Why It Matters

Why It MattersThere 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.

Why It MattersThe 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, Montefiore Medical Center, Awakened Films, creative: interactive, inc., National Intrepid Center of Excellence, Northeast Business Group on Health, Philips, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and Boston Medical Center. We look forward to expanding the list in the near future.


ScienceUnderstanding the science behind the connection between art and healing is at the core of the Foundation’s reason for being. Encouraging greater knowledge of how and why the arts and creative engagement lead to positive health outcomes is a critical piece of our mission. The Foundation’s knowledge discovery initiatives combine two approaches: 1) the use of traditional scientific and medical research methods and 2) collaborations between accomplished experts from the realms of science, medicine and public health with artists and others for whom creative engagement is a life’s work. These engagements deliver new insights into both the artistic and the healing process, as well as the links between them.

Through funded research, roundtable discussions, and commissioned papers, the Foundation explores the linkages between art, creativity, illness and healing. To date, we have:

  • Hosted a groundbreaking Roundtable as part of our Arts & the Heart initiative that brought together the leading minds in cardiac health, public health and the arts for a spirited dialogue around the connection between creative engagement and positive cardiac health outcomes.

    » View the Roundtable Proceedings

  • Published “The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature” in the February 2010 edition of the peer-reviewed American Journal of Public Health. This review is intended to establish a foundation for continued investigation into the relationship between engagement with the creative arts and health outcomes and to inspire further interest in researching the complexities of engagement with the arts and health.

    » View the Article

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