April has been an invigorating month packed with exciting conferences and engaging community dialogues that started in Vancouver with the Medicina Conference at the University of British Columbia. This was followed by my attendance at the Global Alliance for Arts and Health conference, held in Washington, D.C.
I then traveled on to Ottawa and Toronto, along with Jeremy Long, Co-Chair of the Arts Health Network Canada board. In each of these cities, AHNC hosted a gathering to facilitate dialogue on arts and health. Together with the participants, we explored the possibilities of creating local AHNC chapters as well as more cross country involvement in shaping the growth and development of the national network.
In the many presentations and stories I heard, common themes emerged that speak to the critical role that the arts play in individual and community health and wellness. The arts are used to convey complex and difficult topics by extending us beyond the limits of plain language and our consciously known realities. They bridge differences, building and enhancing human connections that create and sustain community. The arts influence the design of medical technologies, work processes, and the built environment, which is more frequently recognized as an integral component of care. They also give wings to individualâ€™s untold stories and histories, which through the act of sharing help empower, heal, and build the resiliency of the individual while also helping catalyze change. Most importantly, the arts have a transformative power that enable us to move from what is to what can be.
I am excited for the continuation of dialogue on May 3rd at the ArtsBC Conference, where we are co-hosting a day of speakers and panel discussions on arts and health projects and initiatives across British Columbia.
Executive Director, Arts Health Network Canada â€“ BC
This monthâ€™s Snapshot features three medical students from the University of British Columbia, Jaeyun Yoo, Simon Yu, and Hyup Lee, who were the organizers of this year's student-run Medicina conference. After the conference, we spoke with these emerging leaders to get their thoughts and experiences in arts and health. READ MORE>>
Mental Health Week
May 6-11th 2013 is Mental Health week, and across Canada many events highlight the role arts can play in raising awareness and improving our mental health. Read David Granirer explain how stand up comedy and his program Stand Up For Mental Health helps people cope with various mental health challenges, while also breaking down stigma. READ MORE>>
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