A Message from the Director

Welcome to the Big Anxiety Festival 2019

The Big Anxiety is a cultural platform for direct engagement with mental health. Embracing diverse experiences across the vast spectrum of mental health, it examines what makes us anxious as individuals and social groups – from fears about the future to concerns about ourselves, other people and belonging, to the question of how people are cared for.

Our 2019 program focuses on a central challenge: how do we cultivate empathy in place of stigma, fear and discrimination? Raising awareness is not enough. Information about mental health is not enough. We need new ways of thinking, imagining, feeling and acting – and resources that are both practical and inspiring.

The arts are the best means we have for sharing complex experience. They show us what we don’t know about ourselves and others. They shine light on the relationships and social settings that help or hinder mental health, and they are a means to renew those relationships.

Join us in 2019 for a transformative program of art, ideas and empathy.

Jill Bennett
Artistic and Executive Director