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Center for Arts in Medicine

Creating Healthy Communities: Arts + Public Health in America


How are artists using creative practice to address health topics in their communities?

This initiative utilizes a variety of investigative methods to capture diverse perspectives about how the arts are being used to improve health throughout the country. The findings of this research informs a white paper, an evidence-based framework for using the arts in public health, and articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals. 

  • Field Survey: Individuals and organizations doing work at the intersections of the arts, public health, and community building participated in a 23-question survey to explore the use of the arts in health and wellbeing programs. 
  • Focus Groups: Seven focus groups consisting of public health professionals who use the arts, artists who work in public health programs, and people who participated in arts-based health communication programs.
  • Scoping Review: An extensive search of published literature addresses the question: How have the arts been used to improve wellbeing and facilitate health communication at the community health level in the United States? 
  • Systematic Review: Informed by the scoping review, the systematic review focuses more narrowly and allows for a deep exploration of one aspect of work being done at the intersections of the arts and public health.
  • Working Group Convenings: A series of working groups are taking place across the country. Over the past seven months, artists, community developers/builders, public health professionals, researchers, and other individuals have convened in dynamic discussion and reflection. Transcripts from the working group dialogues are analyzed thematically and contribute as data sets to the evidence-based framework for using the arts in public health. 



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