IDEAS xLab is a dynamic artist-run nonprofit based in Louisville, KY.
Currently providing technical assistance and coaching to partner sites in more than 5 states, with a predominant focus on the South and Appalachia, we are committed to leveraging the power of arts, culture, and the creative industries to support health and wellbeing innovation.
These communities are coming together to drive positive health outcomes through music and drumming circles, open mic poetry slams, visual art exercises, writing workshops and more.
Whether it’s an urban neighborhood advocating for policy change, middle-school students focused on environmental justice solutions, or community residents partnering with a federally qualified health center to leverage art for space beautification and to decrease medical mistrust — our approach is grounded in culture and fueled by the arts to support a community as it celebrates its identity and designs solutions with lasting health impact.
Our work is informed by a Health Impact Assessment, and a recently completed process evaluation conducted University of Louisville’s Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky. Through our partnership with UofL through the Center for Creative Placehealing, we looking forward to measuring the impact of the HEAL model on hope/trust/belonging in the years to come.
Scroll down to learn a little bit more about our history. Click here to delve into our HEAL Model.
Our Partnership with University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Sciences
Creative places, fueled by culture, become even more sustainable when they are BACKED BY SCIENCE.
In Summer 2018, we began planning a new and exciting collaboration with University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Sciences called the UofL Center for Creative Placehealing (launching early 2019). Directed by Theo Edmonds (an original co-founder of IDEAS xLab), the new Center for Creative Placehealing will support scientific research and innovation development in public health to further strengthen the impact of the HEAL model and Smoketown Hopebox.
Additionally, the new Center will be focused on establishing the University of Louisville as a national leader in:
Forging industry-engaged R&D which translates and adapts public health research for direct action and investment by the private sector;
Developing intersectional (LGBTQ, African-American, Women, etc) population health innovation leadership, education, training & professional development programs; and,
Creating advocacy, messaging and policy innovation toward creating a culture of health in business through evidence-based programming with the advertising sector & creative industries.
IDEAS xLab Team
We are grateful for the generous support and thought partnership of our organizational funders listed below. And, especially, to the many private donors who selflessly give of their time, talent and treasure to support our work.
Educational Foundation of America | National Endowment for the Arts | ArtPlace America | Health Impact Project -- a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, with support from the Kresge Foundation | Humana, Inc. | Humana Foundation | KentuckyOne Health | Metro Louisville Government | Owsley Brown III | Clifton Foundation | Louisville Fund for the Arts | Community Foundation of Louisville | Gheens Foundation | Sutherland Foundation
IDEAS xLab has evolved over the years from an art exhibition program (2012), to a creative chamber of commerce (2013-2014), a for-profit LLC with a nonprofit arm, and into it's current form - a dynamic 501c3 nonprofit focused on arts-based, culturally-responsive change initiatives designed to positively impact health and wellbeing.
Erik Eaker, Chair
Workforce Development Initiatives at
Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation
Community Foundation of Louisville
Dr. Craig Blakely
Dean, University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Sciences
University of Louisville School of Medicine
Theo Edmonds, JD,MHA,MFA
Director, Center for Creative Placehealing
University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Sciences
(Co-founder IDEAS xLab)
National Arts Advisor
Dr. Monica Wendel
Assoc. Dean, University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Sciences
Director, Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky