In 2016, RI Department of Health partnered with the RI State Council on the Arts to support development of a State Arts and Health Plan - a public health roadmap for advancing the integration of arts and health for the state.
As part of this process an interdisciplinary team of arts and health practitioners which includes researchers, artists, and clinicians formed the RI Arts and Health Advisory Group. The Advisory Group outlined a strategy for fully integrating arts and arts-based therapies into healthcare and community settings through innovative and sustainable policy, practice, and research recommendations.
A short film was produced to highlight the significance of this first-of-its kind partnership and to amplify the work of the Network.
Shaping the future of Arts and Health in our State
In 2020, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) partnered with designers from the Rhode Island School of Design Center for Complexity (CfC). The objective of the undertaking was to explore — alongside practitioners working in the field — what a “Center for Arts and Health” could be for communities in Rhode Island and beyond. This report represents the documentation of a six-day strategic design event through which participants developed thoughts and recommendations to help RIDOH and RISCA conceptualize how best to advance the integration of the arts, art-therapies, and health and well-being in Rhode Island. View or Download the report
The Rhode Island State Arts and Health Plan (State Plan) was created by the RI State Arts and Health Advisory Group. The State Plan outlines policy, practice, and research recommendations for advancing the integration of arts and health in our State. Through the implementation of the recommendations, stakeholders will be poised to effect innovative change in the following focus areas.
Patient Care - Employing the arts with a treatment plan to anticipate and provide for each patient’s needs and helping them achieve their health goals in consideration of their health condition.
Education - Improving clinicians’ diagnostic tools, empathy, resiliency, and observation and communication skills.
Community Well-being - Using the arts to address public health concerns such as health literacy, health equity, and trauma resiliency, in public areas such as community centers, parks, stand-alone clinics, etc.
Healing Environments - Includes architecture and design for interiors and exteriors of facilities, permanent or rotating displays of art, music performance in lobbies or other public spaces, etc.
Care for Caregivers - Includes professional caregivers (e.g. physicians and nurses), paraprofessional caregivers (e.g. home health aides), and informal caregivers (e.g. family and friends).
Arts and Health Initiatives
The Rhode Island Arts and Health Network (RIAHN) is aligned with RIDOH’s mission of addressing social and environmental determinants of health through the integration of arts into health and healing. This is accomplished by partnering locally and nationally to connect people with the power of the arts at key moments in their lives. The State Plan focuses on advancing the integration of arts and health through the implementation of policy, practice, and research recommendations.
Overarching objectives of the recommendations:
Policy – To develop policies that ensure every Rhode Islander has access to the arts and creative arts therapies as options for obtaining and maintaining health and well-being;
Research - Support a broad agenda that seeks to develop and inform research that links stakeholders within and beyond the fields of arts and health, locally and nationally;
Practice - Improve health and healthcare of Rhode Islanders by incorporating arts and health practices across sectors.
It is through these efforts that we announced the first Rhode Island Arts and Health Artist in Residence Program. The project(s) identified through the RIAHN Artist in Residence Program focus on one or more of the five focus areas of the State Plan. One such project is "Things We Share"; A Graphic Novel Cookbook and intergenerational storytelling, collaboration and celebration of community and food. It was conceived while the artist, Jazzmen Lee-Johnson, was employed as the Artist in Residence at the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and in partnership with the RIDOH Refugee Health Program. Other partners include the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (funder), the South Side Community Land trust, refugee immigrant youth, and their communities. The book is a collection of stories and recipes from the youth’s cultures, interviews with their elders and became an opportunity to learn and practice urban farming. Read Book Online
Just as the project began, schools closed, physical distancing practices emerged, and quarantine and isolation came into play. The participant needed to reflect, reevaluate, and redirect. The project became much smaller and a team from the South Side Community Land trust helped organize the interviews. Other emerging artists brought the stories and recipes to life.
The artist had her community’s heath amidst a global pandemic at the forefront of her mind – knowing that traditional foods and healing are crucial tour well-being; One of our most powerful medicines and forms of self-care is food.
Throughout the book you will discover flavors, journeys, and lessons, from Angola, Congo, Ghana, Cape Verde, Alabama, Burundi, Liberia, and of course Rhode Island. Some of the ingredients and recipes speak directly to healing the body through food and herbal remedies – which is even more important today as immigrant and communities of color are hit hardest by COVID-19.
An Evidence-Based State Plan for Arts in Healthcare: Lessons from The Rhode Island Arts & Health Advisory Group Experience. American Public Health Association. Atlanta, Georgia (November 4-8, 2017). - Springs S. Langberg V, Brown S, Boudreau S, Simmons A, Long S, Baruch J.
Measuring the impact of participating in Community Engaged Evidence Synthesis Research. (Accepted as a Long Form Oral Presentation at the 25thCochrane Colloquium, Edinburgh Scotland, September 2018) - Springs S, Rofeberg VL, Brown S, Boudreau S, Baruch J.
Training community research partners in evidence synthesis methods: A Pilot Study. (Accepted as a Long Form Oral Presentation at the 25thCochrane Colloquium, Edinburgh Scotland,, September 2018) - Rofeberg VL, Springs S, Brown S, Boudreau S, Baruch J, Sullivan A.
10/31/2018 Invited to participate “Creating Healthy Communities: Arts + Public Health in America”Athens Georgia and 01/17/2019 Washington, DC
9/18/2018 (October 9, 2018) Community-Engaged Approaches to Evidence Synthesis: A Model for Interdisciplinary Collaboration. 31st Annual Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo/National Organization for Arts and Health Meeting (Plenary Session) Austin, Texas – S. Boudreau, S. Brown, S. Springs
11/10/2017 “Arts-based healthcare interventions: Evidence-based recommendations” Panel Discussion, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI. - Springs S, Boudreau S, Brown S, Baruch J.
11/29/2017 “Empowering health, Creatively” Panel Discussion, Creative Medicine Lecture Series, Cogut Institute for the Humanities, Brown University. Providence, RI. - Springs S, Boudreau S, Brown S, Baruch J.
12/8/2017 “Arts-based healthcare interventions in Rhode Island: Evidence-based recommendations for population health planning” Panel Discussion, Rhode Island Department of Public Health & Rhode Island State Council for the Arts. Providence, RI. Springs S, Boudreau S, Brown S, Baruch J.
The Rhode Island State Arts and Health Advisory Group