Arts & Health: New Momentum for Artists and Communities

Tuesday, July 10, 2:00 EDT/ 11:00 PDT [PASSED]
Anita Boles, MPA, Society for the Arts in Healthcare
Gay Powell Hanna, Ph.D., M.F.A., National Center for Creative Aging

Session 4 of the  2012 Web Conference Series
A recording of this presentation is available here.

This series is free to the staff and board members of GIA member organizations. The fee for nonmembers is $35 per session.


Arts and healing is an age-old pairing enjoying a contemporary renaissance. From neonatal units to end-of-life care, the arts and related therapies are accepted forms of preventative and clinical care. Join leaders in the arts and wellness field to learn more about innovative research and programs, strategies for funding in this area, and growing opportunities for artists working in community settings.

Presented by Anita Boles, executive director, Society for Creative Aging; Gay Powell Hanna, executive director, National Center for Creative Aging.

Presenter Bios:
Anita Boles, MPA, has served since 2008 as the executive director of the Society for the Arts in Healthcare. The Society is an international membership organization representing over 1,700 programs and individuals working to advance the arts in health, healing, and healthcare. In 2009, she helped the Society launch a professional journal, Arts and Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice (Taylor & Francis), and she has expanded educational programs to include partnership forums in Rwanda, Israel, and the United Kingdom. With the support of Johnson & Johnson, the Society has also developed and launched a unique training and evaluation pilot program to build the capacity of regional arts and health networks to reach underserved populations.

Prior to her position at the Society, Boles served for over twenty-five years as an executive in health and human service–related nonprofit and government agencies, including those addressing arts in healthcare, health literacy, maternal and child health, and crime victimization and victim assistance. She has authored or co-authored publications on such issues as improving community responsiveness towards crime victims, cultural considerations in assisting victims of sexual assault and physical abuse, health concerns during pregnancy, and numerous topics related to arts and health. Also a visual artist, Boles is passionate about approaching health and healing creatively by bringing the arts to people at key moments of their lives for therapeutic, educational, and expressive purposes.

Gay Powell Hanna, Ph.D., M.F.A., is the executive director of the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA). An affiliate of George Washington University. NCCA is dedicated to fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and quality of life for older people. NCCA provides professional development and technical assistance to encourage and sustain arts and humanities program in various community and health care settings.

From 2003 to 2007 Dr. Hanna served as the executive director of the Society for the Arts in Healthcare. Through faculty positions at Florida State University and University of South Florida from 1987 to 2003, she directed VSA Arts of Florida, an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, providing arts education programs for people with disabilities including people with chronic illness. In 2001, she established the Florida Center for Creative Aging at the Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging at the University of South Florida. A contributing author to numerous articles and books, Dr. Hanna was the lead author of a white paper produced by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Arts and Human Development, Framing A National Research Agenda For The Arts, Lifelong Learning, And Individual Well-Being (November 2011). She is an associate professor at George Washington University in the Health Sciences Department.