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What is Arts for Resilience?

The arts are powerful tools to reduce burnout for healthcare workers. This webpage provides the resources to engage in the arts with healthcare workers and in the field of arts in health.

NOAH created the Arts for Resilience Project to help address the issue of burnout in healthcare workers and offer the arts as one of the solutions. The arts have been proven to support the individual factors that drive burnout and can be used in the more predominant systemic issues as well.

This project was made possible by a generous gift from Jody Seltzer

Take a Break From Burnout

Take a break! Participating in creative activities is a proven way to help gain relief from burnout. Visit the BREAK ROOM for free guided videos designed specifically for healthcare workers.

The Creative Connection

How Creative Activities Can Help Reduce Burnout Symptoms

Studies have shown that engaging in artistic expression can be helpful in treating complex emotional and psychological issues relating to depression, PTSD, anxiety, grief and loss, illness, trauma, relationship issues, and burnout. When someone is under extreme pressure or coping with intense emotions related to any of these situations, they can become overwhelmed. Participating in creative activities offers an opportunity to slow down, examine issues from a alternative perspective, and express emotions in a different, sometimes revealing manner.

Along with practicing healthy lifestyle habits, taking time to engage in creative activities can be one of the most effective ways to help reduce stress and increase resilience.

Some of the most effective traditional and creative activities include:

Lifestyle Habits:

  • Exercising Daily
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Connecting with others
  • Meditating

Creative Activities:

  • Journaling/Creative Writing
  • Painting/Drawing
  • Dancing/Movement (including yoga, tai chi)
  • Music (singing, playing, active listening)
  • Storytelling
*Many of the root causes of burnout in health care are based on systemic issues, which involve larger system change.

The Video Artists

We’ve enlisted the support of the artists in the arts in health community to assist in creating these resources. Each artist below has generously contributed their time and expertise to create a short video for our Break Room. We’ve included links to their own sites so you can learn more about them, their art, and their arts in health practice. We hope you’ll visit their pages!

Briah Luckey

Briah is an artist, board certified art therapist and co-founder of Womxn’s Work. She leads ongoing art groups and hosts…

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Gaelen McCormick

Gaelen McCormick is the Program Manager of Eastman Performing Arts Medicine (EPAM) program at the University of Rochester.

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Janice Baker

Janice Baker, MA, CTRS, CAGS is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, expressive arts specialist with a Certificate…

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Laurie Wagner

Laurie Wagner is a writer and writing teacher in the Bay Area who teaches Wild Writing, an out of the box way to tell…

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Mary Curtis Ratcliff Photo

Mary Curtis Ratcliff

Greetings. I was born in Chicago and grew up in Michigan. After graduating from Rhode Island School of Design in 1967…

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Ned Buskirk & Chelsea Coleman

YG2D is a 501(c)3 nonprofit bringing diverse communities creatively into the conversation of grief, heartbreak, death…

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Redwing Keyssar, RN

Redwing Keyssar is a nurse, author, educator, and “midwife” to the dying. She presents nationally…

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Renée Benmeleh

Renée Benmeleh is a multi-cultural vocalist/composer /instrumentalist created in Venezuela from ..

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The Working Group

Arts for Resilience was supported by NOAH artists, art therapists, healthcare administrators, arts in health administrators and healthcare professionals. Our Working Group leads initiatives in healthcare facilities to provide innovative, effective programs to patients and healthcare workers across the country.

Dr. Alan Siegel

Co-leader,
Arts for Resilience Project

Alan's Bio
Family Physician
Contra Costa Health Services

Dr. Alan Siegel finished his medical training at University of Virginia in 1997 and has worked since 1999 as a Family Physician within the Bay Area’s Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS). Within CCHS, he founded and directs Art of Health and Healing (AHH) since late 2010. In this role, he collaborated with California Institute for Integrative Studies to start a thriving Expressive Arts Therapy training program.

Alan became interested in arts in health through his previous work on the board of ArtsChange, an arts empowerment organization, and through his passion as a musician. He has worked on improving healing environments, providing Therapeutic Musicians in the ICU and wards, developing a Therapy Pets program and hospital farmers’ market, helping to develop the community-based Stress Relief Through the Arts program, and starting wellness classes for staff and patients.

He has also led and grown a unique staff program, Health Care Workers As Creators, over the last decade. Alan provides leadership for the renowned Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency Program, specializing in ambulatory education and faculty development, and is presently a UCSF Champion of Change Fellow. He leads an R&B/Motown/Blues band, The Rhythm Method.

Janice Baker

MA, CTRS, CAGS

Janice's Bio
Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist; Developer and Manager
Arts for Healing program, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital

Janice Baker, MA, CTRS, CAGS is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, mixed media and jewelry artist. Ms. Baker is an expressive arts specialist with a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in the Applications of the Expressive and Creative Arts from Salve Regina University, RI; a MA in Rehabilitation of the Blind from Western Michigan University; BA in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Connecticut.

