Project HEAL is a cultural blueprint for creative, just, healthy places and a model that can be replicated across America.
A Convergence of Culture, Community and Science.
While we intuitively know that we “feel better” when participating in arts and culture events or projects, our scientific knowledge is largely limited to research on art and music therapy. In other words, we know about the impact on the individual. What about on an entire community or city?
IDEAS xLab's community health development model, Project HEAL (Health. Equity. Art. Learning.), introduces arts and culture as the key drivers for learning, action and evaluation by communities seeking to increase civic engagement toward greater participation in policy making and improved wellbeing.
Project HEAL stands as a proclamation of connection and social justice, establishing the care and celebration of one another as the highest priority of arts in America.
Features of Project HEAL:
- Developed by a team of artists, curators, community activists, social innovators, health professionals and scientists.
- Brings together people, research, tools and resources of three sectors:
- Health/Information Sciences
- Replicable, scalable, evidence-informed approach.
- Flexible 36-month, arts and culture-activated, population health program that is co-designed with communities.
- Engages businesses, government, organizations, entrepreneurs, and researchers dedicated to a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.
- Uses various types of humanities-based approaches, artistic expression, media, and other cultural strategies, to explore both symptoms and root causes of local challenges, and identify unique leverage points for community health improvement.
- Creates actionable policy change initiatives and sustainable community development strategies that are designed to impact community wellbeing at multiple levels.
- Builds community capacity by cultivating more fully engaged neighborhoods, with creative civic leaders, who have the necessary skills and resources, to develop policies and programs, that positively impact wellbeing at community-wide level.
EVIDENCE INFORMED APPROACH
A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) conducted by IDEAS xLab and Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness in collaboration the Health Impact Project -- a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, with support from the Kresge Foundation -- found Project HEAL may benefit communities through:
Improved social cohesion and civic engagement.
Policy changes that positively impact health.
Increased opportunities for building inclusive economies through social and cultural entrepreneurship.
Increased opportunities for improving social emotional skills leading to improvements in educational achievement.
Improved wellbeing of communities experiencing chronic and/or traumatic stress.
Improved physical environment.