In the Loop
General News : Jul 14, 2022

Calling all artists, public health professionals, changemakers: UF Center for Arts in Medicine presents Creating Healthy Communities: 2022 Convening

The CHC Convening (Oct. 10-11, 2022) will engage healthcare professionals, arts practitioners and educators, and social changemakers in the ongoing work to create healthier, stronger, and more equitable communities.

By Jessi Smith

This October, a powerhouse spectrum of interdisciplinary thought leaders and changemakers will gather in Orlando, Fla. for the 2022 Creating Healthy Communities (CHC) Convening, presented by the University of Florida’s Center for Arts in Medicine (CAM) and hosted by the Pabst Steinmetz Foundation and the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.  

Alyson (Aly) Maier Lokuta (M.A., Arts in Medicine) is Senior Director of Arts & Wellbeing at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, an adjunct lecturer at the Center for Arts in Medicine, and serves as coordinator for the CHC 2022 Convening. 

“Through research and practice, it has become clear that the arts and creativity have a role to play in creating health and health equity in the U.S.,” Maier Lokuta says.  

“In the three years since the 2019 convening, the Center has completed ground-breaking research in our EpiArts Lab that provides an evidence base for the impact of arts engagement on health and well-being. This convening will bring together artists, social change agents, practitioners, administrators, and policy makers to speak to the progress made and the path forward to create a culture of health.” 

Maier Lokuta notes that “this is an unprecedented gathering featuring an impressive caliber and breadth of speakers—with a focus on diverse voices that represent all communities across the U.S.” 

The World Health Organization, the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Culture Builds Florida, IDEAS xLab, One Nation One Project, the Sound Health Network, the International Arts + Mind Lab: The Center for Applied Neuroaesthetics at Johns Hopkins University, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Bethune-Cookman University, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and Drexel University’s Dornslife School of Public Health and  Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design are CHC 2022 collaborators. 

“We know that cross-sector collaboration is key to changing the landscape of health and cultivating a paradigm shift of understanding: like exercise and good nutrition, the arts are good for our health. This convening will highlight the success of interdisciplinary teams where artists, researchers, educators, community members, healthcare providers, and policy makers have mutual respect and understanding of their collective strength,” Maier Lokuta says. 

National leader and advocate, Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson (Chair, NEA), visionary social change artist and activist, Hannah Drake (IDEAS xLab), and global arts in health expert, Christopher Bailey (Arts and Health Lead, WHO) are keynote speakers. 

The convening will “function as a collaborative dialogue, where attendees and presenters alike can participate in idea-exchange, provocation, and networking,” Maier Lokuta says.  

Session highlights will include: 
- Arts in Social Justice 
- Advancing Equitable Research Practices, and 
​- The Rise of Social Prescribing in the United States

Of course, “it wouldn’t be an arts in health convening without the arts!” Maier Lokuta adds. The two-day event will feature an array of vibrant performances from UF College of the Arts faculty, the Bethune-Cookman Concert Chorale, and local Orlando artists. 

“Ensuring equitable access to our convening is our top priority. Through our Equity Sponsorship Fund, we are committed to providing over 100 full registration scholarships to create opportunities for emerging professionals, practicing artists, BIPOC, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+, and individuals residing in and or directly serving rural communities to attend our convening,” Maier Lokuta says. 

Scholarship applications remain open through August 15. Apply here.  

Registration is currently open for the Creating Healthy Communities 2022 Convening. The conference is running an early-bird special, with discounted ticket prices through July 22.  

Group rates are also available. To secure a group rate, email Aly Maier Lokuta at