Baker established, develops and manages the multi-disciplinary Arts for Healing program at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, New Haven, CT since 2003. Program includes art therapy, music therapy and artists-in-residence who provide therapeutic interventions, events and collaborative community projects that engage approximately 12,000 patients, family and staff per year. Baker raised over $1 million in philanthropic funds to expand the program. Awards include National Endowment for the Arts, CT Office of the Arts and LEGO Community Fund U.S. Baker’s work centers on embodied sensory awareness and multi-modal expression using expressive art and writing processes to support the resiliency of pediatric patients with chronic and acute illness and behavioral health needs, their families and caregivers.

In addition, Janice Baker Expressive Arts, llc (2015) offers nature-inspired self- expression, meditation and poetic storytelling that fosters creative resilience as a wellness and self-care practice. Baker’s community workshops create connection for participants through shared art experiences that honor, support and transform their personal journeys.

Anthony Hyatt

Violinist and Artist in Residence

Anthony's Bio
Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist; Developer and Manager
Arts for Healing program, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital

Janice Baker, MA, CTRS, CAGS is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, mixed media and jewelry artist. Ms. Baker is an expressive arts specialist with a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in the Applications of the Expressive and Creative Arts from Salve Regina University, RI; a MA in Rehabilitation of the Blind from Western Michigan University; BA in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Connecticut.

Baker established, develops and manages the multi-disciplinary Arts for Healing program at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, New Haven, CT since 2003. Program includes art therapy, music therapy and artists-in-residence who provide therapeutic interventions, events and collaborative community projects that engage approximately 12,000 patients, family and staff per year. Baker raised over $1 million in philanthropic funds to expand the program. Awards include National Endowment for the Arts, CT Office of the Arts and LEGO Community Fund U.S. Baker’s work centers on embodied sensory awareness and multi-modal expression using expressive art and writing processes to support the resiliency of pediatric patients with chronic and acute illness and behavioral health needs, their families and caregivers.

In addition, Janice Baker Expressive Arts, llc (2015) offers nature-inspired self- expression, meditation and poetic storytelling that fosters creative resilience as a wellness and self-care practice. Baker’s community workshops create connection for participants through shared art experiences that honor, support and transform their personal journeys.

Steve Langan

Director & Community Liaison

Steve's Bio

Poet Steve Langan, whose background is in public health, is Director & Community Liaison at University of Nebraska Omaha Medical Humanities. He’s the author of FreezingNotes on Exile & Other PoemsMeet Me at the Happy Bar, and What It Looks Like, How It Flies

Julia Rowland

Clinician, Researcher & Teacher

Julia's Bio

Julia H. Rowland, PhD, is a long-time clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of psychosocial aspects of cancer. She has worked with and conducted competitively funded research among both pediatric and adult cancer survivors and their families, published broadly in psycho-oncology and co-edited, with Jimmie Holland, the ground-breaking text, Handbook of Psychooncology. She received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in psychosocial oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), where she went on to hold joint appointments in pediatrics and neurology. Across her career, she was privileged to champion a number of firsts. She helped develop and was the first Director of MSKCC’s Post-Treatment Resource Program, an innovative, non-medical resource for patients and their families beyond active treatment. She was the founding Director of the Psycho-Oncology Program at Georgetown University and the Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. She was also the first full-time Director of the National Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Survivorship. Currently, she serves as Senior Strategic Advisor to Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, a D.C. – based non-profit that provides integrative services to cancer survivors and their families and promotes use of the arts as a vital healing modality.

Shoshana Simons

Scott Stoner

Consultant, Arts For Now

Scott's Bio

Mr. Stoner has devoted his career to professional development and leadership training – designing and implementing innovative programs for inclusive lifelong teaching, learning and engagement in, about and through the arts.  As Vice President for Programs and Resources at the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, he was responsible for the organization’s grants, leadership and professional development, and annual conference programs.  Scott gained experience in arts administration, strategic planning, technological innovation, and fundraising through senior level administrative and consultant positions that included Arthur D. Little, Council of Chief State School Officers, VSA (Very Special Arts), the American Art Therapy Association, and The Kennedy Center, where he founded the award-winning ArtsEdge online network for teachers (one of the first educational websites established on the World Wide Web).  He began his career as an art teacher and therapist in both private and public schools, and co-founded a public charter school with an arts-based curriculum in Washington, DC.  In conjunction with Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, he established an artist-in-residence program for cancer patients in four hospitals in Washington, DC, including a program for wounded warriors at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.  He currently serves as Smith Center’s advisor and provides direct service to patients and caregivers for Inova’s (Northern Virginia healthcare system) Artist in Residence Program. He continues to be interested in pursuing support for arts-led initiatives as a catalyst for social change, conflict resolution, and healing in communities nationally and internationally.

Alison Waldman