Make Time to Experience Art

May 28, 2023—According to a recent news report, an arts practice is one of the best things we can do for both our physical and mental health!

The study was conducted as part of the NeuroArts BluePrint Initiative, which was launched in 2019 to examine how the arts and aesthetic experiences measurably change the body, brain, and behavior. Bringing together representatives from science, the arts, and technology, the initiative is building a community of researchers, arts practitioners, artists, community knowledge keepers and other allies who understand the imperative of using art as a science-based tool to advance our health and well-being.

The arts participants on the advisory board were: Renée Fleming, Grammy Award-winning Soprano and Artistic Advisor at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Anna Deveare Smith, playwright, actor and founder of New York University’s Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue; Jamie Bennett, Executive Director of ArtPlace America; Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Director and CEO of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and Macy Gray, Grammy-award winning artist and founder of My Good.

What I love most about the NeuroArts BluePrint Initiative is that it emphasizes the need for everyone to experience the arts—it is “fundamental to being human.” More than bringing back arts education to the schools (which absolutely is essential), the trailblazing field of NeuroArts emphasizes that opportunities to engage with the arts must be “readily, consistently and equitably accessible to all populations across the lifespan and in every community around the world.” Imagine!

I also am inspired by the broad brush that NeuroArts utilizes to define the arts – not only music, dancing, painting, sculpting, attending a performance or visiting a museum, but also coloring, knitting, gardening, preparing food, arranging flowers, singing in the shower, gazing at clouds, or being aware off the variety of scents in our environment.

The recommended “arts prescription” is a daily dosage of an arts practice for a minimum of 20 minutes—whatever “arts” is for you. This weekend, I encourage you to give yourself a dose of the arts. As always, I would like to know what you think. I invite you to share your comments below.

PS: You can watch a panel on building the NeuroArts field at this link. And check out the book and website developed to help make the study results accessible to the general public at this link.

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