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Arts Organizations and Public Health

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Partners for Livable Communities (Partners) releases Arts Organizations and Public Health, a guide to creating partnerships between art and health organizations. This primer was designed for the arts organization that wishes to initiate programming focused on local health issues, or create partnerships with health groups in order to best meet the needs of the community. Arts Organizations and Public Health identifies best practices of diverse arts organizations from around the United States to inform this work. The best practices can be used as references, and are cited throughout the publication to correlate with text.

 It has been made clear through numerous studies and daily practice that the arts are a valuable tool for educating, bringing people together, and healing. The arts can also play a valuable role in preventative care and wellness through public health campaigns carried out by arts organizations at the city and neighborhood levels.

The potential benefits of arts organizations forming partnerships with primary health causes are myriad for the community, the health partner, and the arts organization itself. The community benefits occur in the forms of better education with a focus on preventative health care and public health issues, and integration of new activities for leisure and recreation with important health messages, such as film screenings or healthy food potlucks that can lead to critical health-based outcomes.

For health partners who may struggle to find a point of intervention in a community, arts organizations can provide attractive festivals, events, and programs that may be more likely attended than other health-sponsored programming whose participants are often self-selected. The arts organization benefits from health-related programs through leverage as a more critical resource for the community: helping to attract money, resources, and new audiences. For both the health partner and arts organization, a partnership can open new doors for funding and serve as the basis for new coalitions equipped with greater power and access.

Download Arts Organizations and Public Health here.