The Foundation for Art & Healing explores the relationship between health and creative expression through rigorous scientific research; empowers individuals, communities, and vulnerable populations coping with challenging conditions like trauma and chronic illness, through direct, impactful, and innovative programs and tools; and engages, informs, and inspires these populations and the ever-growing arts and healing community, building awareness through thought leadership, shared stories of “art and healing,” and original creative works.
Studying the link between creative expression and health.
A grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation has opened new doors to explore the benefits of creative arts and storytelling in dealing with the physical and emotional demands of chronic illness. We have recently launched a clinical study at Boston Medical Center, partnering with leading biomedical researchers and award-winning playwright and professor Robbie McCauley, whose own experiences with diabetes led her down the creative path with her one-woman play, Sugar.
Providing arts-based solutions for coping with life’s health-related challenges.Coping with Trauma and PTSD
From initiatives to address combat related PTSD, to tools for responding to tragedies like the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings and Boston Marathon Bombing, to helping women and children cope through the aftermath of the Van, Turkey earthquake, the Foundation for Art & Healing is making a very real impact with direct arts-based initiatives, empowering individuals and communities through creative expression.
Sharing stories of hope, healing, and possibility to activate and inspire others.Can Art Be Medicine?
Whether through expressive writing, music, movement or visual media, all the arts are able to change people's perspectives, moods, relationships and overall health. As we study the science of creative expression as a path to healing, and put it into action through our initiatives, we also work toward broadening awareness of the power of art to discover, explore and share what is most important to us as individuals and ultimately through that process, to heal. In that spirit, we offer real stories of hope, healing, and possibility to engage both those who seek health, and those who seek to help.
“I truly believe in the healing power of creating art,” she says. “It soothes and comforts you, which is why I wanted to devise a program that would help other people with MS.” To that end, just one year after pain and blurry vision caused by optic neuritis confirmed that she had MS, Nancy prepared a grant proposal for a program entitled “Watercolor as a Therapeutic Modality for Multiple Sclerosis”.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) represent significant burdens for those afflicted, as well as their caregivers and military and civilian healthcare delivery systems.
Given this suffering and strain, new approaches to address the treatment of PTSD & TBI are urgently needed to help active service members thrive while performing their duties, and also to ensure they integrate safely with society while off-duty or when they make the transition to veteran status.
Harlan Krumholz MD, SM
“If we can demonstrate that emotion affects outcomes and art affects emotion, then a logical path to better outcomes would involve more attention to engaging people in artistic pursuits.”
“Poetry (whose root is the Greek poesis or ‘making’) both reflects our own experience and transforms it. The activity of making something artistically is transformative but not entirely rational. Individuals take their obsession, grief, pain and hope and try to turn it into something. This ‘making’ may not result in a cure but it is ultimately healing.”