Throughout history, pictures, stories, dances, music, and drama have been central to healing. Research at the National Institutes of Health has concluded that these creative arts therapies significantly reduced anxiety, depression, and pain and improved patients’ quality of life. For these reasons, the visual, literary, and performing arts are flourishing in many leading hospitals and outpatient facilities, throughout the world.
Wholly supported by philanthropy, the Arts in Medicine program was created in 2015 at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas to integrate the visual, music, and performing arts to promote healing and enhance the lives of patients, their families, visitors, and caregiver. The program is administered by professionally-trained music practitioners and art and music therapists.
In addition, the Arts in Medicine program has created the Open Art Studio where patients are invited to use art to cope with illnesses. Participants are supported and encouraged by others as they build confidence and create masterpieces to express joy and happiness as well as the feelings of frustration over illness. Often participants share their stories of treatment and how they got through it as well as tips and tricks to creating the best artwork possible.
As word spread about the Arts in Medicine program and the positive impact all these services have, the program has grown and now receives thousands of referrals each month from all areas of the hospital.