Beauty and Utility Arts

Beauty and Utility Arts was formed in January 2010 and is proud to have been associated with all of the projects listed below, many of which are recurring, so watch this space …

BrightSparks: Comedy Asylum

BrightSparks: Arts in Mental Health group was set up in 1999 to promote positive images of mental health through the arts. During that time they have organised and been a part of major events, including annual showcases of music, comedy and poetry on World Mental Health Day, annual art exhibitions, a Mockumentary, showcases of poetry, monthly artistic workshops and other artistic ventures.

Since 2007 The BrightSparks: Comedy Asylum project has been facilitated by professional comedian and ex-psychiatric nurse Rob Gee. During 12 weekly workshops participants share their talent for performing and writing, with the ultimate outcome being a hugely successful Comedy Asylum show as part of The Leicester Comedy Festival.

I have been involved with managing the project since 2009 and am proud to say that over the last two years we have won a Make Me Happy award from The Leicester Comedy Festival (now Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival) and made our own Mockumentary!

Leicester Health Centres

Beauty and Utility Arts has worked with NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland at three health and social care locations across Leicester city since 2010. The aim was for independent and community artists to produce artwork for key areas within the buildings; to enhance the patient and staff experience, work with community groups and schools who use the buildings and raise the profile of local artists and groups. Artwork at the Merlyn Vaz Health and Social Care Centre and Westcotes Health Centre has been installed and work at the new Belgrave Health Centre will be installed soon!

Westcotes Health Centre





Points of Interest 

BrightSparks: Arts in Mental Health group is currently working with Arts and Health facilitator Katherine Brown on a weekly arts and physical activity project called Points of Interest. The group, made up of mental health service users, meet at Graphic House in Hinckley at each Friday and either walk to a location of interest within Hinckley or take a minibus out to a walking point and inspirational location within the Borough. The group then come back to the workshop location and, if they wish, can spend an hour to an hour and a half working on art inspired by their walks. The project runs from 1pm to 4pm.

Hinckley and Bosworth Arts Network

Katherine is the current Chair of The Hinckley and Bosworth Arts Network, a free, informal gathering of arts producers and others who work within or have an interest in the creative industries. The Network promotes the arts within the Borough and the neighbouring region and meet the first Thursday of every other month. See events calendar for details.

Art-Tea Events Limited

Since February 2010 I have been the Development Manager for Art-Tea Events Limited, a creative catering Social Enterprise supporting carers and people with lived experience of mental ill health or learning disability. We aim to enrich lives through tailor made supported employment, artistic expression and a nice piece of cake!

Find out more about us at Art-Tea Events Limited

How it all started …

Back in 2005 I was part of a small team that took a show, ‘Don’t Be Afraid To Try,’ up to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Performers were service users from national learning disability charity CARE (now Self Unlimited) and together we completed seven nights at Venue 45.

The venue’s manager Charles Pamment wrote this about the show …

‘Don’t Be Afraid To Try’ at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The whole experience was both inspiring and exhausting and made me passionate about wanting to work in the field of Arts and Health, so I do!




About beautyandutilityarts

My name is Katherine Brown and I run Beauty and Utility Arts, an Arts and Health project management service. I have over a decade of experience working with vulnerable groups and individuals in roles including support worker, Supported Employment Advisor and Community Fundraiser for The Midlands. Now, I manage a range of Arts and Health projects involving carers, people using mental health and learning disability services and the over 50′s. I specialise in developing ideas, fundraising, full project management, consultation, workshop provision, sourcing artists, Social Enterprise, event planning, SROI and exploring sustainability options. Since beginning Beauty and Utility Arts in January 2010 I have worked on a range of projects including comedy workshops, placing public art into health centres, setting up a Social Enterprise, project managing Showcase Smoothie, developing mental health walking projects and running arts based reminiscence workshops for the over 50′s, all of which is detailed in my blog (
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