Arts & Health Partnership

RISCA and Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH website) partner on a joint program serving to advance the integration of the arts, art-therapies, health and well-being. Additionally, the program amplifies and elevates arts programs and collaborations, which support healthy individuals and communities. 

RISCA's Arts and Health Grant, which opens Feb. 1, provides up to $9,000 to nonprofit organizations. Read more about the Grant.

YouTube Video on Rhode Island Arts and Health Initiative.
Stay connected with the Arts and Health Partnership


Partnership Programing

  • In Conversation: Arts and Health series (started in 2022): Conversation series with artists, creatives, health professionals, and other innovators who believe in the power of the arts to engage communities and improve well-being. Each event opens with a presentation, followed by open conversation and networking or a field trip into the community. Virtual and in person events. Events are free. 
  • Arts and Health Artist in Residence program (started in 2019): Embeds an artist within a state health agency to foster creative arts-based approaches and innovation around specific health goals. With an emphasis on process, the artistic experience fosters innovative problem solving and builds trust-based relationships to advance health priorities. Focused on co-creating, based on listening and learning from and about the needs of the community.  

Jazzmen Lee-Johnson (2019) - Visual artist, scholar, composer and curator

Project Partners

  • Refugee Health Program
  • Southside Community Land Trust
  • RIDOH Asthma Control Program

Melody Gamba (2022) - Dance artist, educator, licensed mental health counselor and board-certified dance-movement psychotherapist.

Project Partners

  • Executive Office of Health and Human Services
  • Parent Support Network of RI
  • Dorcas International

Connecting the community and building the field

  • Design Sprint with the RISD Center for Complexity (2020) - Explored what a Center for Arts and Health might look like in Rhode Island. (View or download RIAHN Report
  • Artist at the Table (2020) - An online course, facilitated by Dr. Stacey Springs, to support artists working in arts and health to better understand research, and how it might serve their own work to build the field.   
  • Evidence Research Map (2019) - Prepared by Dr. Stacey Springs, Center for Evidence Synthesis in Health Brown University School of Public Health, in collaboration with the community Arts and Health Advisory Group.  
  • Rhode Island Arts and Health State Plan (2019) – A public health roadmap for advancing the work through thirteen policy, practice, and research recommendations that align with the state’s 23 population health goals.   Includes Five Focus areas: Patient Care, Healing Environments, Caring for Caregivers, Education, Community well-being. (View or Download State Plan) 
  • Arts and Health Advisory Group (2016) – In 2016-2017 RIDOH and RISCA agreed to support development of the State Arts and Health Plan – a first-of-its-kind working document that seeks to outline a strategy for integrating arts, art and art-based therapies into healthcare and community settings.

In 2016, RISCA partnered with the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Brown School of Public Health to investigate how the arts can positively impact health, and work in concert with clinical practices. An arts and health planning process guided by a 25-member community advisory group, and Dr. Springs, convened to look at current evidence and gaps in evidence in the field of arts and health. The result was the Rhode Island State Plan for Arts and Health, and the formation of the R.I. Arts and Health Partnership with the two state agencies serving as the co-leads on the Arts and Health initiative. A community-based Arts and Health Steering Committee was formed to help guide the work going forward. 

RIDOH Arts and Health

  • Ongoing efforts to engage public health programmatic teams by embedding Artists into the work. 
  • Crush COVID mini-grant program. 
  • National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH) - Board Participation, Advocacy and Research Sub-committees.