Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Arts in health based research brings together scientists and artists to enhance health and quality of life

Arts Based Health Research More Synergy Across Canada

Article Cheryl McLean, Publisher IJCAIP


Having been active in the creative arts in interdisciplinary practice (CAIP) for six years, as a publisher, educator and therapist, I'm very encouraged by all the recent news about arts based health research as, over the last two years, we have seen momentum building with a number of provocative new investigative initiatives springing up across Canada. Artists, health researchers, scholars and educators are meeting at the same conference tables to explore new and creative forms of arts based research and to meet together to discuss the work, approaches and processes sharing scientific and artistic perspectives.

I was invited to attend a workshop called "Exploring Transformative Potential of Arts based Health Research" hosted by Scientist, Katherine Boydell, ( The Hospital for Sick Children), at Hart House, University of Toronto and was pleased to note that among the participants were social scientists, scholars, nurse educators, students as well as many artists in attendance including nationally recognized dramatists, visual artists, artist researcher/poets, dancers and others lending their voices and opinions to the animated discussions at the workshop. A follow up workshop was held September 23 and 24, 2011 discussing varied issues such as ethics in arts based health research and aesthetics in approaches such as mural art.

The International Journal of The Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice IJCAIP has plans to feature a supplementary issue of IJCAIP in Spring 2012 around the subject, "Arts in Health Research" and will provide an international forum for discussion around these emerging approaches to arts based health research.

These meetings and workshops taking place in Canada, attended by educators and leaders across disciplines, and the valuable knowledge and publications that will spring from them, are other encouraging indications of the international interest in the field of the creative arts in interdisciplinary practice (CAIP) and the growing need for new knowledge in arts and research. We will hope that as a result of these new initiatives, as well as through the dissemination and transfer of knowledge, successful creative arts, science and health research alliances will be forged within our country and beyond, partnerships that will help create enriching and innovative co-operative opportunities for learning and the potential to benefit individuals and communities worldwide.