WMA’s Impact: Art + Well-being
“The arts benefit patients, their caregivers, and the systems that provide the care—saving money, reducing pain medication needs and the length of hospital stays, strengthening immune levels, decreasing depression, increasing memory and cognitive function, and improving communication and behavioral skills.”
While ongoing research supports the role of the arts in medical environments, we at WMA see that human connection through the arts also deeply impacts mental health and well-being in times of disruption.
At WMA, we’re doing our part to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in practical ways and by providing meaningful connections through the arts:
- Staff members are sewing cloth face masks, and have donated them to local health clinics to keep front-line medical staff safe.
- WMA’s partnership with Dothan City Schools continues through take-home art supply kits as part of the Meal Distribution Program. Kits include lessons and all of the supplies needed for over 1,200 preK-6 students, which will provide enriched learning activities for students who may not have access to plentiful supplies or Internet-based learning.
- By working with artists and educators, WMA is continually creating and publishing digital content to inspire, educate, and connect people online. Whether our Wiregrass neighbors are embracing creativity and sharing it online through the Community Curated project, or needing to take some time away from the news cycle and tuning in to programs like Brunch and Learn at WMA’s virtual First Saturday Family Day, your museum is actively filling the shared need for connection.
Additionally, WMA is considering the future impact of the arts sector, and our museum, on the health and well-being of our communities. Our temporary closure and eventual safe re-opening strategies will reflect our values: integrity, excellence, and leadership in professionalism. We are grateful for your support as we creatively imagine and implement protective health measures for our visitors and new ways to connect in the future, and as we continue to be a flagship for the visual arts in the rural Southeast.
Want to know more about the intersections of art, health, and well-being? Explore impact points and examples of practice here from our partners at Americans for the Arts.
Executive Director and Curator