Karen Diamond would like to live in a world in which Arts in Health is given parity with clinical practice in the improvement of health and wellbeing for people affected by dementia. For the past 13 years, she has been the Artistic Director of Re-Live, a creative Life Story Theatre company, based in Wales, UK. Re-Live works with people living with dementia and their families to create theatre shows based on their experiences, which are performed in front of an audience by the participants themselves. During her fellowship, she wishes to connect with a network of colleagues from around the world who are interested in innovative cross-disciplinary research and practice to support a whole life approach to brain health and wellbeing. She also wishes to explore ways in which Re-Live’s work can grow and contribute to a global debate into health and wellbeing best practice.
Diamond recently produced, devised and directed 'The Return,' a Life Story Theatre performance with veterans and families living with PTSD and community members living with complex mental health needs, in partnership with the National Museum of Wales. She produced and directed 'Memoria,' a Life Story Theatre project where people living with dementia and their families share their stories with the aim of raising awareness and celebrating lived experience. She has also been delivering Re-Live’s experiential dementia training programme to health and social care professionals throughout Wales.
Bio: Diamond trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and returned years later to lay the foundations of their outreach drama department. Her love of the arts has seen her work in theatre, film and television for over 20 years, gaining a wealth of experience in performing, writing, producing and directing original work. As Artistic Director of Re-Live, Diamond has produced and directed 12 Life Story Theatre shows with people living with dementia, veterans with PTSD, older people and people at the end of life. She is a Winston Churchill Fellow (2010), researching ‘Creativity in Dementia Care’ alongside Dr Yukimi Uchide in Ofunato, Japan. In 2016, Karin wrote ‘Belonging,’ a bilingual play that explores the world of dementia, inspired by the stories from Re-Live's Memoria project. Belonging toured to theatres across Wales and connected health and social care professionals and theatre audiences with the experiences of people living with dementia. The play received an outstanding response from audiences and theatre critics, winning two Theatre in Wales Awards (2017).