The Importance and Value of Art in Health Care: A Symposium to be Held at The Museum of Modern Art

Vanderbilt University Medical Center, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and The Society for Arts in Healthcare are hosting a one-day symposium addressing “The Importance and Value of Art in Health Care,” on March 7, 2008, at MoMA in New York City.

This is the second annual arts in health care symposium organized by VUMC, in conjunction with the Society for Arts in Healthcare. MoMA is participating this year as part of The MoMA Alzheimer’s Project, a two-year initiative to nationally expand the museum’s outreach program for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Symposium sessions will provide an overview of arts and healing. Topics will include model arts in health care programs in the United States and abroad; current research being conducted on the relationship between arts and healing; and the financial aspects of placing arts in healing environments.

Presenters and speakers at the symposium will include prominent artists who have placed or created art for hospitals and clinics, who will relate their poignant experiences; health care professionals, who will discuss the importance of supporting arts programming; and art consultants, who will recommend various resources from the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.

Two pre-symposium workshops will be held March 6, 2008: “Making Art Accessible to People with Alzheimer’s,” funded by MetLife Foundation, and “How to Start a Visual Art Program in a Health Care Setting.”

Health care decision-makers, arts administrators, artists, architects, designers, development officers and anyone interested in exploring the aesthetic and therapeutic benefits of arts in health care environments are invited to attend the symposium on Friday, March 7, 2008. The day will culminate with a dinner featuring keynote speaker Oliver Sacks, M.D., author of “Awakenings,” “The Man Who Mistook His Hat For His Wife and Other Clinical Tales,” “An Anthropologist on Mars,” and “Musicophilia:Tales of Music and The Brain.”

Cost for the symposium day is $300. There is an additional $50 fee for the pre-symposium workshop. For more information, call Donna Glassford of VUMC at (615)936-1234 or go to the Society for Arts in Healthcare website,, to download a PDF version of the symposium’s registration brochure.