July 8, 2016
Dear Friends and Supporters of NOAH,

I hope everyone is enjoying a pleasant summer!
As you may recall, after our last update the board was planning a meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on June 16 before the Americans for the Arts conference. The strategic planning session was a great success. The board was pleased to be able to get to know one another better, and soon found that a positive working dynamic existed in person as it has in their numerous phone conferences. As you may remember from our introduction earlier this year, the board is made up of a wide variety of professionals, representing different facets of the arts in health field, and has found their areas of expertise and experience to be greatly complementary to one another.

Numerous discussions had taken place before this strategic planning session regarding the kind of culture that the board wanted to cultivate for NOAH, and what the guiding priorities of the organization would be. During discussions and work on key organizational documents such as vision, mission, and bylaws, these priorities were further defined. Some of these key priorities that have emerged include:

– Organizational transparency, both in finances and in communications with membership
– A guiding emphasis on providing useful services and benefits to members that will equip them to transform the field of arts in health
– Building community, both within and without the arts in health fields, by creating cross-field connections and encouraging the formation of regional arts in health associations
– Sharing resources by highlighting the scholarship and innovation of other arts in health practitioners and institutions, leading to a greater national awareness of field developments

We’ll be sharing highlights from this planning session in installments over the next several weeks, as we have much to share and are continuing to refine some of the work done in Cambridge. Here are some of the updates you’ll be receiving:

– NOAH’s vision and mission, and how the board arrived at decisions for these guiding statements
– Opportunities for organizational and individual membership, and how the board is working to add value and practical resources for members
– Organizational bylaws
– Our plans for an organizational website and logo
– NOAH’s plans for collaboration and community building, both within the field and with strategic partners in related disciplines
– Future opportunities for networking and connection, such as field meetings and conferences.

One update we would like to share with you immediately is the election of board officers.

It was voted thus:

Todd Frazier, President
Claire de Boer, Vice President
Barbara Steinhaus, Secretary
Annette Ridenour, Treasurer

In addition, the board voted to confirm my position as Administrator, as I have been in the position of Acting Administrator pending the confirmation of organizational roles for NOAH. I am pleased and grateful for the opportunity to continue working with this wonderful board and to assist in making resources available to all of you.

Katie White Swanson
Administrator, NOAH

The Executive Committee (left-right): Todd Frazier, Claire de Boer, Annette Ridenour, Barbara Steinhaus

The Board:
Back row: Todd Frazier, Naj Wikoff, Claire de Boer
Middle row: Katherine Trapanovski, Ari Albright, Annette Ridenour, Jackie Hamilton
Front row: Maria Lupo, Ferol Carytsas, Katie White Swanson (Administrator), Barbara Steinhaus

International Call for Arts in Health Presentations:
Arts in Health in South Wales announces its first Storytelling for Health Conference in June 2017 and has opened a call for contributions:

Our aims are to acknowledge and celebrate the importance and growth of storytelling for health and to understand and promote good practice. To this end we are seeking contributions within the following three conference strands:

Sharing good practice
Sharing and building the evidence
Embedding storytelling in health & sustainability

Areas addressed may include, but are not limited to:
Mental Health
Emotional Health
Physical Health

We would be delighted to hear about projects which facilitate communication and build shared language across different cultures (eg: patients and clinicians, artists and commissioners), projects which embed storytelling in training of health professionals, projects which have influenced policy, examples of project evaluations, examples of methodologies or projects which utilise different methodological approaches, case studies from any stage of the life of a project from origination to completion, inter-disciplinary evidence, and explorations of gaps in the existing research. Contributions may take the form of papers, talks, performances, presentations, films or workshops. We are seeking contributions that are innovative in their means of presentation and also welcome contributions in other formats. Please specify the format of your presentation in your abstract and include details of your anticipated running time and technical requirements. Please send abstracts of not more than 300 words to Prue Thimbleby [email protected] by Monday 3rd November 2016. You should state clearly which of the three strands you would like your proposal to be considered for and should include details of anticipated running times and all technical requirements.