In recent years there has been increased interest in the relationship between art and healing in the medical world. More than three hundred professional organizations are researching, documenting, and systematizing how engagement with the creative processes impacts the development of disease and the likelihood of recovery.
There has been a similar focus within the arts community. Often based on their personal experience with illness, painters, dancers, sculptors, writers, and arts educators have also realized the power of the creative process to heal body and mind. The ability to cope with an illness emotionally and spiritually has been demonstrated time and again to have significant impact on the results of treatment.
Unfortunately, most patients are often left on their own to develop these coping skills. Since health is a fundamental personal and social asset, it is essential that outreach and support programs devoted to healing, or the restoration and maintenance of good health, be more fully integrated into the fabric of the community. Yet, there are very few programs organized and delivered through community centers, schools, faith-based spiritual centers, and similar non-health care related entities.
Between the three groups — the medical world positing and testing hypotheses, artists studying the human condition and the local community providing outreach — the wish to collaborate is clear. The Foundation for Art and Healing (FAH) will bridge the gap to synthesize the medical and humanistic perspective of the healing process and transport it into community settings.
Our mission is to expand awareness of the important relationship between creative arts expression and health, to bring forward through research and related explorations critical knowledge about these vital and enduring humanistic concerns and to make effective arts-based health enhancing opportunities increasingly available and accessible at the individual and community level. More information is available at www.artandhealing.org