / residents and students, explore their motivations and common goals for contributing to small changes and radical transitions in healthcare and wellbeing.

This is happening in medical hospitals and cultural community centres, both in long-term care for people with disabilities, and for juveniles with mental health issues. Simultaneously, the arts and creative sectors, along with the educational institutes, are working on increased awareness of healthcare and new ways for individuals to behave more sustainably, be more caring, and more inclusive.

“The arts help us in posing questions about quality, life and experience. Together we can thereby create wellbeing and health in a context of sustainability” - Ella van Lingen, director of Reinaerde

Towards humane and experience-focused healthcare

Creating Cultures of Care wants to make a positive contribution to the transformation of healthcare and wellbeing, by working together, as an open expertise network, on new practices and concepts of care. The Corona crisis, increasing health inequality and unequal opportunities are all signs that proper healthcare is not evident, and that taking care of each other is increasingly important. Not the healthcare system itself, but the experiences of residents, citizens and clients should be at the centre, while the idea of health versus sickness must be more broadly defined.

Achieving this, demands new practices, strategies and methodologies. Artistic co-creative processes, characterised by a multisensory, heavily imaginative and opportunities-based approach, can play a crucial role in this. They can create room for the sharing of new ideas, sentiments and perspectives, to get towards a new perspective that is based on shared values and human connection. The involved art professorships, individual artists and professional partners have each gathered valuable knowledge over the last decades about the design of experience-based co-creative processes, about finding meaning and purpose, and about new perspectives (reframing)

Merging knowledge and further development in CARE Labs

The SPRONG group will be bringing knowledge together and further develop insights by means of the existing regional CARE Labs (Co-creative Artistic Research Ecology lab). In these labs, artists and designers collaborate with residents, patients, healthcare professionals, policy makers, students and researchers amidst the daily practice of the hospital or living areas. They work on new concepts and practices of healthcare and caretaking. Caring from this perspective is not a purpose or virtue, but a praxis: a means of being and acting in relation to others within a specific context.


    • Fontys Hogeschool
    • Hanzehogeschool Groningen
    • HKU (coordinator)
    • Hogeschool Utrecht (HU)
    • Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht (UMCU)
    • Universiteit van Humanistiek (UvH)

    Researchers and project management ​(SPRONG- focus group)

    Nirav Christophe - Professorship Performative Creative processes (HKU)
    Bart van Rosmalen - Professorship Art & Professionalisation (HKU)
    Walter van Andel - Professorship Creative Practices & Entrepreneurship (HKU)
    Anke Coumans - Professorship Image in Context (Hanzehogeschool)
    Karolien Dons - Professorship Music in Context (Hanzehogeschool)
    Danielle Arets - Professorship Journalistiek en Verantwoorde Innovatie (Fontys)
    Falk Hübner - Professorship Artistic Connective Practices (Fontys)
    Daan Andriessen - Professorship Onderzoekend Vermogen (HU)
    Aart van der Maas - Professorship Participatie en Stedelijke Omgeving (HU)
    Merel Visse - Onderzoeksgroep Zorgethiek & Beleid (Universiteit van Humanistiek)
    Stefan van Geelen - Centre for Education / De Nieuwe Utrechtse School (UMCU)
    Gjilke Keuning - kwartiermaker De Kunst van Zorg en Welzijn (HKU)
    Debbie Straver - project management Versterken en Ontwikkelen Onderzoek (HKU)

    • Bureau Ruimtekoers
    • Cascoland
    • CI 3 Creative Development BV (Walter Amerika – verbinder naar HHU)
    • CoE Kunst&Educatie (AHK)
    • Eigenwijs in de wijk (Ouders van Betekenis)
    • Gemeente Nieuwegein
    • Gemeente Utrecht - Culturele Zaken
    • Gemeente Utrecht - Volksgezondheid
    • Hatsumi
    • Het Wilde Westen
    • Ideate
    • Jetske van Oosten – verbinder naar Sociaal Creatieve Raad
    • KOOS Utrecht
    • LKCA
    • Lokalis
    • Monobanda
    • Reinaerde
    • Schweigman&
    • Schweizer Creative
    • Sjaak Langenberg & Rosé de Beer
    • Sounding Bodies
    • Stichting Bouwdepot
    • Stichting Halfvol / Bureau Ruimtekoers
    • UMCG
    • UvH
    • Vilans
    • Wintertuin
    • ZINN
    • ZuidOostZorg
    • ZorgInnovatieForum
    • Zwierrr – verbinder naar Gezondheidspact

Sprong subsidie

The SPRONG fund, granted by Coordinating body of SIA is a strong impulse for the educational institutions to keep building their specific research infrastructure, while enabling them to contribute to the complex social challenges. It offers the academies and universities the opportunities to strengthen the quality and design of their research projects.