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Group Workshops & events

Black Health and the Arts

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Overview

COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement have spotlighted the grim reality that Black people in America do not have equitable access to all that is required to fully achieve physical, mental, and social health and well-being. To address these unjust systemic challenges, The Foundation for Art & Healing is partnering with community-based organizations, health systems, and other stakeholders to offer accessible and tested arts-based programs to reduce illness risk factors, increase self-care for chronic health conditions, and improve overall health outcomes.  

The Issues

Decades of race-based inequities in the U.S. have created significant health consequences for Black people, leading to higher rates of illness and increased risk of early death. 

COVID-19 Vulnerability

Black people face the highest COVID-19 mortality rates. While only 12% of the general population, they comprise 22% of COVID-19 deaths, making their death rate 2.1x higher.

Mental Health Burden

The mental well-being of Black adults in America is at a concerning low, with one in four Black adults in America reporting feelings of anxiety, due in part by the disproportionate impact from COVID-19 as well as the systemic racism and violence.

Chronic Illness Susceptibility 

Major health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, depression, and impaired maternal healthdisproportionately affect Black communities.

Robbie’s Story

Robbie McCauley describes how disease and disappointment helped reveal the road to healing through an unlikely source – Creative Expression. Robbie is renowned for her experience in experimental and avant-garde theater. Robbie has been honored with AUDELCO, Bessie, and OBIE Awards. In this video, she shares a private performance of her work Sugar.  Read more about Robbie here.

Programs that Inspire

Grappling with complex health conditions is extremely difficult, often fraught with challenging negative emotions of guilt and shame. Through evidence-based programs like our Creativity Circles, Reflect & Connect, and Impact Events, we hope to reduce barriers to supportive services, increase access to health opportunities, enhance pro-health behaviors and improve health outcomes for Black adults.

Creative Expression

 Arts-enabled programs provide powerful opportunities for self-reflection, increased self-awareness, and opportunities to build for participants to share personal thoughts with others. 

Skills Development

Arts engagement works as a catalyst to empower participants by building agency,  reinforcing self efficacy, and improving confidence that sustains positive behavior change. 

Community Connection

Facilitating group interaction is a cornerstone to our programs because community networks are vital to emotional connection, which is of particular importance for those with disenfranchised identities.

Launching in Early 2021: Join Us.

Interested in helping us to bring Black Health and the Arts to community-based organizations (CBOs) where this can make a huge difference?  We’d love to tell you more about ways to sponsor its development and rollout. And if you’re involved with a CBO that could benefit from this work, we want to hear from you, too, as we recruit for pilot sites! Please contact our Program Manager, Louisa Hudson, for more information: [email protected]

4.7 x HIGHER

COVID-19 HOSPITALIZATION RATE FOR BLACK PEOPLE

2.1 x HIGHER

COVID-19 DEATH RATE FOR BLACK PEOPLE

22% • 26%

INCREASE IN DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY AMONG BLACK PEOPLE DURING THE PANDEMIC

Here’s what participants are saying…

“This program helps you emotionally, mentally, physically – helps you see you are not alone”

“My family knows about my diabetes but I don’t talk about it with anyone else. I used to maybe test my sugar, maybe not. Now I test every day. This group motivated me to take better care of myself again.”

“It helped me a helluva lot – and you can quote me on that. It helped me understand me with diabetes, not just the diabetes.”