Arts+ Health Month Kick Off: Community Leaders Concert and Exhibit Preview

Arts+ Health Month Kick Off: Community Leaders Concert and Exhibit Preview
Blair Franks, Pres. USC Head & Neck Cancer Survivors Group, Charlie Lustman, Survivor/Music Advocate, Duncan Gamble, Actor
Certificates of commendation to community leaders at the event
Robert Gupta, LA Phil Violinist and TED Senior Fellow
LA Nagoya  and LA St. Petersburg Sister City members with Artist Mike Saijo
Blair Franks with Joanne Abu Qartoumy and Ron Thomas, Kelly Thomas Advocate
Charlie Lustman presenting his life affirmative message to the audience
Gilda Moshir and Kira Solomatova from Our Parenting Place with Robert Donin, IGM AG Adviser
November 8, 2011 - 12:30pm - 3:00pm
USC IGM Art Gallery, 2250 Alcazar Street, 2nd Floor


This Soft Machine: DNA exhibit preview will kick off the USC IGM Art Gallery Arts+Health month activities.  Founded by the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, Arts + Health Month is a time to host awareness-raising events and heighten media attention for our field. 

The exhibit will continue through February 26, 2012 and will offer event, forum and education opportunities focused on art, science, healthcare and community capacity building. 

LA Phil first violinist, click this link Robert Gupta, TED Senior Fellow and Founder of Street Symphony, Los Angeles will perform and speak briefly.  Click this link  Charlie Lustman, Head and Neck Cancer Survivor and Pop Musician on a national tour, will sing and speak on celebrating survival.  Artist, click this link,  Mike Saijo will speak about the genesis of the Soft Machine Project and the exhibit,  Soft Machine: DNA 



November is Arts + Health Month, which was created by the Society for the Arts in Healthcare—a non-profit 501c3 international organization founded in 1991 and based in Washington, DC—whose mission is to advance the arts as integral to healthcare.

Around the world, the arts are emerging as an integral component of healthcare. Today, healthcare initiatives that involve partnerships between arts and health professionals are demonstrating real benefits—improving patient outcomes, helping people make connections, and engendering a sense of community.

What is Arts in Healthcare?

Arts in healthcare is a diverse, multidisciplinary field dedicated to transforming the healthcare experience by connecting people with the power of the arts at key moments of their lives. This rapidly growing field integrates the arts—including literary, performing, and visual arts and design—into a wide variety of healthcare and community settings for therapeutic, education, and expressive purposes.

Benefits of the Arts in Healthcare

 Documented benefits of participating in visual arts and art therapy activities include
• improved depression and lower fatigue levels in cancer patients on chemotherapy (Bar-Sela, Atid, Danos, Gabay, and Epelbaum, 2007);
• reduced acute stress symptoms in pediatric trauma patients (Chapman, Morabito, Ladakakos, Schreier, and Knudson, 2001);
• improved care for veterans returning from Iraq with symptoms of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Collie, Backos, Malchiodi, and Spiegel, 2006).

 Positive outcomes achieved through music therapy and music interventions include
• improved executive function and emotional adjustment with Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) in Traumatic Brain Injury rehabilitation (Thaut et al., 2009);

• increased capacity for flexibility and tolerance of change in children diagnosed with autism (Gold and Wigram, 2006);
• decreased use of sedatives during medical procedures (Loewy, Hallan, Friedman, and Martinez, 2005; Walworth, 2005).

 Outcome research regarding the benefits of dance and dance/movement therapy includes
• improved mobility in individuals with fibromyalgia (Bojner-Horwitz, Theorell, & Anderberg, 2003) and adherence in adults with cystic fibrosis (Goodill, 2005);
• enhanced physical, psychosocial, and cognitive functioning of older adults with neurotrauma (Berrol, Ooi, and Katz, 1997);
• increased self-esteem and reductions in stress (Ho, 2005);
• increased self-awareness and appreciation of one’s body, for cancer patients (Dibbell-Hope, 2000).

 Demonstrated benefits of interventions involving dramatic arts, drama therapy, and psychodrama include
• greater understanding and relief from isolation for breast cancer patients (Sinding, Gray, Grassau, Damianakis, and Hampson, 2006);
• increased understanding of medical students, residents, and staff concerning the humanistic elements of end-of-life care (Steckart and Rosenfeld, 2004);
• enhanced ability to address cognitive functioning and quality-of-life issues important for older adults to live independently (Noice and Noice, 2004).

 Studies using creative writing and poetry therapy as an intervention report
• improved lung function in students and adults with asthma after written emotional expression (Bray, Theodore, Patwa, Margiano, Alric, and Peck, 2003);
• fewer visits to physicians and reduced symptom complaints (Pennebaker, 1997, 2004).

 Research has also focused on architecture and design issues, which include
• designing to incorporate views of nature to reduce stress and enhance a sense of control—a key aspect of wellness—as indicated by several laboratory and clinical studies (Capozza, 2009);
• reducing patients’ length of stay in hospitals and costs by decreasing risk associated with healthcare-related infections (Zhan & Miller, 2003; Pittet, Tarara, and Wenzel, 1994)—research shows that healthcare-related infection rates are lowered substantially when room design is effective, incorporating considerations such as proper ventilation and single occupancy (The Center for Health Design, 2003).