An abundance of literature supports the positive health impacts of arts engagement. The evidence, for example, clearly shows the benefits experienced by individuals through art and music therapy. Only recently have we begun to understand the intentional role that arts and culture can play in community-wide health development.
IDEAS xLab and a growing national network of partners are harnessing artists’ potential as Creative Agents of Change toward a Culture of Health so that all people in a community can reach their full potential—no matter where they live or who they are.
Artists are a catalytic force shaping and influencing our cultural, political, and economic environments. Project HEAL trains a new generation of artists and cultural producers to become Creative Agents of Change. By training artists to harness the unrealized potential of a community’s social networks (live, work, worship, learn, play), Project HEAL has a triple aim impact:
1. Catalyzing Community: transforming communities by building social, political and economic power through arts and culture interventions.
2. Moving Policy: using arts and culture as a form of language and as an experiential learning tool for building community capacity for self-advocacy around proven health policies, both public and private.
3. Shifting Culture: developing a new health sector narrative that shifts it from a “sick-care provider” to a sector whose mission is “to support people’s dreams and to enable hope.” This is a massive transformational purpose that arts and culture are uniquely suited for.