• 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 […]

  • All Stories Will Matter

    The Power of Storytelling in the Pursuit of Health Equity

    By IAM Lab Guest Contributor David Olawuyi Fakunle, Ph.D. Every story has essential elements: plot, characters, settings, themes and the overall message. A lot of times, what makes a story effective isn’t any of these things but rather the moment in which the story is told. The story of George Floyd’s murder was no different […]

  • Just Dance: A Prescription for Mental Wellbeing

    In a village on the east coast of China, a farming couple and their “rural-style shuffle dance” has gone viral on TikTok. Their dancing is joyful and upbeat, sometimes taking place in front of fields of corn or grazing cows. And it has been therapeutic. The husband, Fan Deduo, had fallen into a depression following […]

  • Arts for Health Equity and Social Justice Archives

    The arts are a powerful way of responding to and addressing inequity and injustice.  As part of IAM Lab’s series exploring Arts for Health Equity and Social Justice, we are sharing art here —songs, signs, dancing, murals, poetry and more—and urging readers to join us in spending time with it, learning from it and taking […]

  • How Giving Back Artfully Can Give Your Teen a Boost

    The teen years. They’re a rollercoaster of changes that come fast and furious as the brain and body struggles to adapt to a new world order. Sound familiar? Even for adults, the pandemic can feel like an unwelcome callback to our adolescence. Parents often gripe about their teenager’s mood swings and sometimes questionable judgment, chalking […]

  • How Listening to Music May Ease Traumatic Stress

    When our lives are disrupted by the stress of a traumatic experience, like the pandemic, our mental health can be compromised.  The constant disruption in our routines, the possibility or reality of loved ones becoming ill, the potential exposure to a life-threatening virus and the overall uncertainty of the situation makes it difficult for the […]

  • Can a Jam Session Help Healthcare Workers Battle Burnout?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has strained the entire healthcare system and the first responders treating those who fall ill.  Even before the outbreak, half of all doctors and a third of nurses in the United States experienced symptoms of burnout, which the World Health Organization (WHO) defines as “a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that […]

  • Let’s Get Physical: Dancing to Support Family Fitness at Home

    Millions of families are adjusting to a new normal of stay-at-home life. COVID-19 has changed how we learn and work and interrupted our routines for recreation and leisure time, too. For adults, gyms and fitness centers are closed. Children and youth are missing out on physical education, recess and after-school sports and activities. In many […]

  • Art Activities Can Be a Lifeline for Lonely Seniors

    Even before the coronavirus pandemic, older adults were at risk for social isolation and loneliness.  Because the elderly are more vulnerable to COVID-19, they are wisely being asked to stay in their homes, retirement centers, and nursing facilities, reducing their potential exposure to the virus.  But with restrictions on their movements as well as visits […]

  • The Arts Can Liberate Us from Loneliness

    For many people, Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate their bond with their loved one with cards and candy and champagne.  But for too many others, the day can be a painful reminder of their isolation. This is not a rare burden. A 2020 survey conducted by the health insurer Cigna found that 3 […]