Jill Sonke is director of the Center for the Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida (UF) and Assistant Director of UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine. She serves on the faculty of the UF Center for Arts in Medicine, and is an affiliated faculty member in the School of Theatre & Dance, the Center for African Studies, the STEM Translational Communication Center, the One Health Center, and the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration. Jill is also an Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow in the UF Warrington College of Business, and serves on the editorial board for Arts & Health journal, and the board of Citizens for Florida Arts.
Jill studied dance at Interlochen Arts Academy, the Florida State University, in London, Paris and Athens with teachers of the Horton and Duncan techniques including Bella Lewitsky, Lynda Davis, Milton Meyers, Joy Kellman, Lori Belilove, Julia Levine and Hortense Koluris. She has been a principle dancer and soloist with Lori Belilove & Company in New York and a guest performer and choreographer with Dance Alive! and Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theatre. She is a soloist and regisseur of the historic works of Isadora Duncan as well as a recognized teacher of the Duncan and Horton techniques. Jill holds an MA in Human Services from the University of Illinois and is currently a PhD candidate in arts and public health at Ulster University in Northern Ireland.
With over Arts 20 years of experience and leadership in arts in health, Jill is active in research, teaching, and international cultural exchange. She runs the Center for Arts in Medicine's Interdisciplinary Research Lab, and her current research focuses on the arts and health communication, the arts and community health, and the effects of live preferential music on cost and quality of care in emergency medicine. She has developed arts programming for veterans in partnership with the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center since 1996, and currently serves as a member of the Rural Veterans Telerehabilitaion Initiative’s Creative Arts Therapies project team, as well as a part of the NEA Creative Forces Telehealth Expansion team at UF.
Jill is the recipient of a New Forms Florida Fellowship Award, a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship Award, an Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, a UF Internationalizing the Curriculum Award, a UF Most Outstanding Service Learning Faculty Award, a UF Public Health Champions award, a UF Cross-Campus Faculty Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and over 125 grants for her programs and research at the University of Florida.