Arts & Health InterSECT to Catalyze Arts-based Health and Wellness Efforts in Southeastern CT

The Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition will present “Arts & Health InterSECT: Creating Health & Wellness Through the Arts in Southeastern CT” on Friday, February 2, 2018 from 9:00am to 11:30am at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center in Ledyard, the first of its kind in the region. The event is free to attend but registration is required, .

Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition Executive Director, Wendy Bury, said, “The arts have a powerful impact on health and wellness.“  Bury continued, “This event serves to inform, catalyze and inspire. It is the first public step to connect the dots of professionals and organizations currently providing arts-based health and wellness programs, and provides an opportunity for those who would like to learn more or potentially collaborate with others.”

Guest speakers include State Senator Heather Somers, co-Chair of the Public Health Committee and Bill Stanley of Lawrence & Memorial Hospital.  Judy Dworin, Founder, Executive & Artistic Director of Judy Dworin Performance Project, Inc., will provide the keynote about her award-winning organization and innovative arts projects with prison communities, including at York Correctional Institute in Niantic.

Judy Dworin founded the Judy Dworin Performance Project, Inc. (JDPP) in 1989 based on a commitment to the important role the arts can and do play in challenging and creating change – personal, educational, and global. In addition to her work as JDPP’s Executive Director, Artistic Director to the Ensemble, and co-architect of the Moving Matters! Educational Residency Program, Judy conceived and directs the Bridging Boundaries outreach program for those affected by incarceration. This includes a 12-year residency at York Correctional Institution for women in Niantic, CT where she and her collaborative team lead a year-long performance residency as well as a Moms and Kids outreach and weekend arts engagement. In 2016, the program spanned to serve men at the Cybulski Reintegration Center in Enfield, CT.

Arts & Health InterSECT is co-hosted by Artreach, Inc. (Norwich), Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut (New London), Inc., Horses Healing Humans (Stonington), Reliance Health, Inc. (Norwich), The Light House (Groton), and Writer’s Block Ink (New London), some of the active participants of the Coalition’s Arts in Health monthly peer Roundtable. The group began as a Rising Tide Series Cultural Conversation to identify common issues when the Coalition was first formed in 2014.  Roundtable attendees attend meetings to share information, learn about resources, and find areas for collaboration. 
Several of the co-hosts will share their collaborative projects and all will have information tables during this Arts in Health Cultural Summit.  Attendees will find out about programs available for local referrals, discover new forms of arts-based programs for health and wellness, and connect with others interested in strengthening the region’s arts in healthcare efforts through advocacy and collaboration.

Research shows that the arts improve healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and even staff. 78 percent deliver these programs because of their healing benefits to patients—shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication. (Americans for the Arts - Arts in Healthcare State of the Field Report updated March 2014 -

“Creative arts practitioners work in diverse settings across a wide spectrum of populations. Settings include, but are not limited to: private for-profit and nonprofit health 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.” (Americans for the Arts, Arts & Healing -

Event sponsorship is by Chelsea Groton Foundation and support for the Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition's Rising Tide Series comes from the Community Foundation of Eastern CT, Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation, Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, and CT Office of the Arts.

The Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, contributes to the cultural identity, economy and quality of life of Southeastern Connecticut by advocating and supporting arts, heritage, cultural and business activities and organizations.