Friday, May 22, 2015

The Lumen is Launched!

Congratulations to Richard Dargie and his editorial team in Edinburgh on launching The Lumen, a magazine for new literature and visual art dealing with themes of medicine, healthcare and illness.


The magazine seeks qualified editors who might wish to help support the journal.  Contact:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

How do we work in hybrid ways to advance creative arts in interdisciplinary practice?

The upcoming articles in the Perspectives Section of The Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy edited by B. Stephen Carpenter II, and Jules Rochielle Sievert address how educational, artistic, creative and other cultural practices intersect.... how artists, curators, cultural workers, designers and educators activate what Homi K. Bhabha defined as a thirdspace, or a space created so that cross -disciplinary relationships and collaborations can flourish.
Below a few very brief excerpts from my article, "The Advancement of the Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice" which will be published in the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Taylor and Francis, September 2015.

The Advancement of the Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice

Cheryl L. McLean (excerpts only)

My perspective on the creative arts in interdisciplinary practice (CAIP) has been shaped by a hybrid practice as a publisher, educator, writer, researcher and performer.  These pursuits have helped advance the field, creating a third space for interdisciplinary learning and knowledge exchange as well as a place for cross disciplinary dialogue and inquiry.
            As publisher of The International Journal of the Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice   and editor of the research texts Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, Inquiries for Hope and Change (McLean &Kelly, 2010), Creative Arts for Community and Cultural Change (McLean & Kelly, 2011),  and Creative Arts in Humane Medicine (McLean, 2014a), I have sought to promote the arts in interdisciplinary contexts while informing professionals across disciplinary borders about our methodologies. 

As arts educators and practitioners we can uniquely share our methods across disciplines and re-illuminate and embody lived experience through the visual arts or through hybrid forms such as social science and drama to help even the most experienced professionals see again in a new light fulfilling the mission of art as Kahlil Gibran  describes, "to bring out the unfamiliar from the most familiar."

  Many leading educators and practitioners have converged around our publishing projects and interests in CAIP.  Exchanging knowledge with leaders from varied interdisciplinary cultures is a rich and  creative third space for learning as we envision together new ways for our creative work to positively impact individuals and communities. 

More in the upcoming article September 2015.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

IJCAIP News, Reviews, Courses 2015

IJCAIP International Journal of the Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice Subscriber E/news

March 2015

IJCAIP Articles

A review of the book Creative Arts in Humane Medicine was recently published  in Canadian Medical Association Journal CMAJ  Feb. 2015 "A Place for the Humanities in Medical Education" The review was written by Dr. Vincent Hanlon.

 For Creative Arts in Humane Medicine book table of contents and more book reviews visit

Upcoming article

Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Taylor and Francis, treatise "The Advancement of Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice"C.L. McLean, section edited by B. Stephen Carpenter II, Professor of Art Education, Penn State, Jules Rochielle Sievert, Northeastern University, Boston

 Upcoming Conference Arts and Health
Creating Space V, Conference , Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in Education of Health Professionals, Vancouver BC

Courses/creativity and education

Cheryl L. McLean will be teaching the course Problems in Education, Focus on the Creative Curriculum at Acadia University, M.Ed. School of Education, Faculty of Professional Studies, July 2015 Acadia course inquiries:

To subscribe to IJCAIP Journal E/NEWS send an email to "please subscribe"


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Place for Humanities in Medical Education, Book review Creative Arts in Humane Medicine

as published in The Canadian Medical Association Journal, CMAJ,  February 23, 2015.


 We are publishing very brief excerpts from this recently published book review below.  To access the full article (pay for view)  visit CMAJ website at


Book review

A Place for Humanities in Medical Education

by Vincent Hanlon M.D.


Cheryl L. McLean, editor

Brush Education, 2014


Cheryl L. McLean, an independent scholar and publisher of The InternationalJournal of the Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice,  has arranged this resource book in four sections covering education for empathy, practitioner self-care, use of narratives and use of the creative arts to create change in health.  

Given the acceptance of a scientific basis for the education of physicians and current reliance on reproducible numeric evidence,  much of the medical humanities discussion occurs on the margins of the medical education enterprise.  In her recent keynote address at the 2014 Alberta PsychiatricAssociation meeting, McLean posed a central question in the debate over efforts to include medical humanities in medical education:  How do the creative arts help practitioners enhance clinical and relational skills?  The amply credentialed contributors to Creative Arts in Humane Medicine physicians, medical students, allied health professionals and artists provide some answers but raise yet more questions.  (such as) How do we reconcile first person experiences of illness and death with the objective reductionism of disease that is more typical of biotechnology in medicine? This perspective contrasts with a common perception among medical educators of humanities role as hand-maiden, usually pleading to contribute to the serious enterprise of educating doctors.  

