Focused on overlooked and underserved communities, the Jameel Arts & Health Lab coordinates and amplifies scientific research into the effectiveness of the arts in improving health and wellbeing, to promote its integration into mainstream healthcare and drive policy implementation across 193 UN member states.
Built on collaborative efforts between the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, the Steinhardt School at New York University (NYU), Community Jameel and CULTURUNNERS, the lab represents the first major arts and health initiative in the history of the WHO and follows its 2019 report on the role of the arts in preventing illness and promoting health.
While evidence of the health benefits of the arts has existed for years, the lab’s global reach, and unique model which combines research, outreach and policy implementation will allow it to drive systemic change around the world.
Based between NYU Steinhardt and WHO's Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen, the lab sets out to also launch an international research coalition investigating the benefits of the arts in hospitals and care communities. Initial projects look at music’s effect on mothers who experience postnatal depression, the potential of cultural archives in promoting post-conflict mental health recovery and the effectiveness of the arts in dementia care.
Outside of research, the Jameel Arts & Health Lab leads ‘Healing Arts’, a global outreach campaign to engage diverse audiences in arts and health. Established by CULTURUNNERS and the WHO’s Arts & Health Program in 2020, under the auspices of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary Programme (UN75), ‘Healing Arts’ was launched as a cultural call to action in response to the COVID- 19 pandemic and its effect on societal mental health. Activations to date have included institutional collaborations with the: