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Arts in Health at Ohio University

Arts in Health

“Arts in Health is a field dedicated to using the power of the arts to enhance health and well-being in diverse institutional and community contexts.”

—the National Organization of Arts in Health (NOAH)


This program supports practitioners in the arts who are invested in the health and well-being of individuals and their communities.

People and communities are part of complex systems that have the capacity to thrive when all aspects of health are considered.

Arts practitioners in this field work with a wide spectrum of communities a variety of settings, including but not limited to, nonprofit and for-profit healthcare facilities, hospice programs, long-term care facilities, mental health programs, schools, rehabilitation treatment centers, special needs camps, disaster response teams, psychiatric forensic units, veterans’ facilities, prisons, community centers, wellness programs, and military bases.


An Emerging Field of Study and Practice

Under the broad umbrella of arts and health, several disciplines have emerged which are inter-related yet distinct. The Creative Arts Therapies—these include distinct regulated health professions of art therapy, dance/movement therapy, drama therapy, music therapy, poetry therapy, and psychodrama therapy- were established between the 1930’s and 1960s in the United States. Arts in Medicine, also commonly referred to as Arts in Healthcare or Arts in Health, began to emerge as a discipline in the 1980’s. A third discipline, Arts in Public Health, is emerging in alignment with the national and global priority to enhance population health through wellness and prevention.

What Does Arts in Health Look Like?



Art as Shared Experience

Art should be integrated within all healthcare and community settings. It does its job simply, by holding a space and time for our shared experiences, but also provides openings to a "freedom of responsiveness" that helps us see life in new ways.

— Sarah Valeri, Licensed Creative Art Therapist (New York), adjunct faculty, School of Art + Design


Program Contact:

For more information and answers to questions, please contact:

Angela Sprunger
Assistant Professor of Instruction
School of Art & Design
Assistant Director, co-Founder
Ohio Valley Center for Collaborative Arts