"As a trained performer and an arts administrator for the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center (ASC) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), I have seen the arts positively affect lives first-hand. I know how the arts can impact a young person exploring communication through theatre. I have watched children make academic connections and gain self-confidence by writing and performing poetry, and I have observed a community of people support one another creatively and emotionally while working collaboratively to create a quilt.
As the ASC expanded into the realm of arts in medicine, I became aware of the pioneering work of the University of Florida’s Center for Arts in Medicine and Shands Arts in Medicine. Over the past two years I have had the pleasure of learning from the passionate, gifted, and gracious staff through trainings, professional development, and the graduate certificate program. The program has reignited my passion for learning and has given me the confidence to promote the field of arts in medicine in my community. At the time I began the certificate program the ASC was completing an arts in medicine pilot project in partnership with UAB Hospital. Its success led to the creation of UAB’s Institute for Arts in Medicine which was developed, in part, by knowledge gained through the program.
As I continue into UF’s Master of Arts in Arts in Medicine I feel empowered to continue local dialogues that could ultimately shift the paradigm of healing which focuses primarily on the body, to one that encompasses the mind, body, and spirit."
Kimberly Kirklin serves as the Director of UAB’s Institute for Arts in Medicine & Education Curation for the Alys Stephens Center, and is an alumna, Center for Arts in Medicine Masters Program.