At this year’s “Arts and Health Week”, hosted by the LA County Dept of Arts & Culture, county supervisor Hilda J. Solis stumped for more arts in county services. Solis has long been an avid supporter of the arts, and investment in any new elements in health, wellness and recovery services will take some time. But the suggestion is sound, and it’s always good to see more discussion of the essential nature of creative life… in the rest of life.
The summit takes place at the Music Center on Friday, June 9, and LA Opera is heavily involved, as are many other arts orgs within the county. LAO has provided a good starting point to learn about the event here.
Thank you all for all you do!
The press release follows.
ARTS AND HEALTH WEEK MOTION BY HILDA L. SOLIS ENCOURAGES INCORPORATION OF THE ARTS IN COUNTY’S HEALTH, WELLNESS, AND RECOVERY SERVICES
June 9 ‘Arts and Health Week Summit’ Partners LA Opera Connects, Department of Arts and Culture, Healing Arts (An Initiative of The Jameel Arts & Health Lab), and the World Health Organization to Build Cross-Sector Practices
The Board of Supervisors today adopted a motion authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis that declares this Arts and Health Week in the County of Los Angeles and encourages County departments to explore ways to build the arts into their health, wellbeing, and recovery services.
This arrives in conjunction with this year’s Arts and Health Week Summit, scheduled for June 9 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The summit is a collaboration between LA Opera, the LA County Department of Arts and Culture, Healing Arts (an initiative of the Jameel Arts & Health Lab), and the World Health Organization. It convenes artists, arts and health organizations, community leaders, funders, government institutions, and acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming, Special Projects Advisor for LA Opera and World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Arts and Health.
The goal of the day-long slate of panel discussions and presentations is to explore how the arts can increasingly—and equitably—support health and wellbeing for the residents of LA County. Last year’s inaugural summit highlighted ways LA County advances the intersection of arts and health through the work of the Department of Arts and Culture in collaboration with other County and local agencies, including commissioning civic art in hospitals and health centers, funding grants to arts organizations and nonprofits with community-based arts programs, delivering healing and trauma-informed arts education for systems-impacted and underserved youth, and placing Creative Strategist artists in residence within County departments to focus on health and equity for communities.
“Arts and culture heal us,” said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the LA County Department of Arts and Culture. “From time immemorial to growing research today, we know that the arts improve social cohesion as well as mental, physical, and public health—and we have an opportunity now to deliver the benefits that the arts can bring. The Arts and Health Week Summit shines a light on the vital artists, organizations, agencies, programs, and cross-sector arts initiatives that incorporate arts into health and wellness. These deepening partnerships are integral to equity and healthy communities across civic life, including education, youth development, justice reform and prevention, health, infrastructure, aging, and more. I am hopeful that with increased visibility we can find ways to make arts and culture a core part of the services and strategies in our health infrastructure, both locally in Los Angeles County and nationally as a model for this work.”
“The powerful potential of music and arts for lifelong well-being is just beginning to be understood,” said Renée Fleming. “How can someone with advanced dementia, unable to recognize their own spouse, perfectly recall songs from their youth? Why can some patients with Parkinson’s disease, struggling to rise from a chair or walk through a doorway, easily accomplish these tasks, or even dance, to the sound of a musical beat? Music and arts therapies are proving to be effective tools for addressing the symptoms of a vast array of conditions that include cardiac failure, stroke, PTSD, chronic pain, and traumatic brain injuries. I’m thrilled to be a part of the LA County Arts and Health Week once again, to share findings, and learn about programs that leverage these discoveries to the benefit of everyone in the community.”
“The versatility and impact found at the intersection of arts and health grows with every year that we dedicate to the study and advocacy of arts in and as therapy,” said LA Opera Connects Vice President Tehvon Fowler-Chapman. “LA Opera is incredibly proud and honored to lend our voices and programs to furthering that impact. It takes a collective to bring about lasting change and impact, and this year the Arts and Health week and the Summit are an opportunity to meet, share ideas, and come away with goals and visions that support the well-being of LA County residents throughout all stages of life.”
About the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture
The mission of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture is to advance arts, culture, and creativity throughout Los Angeles County. It provides leadership, services, and support in areas including grants and technical assistance for nonprofit organizations, countywide arts education initiatives, commissioning and care for civic art collections, research and evaluation, pathways to the creative economy, professional development, free community programs, and cross-sector creative strategies that address civic issues. For more information, visit lacountyarts.org