An underlying question remains unanswered:  What would be the best forums in which to engage in such interdisciplinary inquiry?

Dr. Rita Charon has advocated identifying "senior influential clinicians as key players in the integration of the arts with the science of medicine.  These clinicians are individuals who themselves have been exposed to and deep learning in humanities and narrative studies." 

Their teaching methods reflect this learning and enable them to foster an invigorating, long-term and necessary interdisciplinary collaboration on clinical teaching that can include and welcome senior artists and teachers from the humanities.  Gifted voices from both medicine and humanities have contributed to Creative Arts in Humane Medicine in McLean's ensemble effort to show us different paths to the future.



Monday, December 15, 2014

Series Breaks New Ground for Creative Arts in Action Across Disciplines

The CAIP (Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice) Series, published by Brush Education, Edmonton.  has helped break new ground for research in the creative arts applied across disciplines.  "Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, Inquiries for Hope and Change" Editor Cheryl L. McLean, Publisher, International Journal of The Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice IJCAIP  and  Associate Editor , Robert Kelly, Professor, Faculty of Arts, University of Calgary is the first text in the CAIP Research Series.

The groundbreaking book Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, Inquiries for Hope and Change introduces an emerging and rapidly growing field with a dynamic collection of illustrative articles featuring leading academics, artists/researchers, physicians, nurse educators, social work educators, activists, environmentalists and others who actively use the creative arts in interdisciplinary practice in cutting edged research and in methodologies for health, hope and change. Readers will learn how the creative arts can offer unique opportunities to embody and re-illuminate the human story, stage human vulnerability, foster citizenship and give voice to narratives of human experience.

Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, Inquiries for Hope and Change" is a contemporary research collection that features methods that are participative, communal, active and experiential. It speaks of approaches that actively re-illuminate lived experiences and foster and encourage deep and multi-sensory communication and embodied forms of expression with elements visual, emotional, physical and spiritual.

This is a book for the times that stresses the vital importance of creativity and the human story, a body of work that seeks to help give voice to the silenced, the oppressed and the marginalized, which includes narrative accounts of personal transformation that honour creative expression as fundamental and at the very source of human meaning and purpose.

This contemporary, action oriented and transformative book points to a new path for hope and change while showing how the creative arts in inquiry and in action applied across disciplines can make a critical difference for individuals and society.

At over 400 pages “Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, Inquiries for Hope and Change is a rich and multifaceted collection of articles and chapters about the creative arts in inquiry and interdisciplinary practice, an accessible yet highly informative book that enlightens the reader about the methods and the processes while demonstrating how the creative arts can uniquely cross disciplines and fields in search of solutions while creating new communities for change in the process.

The second book in the CAIP Research Series, Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change,  features illustrative articles describing the creative arts in research and practice within neighbourhoods, villages, and cities for community and cultural change. In these times of desperate need and ongoing unrest internationally, this research collection -- featuring leaders across disciplines -- is a valuable source of information as well as a call for creative new approaches in contemporary research leading to action and change. The articles in this book will be of special interest to university based educators; artists and researchers; facilitators; practitioners; educators in the social sciences; social work and social justice professionals; activists and community change agents; heritage, cultural, and urban planners; healthcare professionals and public health educators; fundraisers and many others. Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change is a research book that provides first hand insights into evolving and participatory processes unique to the creative arts in action for change  as well as a wealth of information and examples for relevant in-depth dialogue and debate.

Creative Arts in Humane Medicine is a book for medical educators, practitioners, students and those in the allied health professions who wish to learn how the arts can contribute toward a more caring and empathic approach to medicine. Topical research and inspiring real-life accounts from international innovators in the field of humanistic medicine show how the creative arts in varied forms can contribute toward greater learning and understanding in medicine, as well as improved health and quality of life for patients and practitioners.  The book has received excellent reviews from physicians and practitioners in the field as well as leading medical and medical humanities journals, among them:

"All submissions incorporated extensive literature reviews which will well serve the reader who wishes to delve more thoroughly into specific content.  Several entries discussed the evolution of the medical humanities in medical education...McLean's new book is for all those interested in healthcare and the arts.  The integration of the arts into health care remains a marginalized field, but best practices in this field abound." 
Hektoen International, A Medical Humanities Journal

"Some have said that medicine, rather than being a science, is really an interactive process. It is informed by science but also dependent on psychology, sociology, philosophy, law and human creativity. McLean’s book should be a must read for those responsible for medical that in the end the human connection between healers and those they heal is enhanced."
Michael Gordon MD, MSc, FRCPC -- Medical Program Director, Palliative Care, Baycrest Geriatric Health Care System; Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto

For more information about these books or the CAIP series or to contact Cheryl McLean about keynotes or  presentations:


Saturday, November 1, 2014

November 2014 News IJCAIP, research, reviews, upcoming events

International Journal of the Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice IJCAIP subscriber  November 2014 news


Dear IJCAIP Subscriber:


Thank you for subscribing to IJCAIP News.  In the following recent news we update you on presentation, publishing and  international activities and  provide for you  keynote transcripts and highlights, article and book chapter excerpts, news about recent papers, book review links and info. about important upcoming  events in the creative arts in interdisciplinary research and practice.


