A2ru’s current work in the Arts in Health arena is mapping and addressing the needs at the intersection of arts in health and the arts in public health and to be responsive to the multiple movements growing in these areas. To help us parse this wide field, we offer the following definitions (from NOAH and the Center for Arts in Medicine):
Arts in Health: A broad and growing academic discipline and field of practice dedicated to using the power of the arts to enhance human health and well-being in diverse institutional and community contexts.
Arts in Public Health: The domain of Arts in Health refers to using the arts within public health programs in the interest of community engagement, needs assessment, health communication, and health promotion.
On this resource page you will see resources and research in both areas an along the continuum of this emerging field.
Contribute a Resource
Please feel free to contact us with resources and event information to inform our work and for consideration to be included on this page. Please put “ArtsRx resource” in the subject line.
Arts in Health Communities of Practice
a2ru convenes two communities of practice in the area of Arts & Public Health:
Community of Practice Members
Ferol was a founding board member of the National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH) and was an editor and contributing author to the Core Curriculum for Arts in Health Professionals. Ferol’s interest in curriculum design led her to co-develop the Undergraduate Certificate in Music in Medicine at UF. Ferol’s research interests include arts in health pedagogy, curriculum design, and assessment.
To learn more about Ferol: https://arts.ufl.edu/directory/profile/37123
Lisa Erdman, MFA, DA (Doctor of Arts) is an artist, educator, and researcher. She has taught art and design at the university level in the United States and in Finland. More recently, Dr. Erdman works medical students within health humanities courses at Penn State College of Medicine. Her performances and media art explore the politics of medicine and cultural identity. Dr. Erdman is interested in examining the mechanisms that shape personal identity and one’s relationship to medical authority.
Retired Pittsburgh Symphony violist Penny Brill is part of the National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH) initiative to professionalize artists in healthcare who currently have no healthcare credentials. Her nonprofit Musicians as a Community Resource (MUSACOR) currently supports a music therapist providing sessions at a shelter for unaccompanied minors and yoga with live musicians at several locations.
Raquel Chapin Stephenson, PhD, ATR-BC, LCAT, is a Professor of Art Therapy and Faculty Fellow in the Institute for the Arts in Health at Lesley University. She recently published Art Therapy and Creative Aging: Reclaiming Elderhood, Health and Wellbeing.
Tamara Underiner is associate dean for professional development and engagement in Arizona State University’s Graduate College, and associate professor in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre, where she serves as founding director of the Ph.D. program in Theatre and Performance of the Americas. She also convenes Creative Health Collaborations, a university-wide effort to integrate arts, humanities and design approaches in health research, education, practice and policy. With Dr. David W. Coon, she co-directs a new NEA-sponsored Research Lab studying the health-supporting role of the arts in different types of caregiving contexts and via a range of participatory arts experiences involving both caregivers and their loved ones.
Ariadne was awarded the 2023 Teaching Artist Guild (T.A.G.) Distinguished Service Award. Director of Creative Care, L.L.C., Ari initiated and teaches the arts in health curriculum within the College of Fine Arts at the University of South Dakota; served as a founding board member and chairperson of NOAH’s Professionalization Committee; works as arts in health consultant for Sanford Health and is an active roster artist with the South Dakota Arts Council’s Artists in the Schools and Communities Program.
For current Arts in Health projects see https://creativecarellc.com/
Rebecca Zarate is a music psychotherapist, musician, researcher, and educator of music therapy, arts therapies, and arts and health. Her research focuses on community mental health and sustainability, health, wellbeing, and the arts. A licensed Creative Arts Therapist, Board Certified Music Therapist, and certified Vocal Psychotherapist, she has a specific area of expertise in mental health, anxiety, and improvisation-based music therapy.
Zarate’s American story began in 1999 when she graduated with a BMus(hons) from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and embarked on her master’s degree in music therapy at New York University. Being an international faculty member has given her a unique perspective on cultural experiences and issues of access to arts and health. This is at the heart of her mission to do research that has transferrable, translatable, and impactful meaning in the lives of the public and community health and wellbeing.
Her 30-year career working in the arts and healthcare, and with traumatized children, youth, and adults, has led her to be interested in the clinical, social, and cultural intersections of anxiety, and writes and presents on this from clinical, critical, and cultural perspectives. She is dedicated to translating clinical and educational knowledge of music and the arts as a health mechanism into the greater community through the intersections of cross-discipline, interdisciplinary collaborations, and arts and health technologies.
She is the author of the book, “Music psychotherapy and anxiety: Social, community, and clinical contexts,” published by Jessica Kingsley, where she illuminates the various dimensions of anxiety, and the inquiry of music and arts, and the global social issues of the rising impact of anxiety and stress.
Maryrose Flanigan is the executive director of the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru), where she oversees a network of universities which are committed to advancing arts-based and interdisciplinary research, practice, and teaching in higher education. She serves on a presidential advisory group for the arts initiative at a2ru’s headquarters at the University of Michigan and is part of the advisory cohort for the Imagining America’s Leading and Learning Initiative: Shifting Institutional Culture to Fortify Public Scholarship, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Prior to joining the staff at a2ru, she served in various roles at the National Endowment for the Arts: as division coordinator for Literature and Arts Education, as a specialist for the creative writing and translation fellowships; and served as program manager for national programs Poetry Out Loud and the NEA Big Read. She has also served as associate editor for Office of Communications and Public Affairs (OCPA) at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U); and associate director for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). Maryrose has an M.F.A. in poetry from American University.
Arts in Health Pedagogy Resources
Below are syllabi and other classroom resources shared by members of our Arts in Health Educators Community of Practice. Please note that the resources shared remain the property of the authors/instructors.
Syllabus: Arts in Health, University of South Dakota Department of Art
Instructor: Ariadne Albright