Creating Healthy Communities: Arts + Public Health in America

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The Creating Healthy Communities through Cross-sector Collaboration white paper presents the views of more than 250 thought leaders from the public health, arts and culture, and community development sectors who were convened in working groups in 2018 and 2019. Their voices are joined by over 500 participants in a national field survey and focus groups, and are supported by findings of a scoping review of arts + public health literature.

With the public health sector as a primary intended audience, the Creating Healthy Communities through Cross-sector Collaboration white paper frames the value of the arts and culture for advancing health and well-being in communities. It offers examples and recommendations for expanding cross-sector collaboration and innovation, with the following goals:

  • Advance collaboration among those working at the intersections of art and culture, public health, and community development
  • Stimulate upstream interventions—aimed at systems, cultures, and policies—that reduce barriers to health and well-being
  • Assert the value of arts and culture for increasing health, wellbeing, and equity in communities
  • Foster transformative social change that advances health and wellbeing

This paper is also intended to offer value and guidance to community development, arts and culture, and other allied health sectors by providing examples of impactful cross-sector collaborations that engage arts and culture to address five critical public health issues: collective trauma, racism, social isolation and exclusion, mental health, and chronic disease. These concrete examples inform the paper’s recommendations and call to action, which assert the value of the arts and culture for community health transformation, and for advancing the culture of health being envisioned today.

Download the paper here.