The Foundation for Art and Healing produces programs across three areas: awareness, discovery and sharing. Our approach is centered on the belief that in order to move the conversation forward regarding the connection between art and healing and impact positive change in the broader community, the Foundation must bring greater awareness to the connection, provide leadership in discovering new knowledge in the field through scientific research, and create model community outreach programs that can bring the healing power of creative expression to broader populations.
Mask from National Intrepid Center of Excellence Art Therapy Program
Art & Healing PTSD
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.
Presenting Artists Program
Enabling artists to explore the intersections of creativity and healing and share their vision with the community has proven to be an intimate way to generate awareness. The Presenting Artists Program has provided accomplished and recognized artists financial and programmatic support to share some of their perspectives through the compelling lens of personal experience.
In Fall 2011, the Foundation sponsored a discussion series at the Danforth Museum of Art as the newest addition to the Presenting Artists Program. The discussion series was a companion to the Danforth’s fall exhibits which all demonstrated some connection between art and healing. The series featured artists Helen Meyrowitz, Elsa Dorfman, Willard Traub, and Karl Baden speaking about their work, along with a panel discussion entitled Creative Expression, Health and Wellbeing moderated by the Foundation’s Founder and President Dr. Jeremy Nobel featuring perspectives on art and healing from those in healthcare. For more information, visit the Danforth Museum web site.
The program’s inaugural event, Reflections on Art and Healing: An Evening with Bill T. Jones, was held on November 9, 2004, with close to 400 people in attendance. Additional programs sponsored by the Foundation included Anna Halprin and Company: Parades and Changes and Intensive Care and Robert Hass & Jane Hirshfield: Two Outstanding Poets Reflect on Healing.
Healing Throughout the Hospital
Hospitals are at the heart of healthcare delivery for most of our communities, and at the heart of hospitals are its employees, working hard to provide comfort and medical care to their family, friends, and neighbors at times of urgent and critical need. Consequently the goal of enhancing the health and wellbeing of hospital employees is of the utmost importance, not just for employees and for the hospital, but for the community.
Healing Throughout the Hospital is designed to coordinate three channels of creative engagement for the hospital community: 1. direct engagement in creative activities such as photography classes, musical performances, creative movement classes or creative healthy cooking seminars; 2. improving the built environment through both temporary and permanent installations of art work; and 3. engaging the hospital community (employees and patients) with the local arts community in high-quality on-site programming. The result of these efforts will be a hospital workforce that benefits from the healing powers of creative engagement, improved employee morale and commitment to the mission of the hospital, and greater community connectivity through patients and non-patients.
Heart disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the developed world. Changes in lifestyles and related risk factors are quickly making cardiovascular illnesses, including heart disease and stroke, the most prevalent illness burden worldwide. While enormous medical progress has been made in recent decades, a growing understanding of the intricate relationship between cardiovascular disease and the human experience represents an opportunity to reduce the prevalence of heart disease and the suffering it causes even further.
The Arts & the Heart Roundtable was a ground-breaking convening of prominent thought-leaders in medicine, the arts, and community and public health. The overwhelming consensus was that vigorous and effective exploration of the relationship between creative engagement and health, particularly cardiac health, was timely and important.