The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health

A Review of Current Literature

Heather L. Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel

"We reviewed research in the area of art and healing in an effort to determine the creative therapies most often employed. Four primary therapies emerged: music engagement, visual arts therapy, movement-based creative expression, and expressive writing. In these forms of expression, arts modalities and creative processes are used during intentional interventions to foster health. By assessing the use of these processes in clinical and qualitative trials, one can determine how others have found benefit in tying the intricacies of artistic meaning to the complexities of health and wellness. Our hope is to expand effective exploration of these concerns.

We further believe that certain social and environmental factors are converging to thrust the central questions related to better understanding the relationship between art and health into the spotlight of expanded and vigorous attention. Globalization, bringing with it the need to embrace the broad cultural diversity around how personal and societal philosophies interoperate, will put a premium on finding more effective ways to create and share meaning and meaningfulness. This need for meaning and relevance in daily experience has long been recognized as one of the fundamental driving forces in artistic creation and engagement."

Source: Article Introduction