Issues

When it comes to communication and engagement, every issue has its own unique set of opportunities and obstacles.

Arts and Health

The Problem

Americans tend not to recognize the ways in which the arts contribute to our lives beyond individual enjoyment and enrichment. In particular they may not draw a strong connection between arts experiences and something as important and fundamental as our health. If the goal is to promote broader support for the arts, appreciation of such connections may be an important missing piece. Many people also have narrow associations with the term “the arts,” further reducing motivation and engagement.

The Solution

It is helpful to clarify the topic through references to particular experiences like “concerts, dance classes, or arts festivals,” and to point out the concrete and surprising physical health benefits that researchers have identified, and that doctors are taking seriously – so much so that they are prescribing arts experiences. This approach taps into people’s intuition that arts are good for us but makes the idea more powerful and tangible, and reinforces the idea that lack of funding for the arts in a community amounts to neglect, which can lead to negative health outcomes. Linking the arts to health benefits makes it easier to understand the topic in the context of the community as a whole and as something everyone should have access to.

Report: Arts and Health Benefits AFTA Topos

Promoting Appreciation for the Role of Arts in Health & Wellness in the Twin Cities