IAM Lab News and Stories

  • The Silkroad Ensemble Weaves Together Music and People

    Music has long been recognized for its ability to bring people together. But can its healing powers help to suture the divides wrought by pandemic distancing and growing social unrest? The Silkroad Ensemble shows us the possibilities even in the midst of the most challenging circumstances. This award-winning team of virtuosos has met the challenges […]

  • The Art of Nostalgia: Using the Past for Relief in the Present Pandemic

    When the pandemic put me in lockdown, I decided to make use of extra time at home by sorting through boxes of memorabilia in my closet. My goal: throw stuff out and reduce clutter. But as I blew the dust off old family photos, concert ticket stubs, baseball cards and playbills, I enjoyed a fringe […]

  • How Video Games Can Be a Healthy Escape During Lockdown

    In the middle of lockdown, I was on an island fishing with my girlfriend. After selling our catch at the local store, we took an impromptu date to the museum and aquarium, admiring their collections. And, seeing as we were the only ones there (save for one sleepy museum attendant), we snapped an endless stream […]

  • Arts in the Aftermath: Helping Kids Heal From Natural Disasters

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, natural disasters have further compounded the disruption to the lives of families and children across the United States. During one of the worst fire seasons on record in the West, a series of major wildfires burned down thousands of homes and millions of acres of land, displacing hundreds […]

  • Artists Send a Loud and Clear Message: Go Vote

    As we inch closer to Election Day 2020 in the United States and the COVID-19 pandemic makes voting in person a risky endeavor, today’s visual artists are galvanizing people across the country to cast their ballots. During the last presidential election, in 2016, nearly half of the voting-age population in the US didn’t vote. This […]

  • Why Arts Education Matters in the Age of COVID-19

    When class resumed the day after Labor Day for Jazz Dance Level I at Towson University’s Community Dance Center, no children filled the room, stretching in front of the floor-to-ceiling mirrors. No Duke Ellington or Billie Holliday blared from the speakers. No parents chatted idly in the lounge. Instead, children and teachers—holed up in their […]

  • Occupying Space is the Protest

    By IAM Lab Contributor Hannah L. Drake Editor’s Note: Hannah L. Drake is a writer, spoken word artist-activist and cultural strategist at Ideas xLab in Louisville, Kentucky. Her work focuses on the intersection of arts, culture and health with an emphasis on the impact of race and injustice in underserved communities. In 2017, the National […]

  • Building More Equitable Communities with Creative Placemaking

    For better or worse, the spaces we inhabit shape the contours of our lives. But for many racial minorities, these spaces literally embody the systemic inequity and racism they face. People of color have higher rates of chronic medical conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease.  Individuals from underserved communities are also more likely […]

  • Introducing the NeuroArts Blueprint

    We are excited to announce the launch of the NeuroArts Blueprint, a global field-building initiative from the Aspen Institute’s Health, Medicine and Society Program and the International Arts + Mind Lab. The NeuroArts Blueprint will articulate and advance the scientific foundation and evidence for the role of arts in health and wellbeing through the lens […]

  • Reimagining Place: Identity, Healing and Justice with Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson

    Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, a community planning expert and institute professor at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions at Arizona State University, shares her vision for integrating arts and culture into placemaking as a way to reckon with racial trauma and restore dignity […]