Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Focus: Conference to explore medicine and the arts

As part of my occasional Friday Focus series on stories that I don't feel are getting the coverage due them in the mainstream media, I wanted to mention the Creative Minds in Medicine Conference, which will happen in Cleveland later this month.

One of the speakers that I am particularly excited about is a session on impact of lead contamination on children and their educational development. This, in my opinion, is a huge issue in Detroit and one that isn't getting as much attention as it deserves. More on the information lead poisoning in Detroit and its impact on children is available here, here, and here.

In an effort to bring awareness to the ever-growing link between medicine and the arts, Cleveland-based, Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) will be hosting its first ever Creative Minds in Medicine Conference at the new Cleveland Global Center for Health Innovation. This conference, which takes place on October 29 and 30 will feature a variety of keynote speakers who will focus on the increasing overlap and collaboration between the arts and medicine nationwide.

The two-day event will be filled with diverse discussions led by several nationwide experts on a variety of arts and healthcare projects, practices, research and trends. Keynote speakers include:

Gary Glazner, the founder and executive director of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project. Glazner will speak on Dementia Arts: Celebrating Creativity in Elder Care. In his fun, high-energy talk, Glazner will relate simple techniques to create high-quality arts programs, build communication skills and help increase the ability to connect with people living with memory loss.

Sunil Iyengar, the research and analysis director of the National Endowment for the Arts. Iyengar will discuss in his Research Agenda for the Arts and Health session, the efforts of leading a federal taskforce to encourage more extensive research on how the arts help people reach their full potential at all stages of life.

Mel Chin, the lead behind Operation Paydirt. This project is a national movement that is designed to support awareness and solutions to lead contamination and address childhood lead poisoning, which is huge in Detroit. As part of this seminar, Chin will demonstrate how arts and culture plays a key role in raising awareness about pressing community health issues.

Nadine Licostie, the director of “The Last One”, a feature-length documentary that summarizes the controversial battle and stigma surrounding the AIDS virus and the gay community. This film frames the quest to sew the last panel into the Quilt, representing the end of AIDS. She will discuss her film making journey, uncovering the birth of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and its subsequent impact on politics, science and the media, as it has become the largest ongoing community art project in the world.

In addition to the keynote speakers, attendees will have the chance to experience firsthand the healing power of the arts through demonstrations and activities, and help shape how the arts and healthcare dialogue in Greater Cleveland is making an impact nationwide. Specifically, the conference agenda also includes several panel discussions on important topics, including: Arts and Health Economy, Arts & Culture in a Changing Healthcare Landscape, and Arts, Culture & Social Change: Fostering Healthy Communities to name a few.

“Northeast Ohio is at the national forefront of a remarkable new dynamic: the growing intersection of our world-class healthcare sector and our world-class arts and culture sector. The interplay between these industries is sparking new ideas, new programs, new products and services. CPAC showed in our recent research report that this intersection is evolving and expanding rapidly. The Creative Minds in Medicine Conference is a timely opportunity to bring together arts and healthcare experts from around the nation to identify ways to support and enhance the critical collaboration taking place every day between our arts and healthcare industries,” said Tom Chema, Board Chair of CPAC.

Those interested in attending the conference can register at CultureForward.org. Registration includes admission for both days of the conference, breakfast and lunch for both days of the conference, a reception, and valet parking.
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