Resources and Information:


Speech keynote transcripts:


Living Stories of Hope and Change, How the arts, drama and story based on lived experience  impacts psychiatry.  Keynote highlights as delivered at The Alberta Psychiatric  Association Conference, Banff



"Ms McLean's (keynote) presentation ("Living Stories of Hope and Change")  addressed two questions: How can I use the creative arts to support my personal wellness?, How do the creative arts in medicine help practitioners enhance clinical and relational skills? She answered those questions in a multifaceted presentation that began with a dramatic reminiscence honoring the memory of her mother, a psychiatric nurse. Her references to the burgeoning literature about the dynamic and sometimes controversial, presence of the humanities in health care complemented the performance aspects of her presentation. For Ms. McLean, the arts and the humanities provide practitioners with a rich means to discover and re-discover the nature of healing—of our patients and ourselves."
         Alberta Medical Association website



Navigating the Tides of Challenge and Change in Education  with The Creative Arts in Research and Practice, new applications of the arts in education and for community change highlights as delivered at Acadia University, School of Education


"In Navigating Tides of Challenge and Change", a keynote address to the one-day conference titled Creative Professionalism, hosted by the School of Education at Acadia University, Cheryl McLean once again connects people and the work they do. Cheryl understands the need for community and communal responses to communal issues. She does not shy away from challenging her audience, but she also offers encouragement and support to those who take up those challenges."  

Dr. John J. Guiney Yallop, Acadia University,  School of Education


Book excerpts:


Remember Me for BirdsAn Ethnodrama about Aging, Mental Health and Autonomy

article highlights  from the book, Creative Arts in Humane Medicine, Brush Education



Book reviews:


 Creative Arts in Humane Medicine, Brush Education, Edmonton (dist. University of Toronto Press)


Book review


 Hektoen International a Journal of the Medical Humanities

General reviews





We were recently published in *Spoonful Magazine, Creative Medicine, C.L. McLean,  , Arts Health Institute, Newcastle Australia, pg. 78-79, Issue 2, 2014

(*highly recommended, this outstanding  new magazine is a first rate publication featuring arts in action in health and across disciplines  in many forms, for  info:


Upcoming invited paper:


Perspectives:  Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy (Taylor and Francis), (activating "the third space" in arts fostering cross disciplinary collaborations) article C. McLean pending publication for release, Spring 2015.)





The Power of the Arts  National Forum,  Carleton University, Ottawa, November 7-9


(The Power of the Arts Forum is co-organized by the Michaëlle Jean Foundation and Carleton University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. It convenes researchers, business leaders, legal experts, policymakers, urban planners, architects, youth, health practitioners, artists, and representatives of other key sectors of Canadian society. The main objectives of the Forum are to reinforce a Pan-Canadian and multi-sector network of researchers, practitioners and organizations using the arts as tools for social change and to enhance an action plan reinforcing national, regional and local initiatives using the arts to improve the quality of life in underserved communities.) 

 * I will be attending this event and would enjoy connecting with any of our IJCAIP subscribers who may also be in attendance. cm)

If you would like to subscribe to IJCAIP Journal send an email to "please subscribe"   Check out the journal and archives at



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Toronto Art Therapy Institute Distance Learning Program

TATI is accepting applications for the Fall 2014 Graduate Diploma  in Art Therapy Distance Learning Program.  We will accept 12 candidates only.  The program will be a full time program.  Each semester students will complete the equivalent of four full time graduate level courses plus take part in practicum.  The program is delivered in four semesters of four months each over sixteen consecutive months.  Students beginning in the fall 2014 distance learning program will complete all coursework in at the end of 2015.  Students will then have two years to complete a thesis or major project. Practicum will be arranged for students on an individual basis in the student's community.  Curriculum is the same as our on site program (see but delivered in a distance learning modality.  An undergraduate degree from a reputable university is required.

Executive Director:
Dr. Helene Burt,
D.A., RCAT, ATR Doctorate of Arts in Art Therapy, NYU.
The Toronto Art Therapy Institute
66 Portland Street, Suite 103
Toronto, ON
M5V 2M6