There is a growing understanding of the intricate relationship between many types of health disorders and the personal experiencing of emotions, stress, attitudes and beliefs. If we can have a positive impact on these factors there is an important opportunity to reduce the burden of illness and the suffering illness causes. A growing body of research demonstrates that a variety of creative engagements (the arts) can positively impact these emotions, attitudes and beliefs, contributing to greater health and wellness for the individual. Additionally, the arts have long been recognized for their power to bridge differences — connecting individuals of different backgrounds and experiences through the shared experience of art, music, literature and dance, thus healing communities as well as individuals.
The Foundation recognizes that much has been learned already about the benefits of art in preventing illness and generating a sense of well-being, but that there is still much more to learn through scientific research. Additionally, further effort must be put into 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. Whether it is expressive writing, music, movement or visual arts, all share the ability to change people’s perspectives, moods, and overall health. There is much that can be done, and now is the time to do it!
As a small organization with a significant vision, the Foundation for Art & Healing views strategic partnerships as a critical means to advancing its mission. Current partners include the New York Business Group on Health and Montefiore Medical Center, and we look forward to expanding that list in the near future.