Center for Arts in Medicine

About the Center


The Center for Arts in Medicine was formally established by the Florida Board of Regents at the University of Florida in 1999. The Center grew from the groundbreaking clinical work of the UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine program, and serves as the academic, research and outreach component of the partner programs. The Center was proposed and became operational in 1996, following the development of the nation’s first university level coursework in the arts in healthcare by the Center’s co-directors at UF in 1995. Its founding co-directors were Dr. John Graham-Pole, Dr. Rusti Brandman, and Dr. Jill Sonke.

Housed in the College of the Arts, the Center’s mission is three-fold, encompassing education and training in the use of the arts to enhance health, research of the arts in health, and outreach to promote art and creativity as catalysts for healthy lifestyles. The Center provides a framework for interdisciplinary collaboration among University of Florida faculty and students, healthcare providers, clinical artists, and the local and global communities. Through its programming and curriculum, the Center serves as a national and international model for arts in health research, education, and programming.

Since 1996, UF’s arts in medicine curriculum has grown to include the Master of Arts (MA) in Arts in Medicine, graduate certificates in Arts in Medicine and Arts in Public Health, and undergraduate certificates in Arts in Medicine, Dance in Medicine, and Music in Medicine. These programs and over 25 courses serves students who are interested in building careers that engage the arts in promoting health and wellness in healthcare and community settings. The Center's faculty engage in research to develop an evidene base for the many applications of the arts in healthcare and public health, and mentor students in outreach programs including service-learning and study abroad.

Annual Program Highlights, 1996-2020

1996: Center for Arts in Medicine launched in the College of the Arts [as the Center for Arts in Healthcare Research and Education] + Dance in Medicine course

1997: National advisory board established

1998: Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theatre residency culminating in Out of This World/The Life After Life Project at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

1999: Florida Board of Regents approval of the Center

2000: Days of Renewal caring for caregivers initiative launched

2001: 1st Annual Arts in Medicine Summer Intensive

2002: Hearts & Hope, US Department of Commerce funded research

2003: Caring for Caregivers Cultural Exchange in Japan

2004: Vital Visionaries, NIH funded national research

2005: Introduction to Arts in Medicine course

2006: Undergraduate Certificate in Dance in Medicine

2007: AIM for Africa program with a program development project in Nairobi, Kenya

2008: AIM for Africa projects launch in the Gambia and Rwanda

2009: Undergraduate Certificate in Arts in Medicine + launch of Dance for Life program

2010: Arts in Healthcare for Rural Communities, Kresge Foundation funded initiative

2011: International Arts and Health Forum in Kigali, Rwanda

2012: Graduate Certificate in Arts in Medicine + Center rebrands as Center for Arts in Medicine

2013: Twenty-two arts in medicine courses at UF

2014: Master of Arts (MA) in Arts in Medicine + Graduate Certificate in Arts in Public Health

2015: Arts & Ebola research and publications + first two MA in Arts in Medicine graduates

2016: Undergraduate Certificate in Music in Medicine

2018: Creating Healthy Communities: Arts + Public Health in America initiative in partnership with ArtPlace America

2020: Graduate Certificate in Arts in Public Health

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