On Thursday, October 21st, 2021, NOAH announced this year’s winners of the NOAH International Arts in Health Awards. Recognizing individuals or organizations offering visual or performing arts programs supporting health care, educational and community needs, the awards were presented virtually during NOAH’s 5th Annual National Conference.

This year, two programs were recognized with first place awards and two received honorable mentions in the Arts Building Resilience and Arts During the Pandemic categories. This year’s recipients are:


First Place – Gifts of Art
Ann Arbor, Michigan

“Hamsa Hands are Healing Hands for Michigan Medicine”

A diverse, collaborative project providing a small but meaningful break for faculty, staff, learners, and the health system community at large to help to prevent burnout and cultivate resiliency.

Read more here.

Honorable Mention – Hearts Need Art
San Antonio, Texas

Gratitude Grams Program

This program was created to provide healthcare workers with original art, performances, and notes of gratitude from community members, Hearts Need Art team members, and local artists.

Read more here.


First Place – Studio G Calliope
Washington, D.C.

Providing Art to Hospitalized Children During a Pandemic

Newsletters with arts activities and corresponding art kits for isolated and hospitalized children. Children, parents, and hospital staff appreciate having high quality arts activities and arts experiences available at a moment’s notice, opportunities they can return to again and again.

Read more here.

Honorable Mention – Montefiore Medicine

The Crane Project: A Tribute of Hope and Healing
Bronx, New York

In this ongoing community art installation, anyone is welcome to participate in the exhibit by sharing their own 6-word poem, which is transformed into an origami crane to be hung from the ceiling.

Read more here.

1st place winners received $500 and free registration to NOAH’s annual conference.

About the NOAH Awards:
The awards are open to artists working in all media, or arts in health programs in community or clinical settings, who demonstrate an arts project or initiative in a health setting that has measurably improved the health or wellbeing of the intended population. The 2021 awards took into account the unprecedented work being done during the pandemic and those addressing the Coronavirus in their work. Stay tuned for the 2022 call for entries in the Spring!

Learn about the 2020 Award Winners here!

Learn about the 2019 Award Winners here!

The 2021 Jury:

Annette Ridenour

Annette Ridenour has been a leader in health care design for 35+ years as president and founder of Aesthetics, Inc. She has been described as a practical visionary for her ability to combine explorative thought with strategic thinking focused upon implementation. Annette is also President emeritus of the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, co-author of “Transforming the Healthcare Experience through the Arts”. Numerous articles by and about her have appeared in such national art and healthcare publications. She has lectured on Arts in Healthcare in six countries. She won the 2012 award for Arts in the Patient Environment from the Academy for Health and Design.

Patricia Lambert

Patricia Dewey Lambert, PhD, is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Arts Management with the University of Oregon’s School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management. Patricia Lambert is a well-established specialist in arts in health national field development in the spheres of higher education, administration, and policy. Patricia has been engaged with NOAH since its inception as a member, ambassador, conference participation, lead author for the 2017 white paper, lead author for the first version of the NOAH Arts in Healthcare Management Handbook, and a contributor to the Core Curriculum project. She has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, and monographs in the field; most significantly Managing Arts Programs in Healthcare (Routledge 2017), and a co-authored book on Arts Education and Cultural Engagement for Creative Aging is currently under contract with Oxford University Press. She has presented her research in the arts in health field at many relevant conferences and in an array of webinars. Patricia will bring specific skill sets to the NOAH board from her work as an educator and a researcher with extensive experience in curricular design, in-class and online courses/trainings, and publications. She is a cultural policy scholar who has long engaged with colleagues at federal and state arts councils and agencies. She possesses experience in fundraising, public relations, and advocacy. An occasional artist in healthcare, she is a certified therapeutic harp practitioner who specializes in hospice and palliative care. Although she does not represent historically marginalized demographic groups, she will be able to bring to NOAH numerous tools regarding DEI that come from the higher education environment. She contends that it is through the power of education and professional development that NOAH will be able to most effectively diversify its membership, as well as the arts in health field as a whole.

Sally Kraus

Sally Kraus has produced for directors in the commercial film industry, wrote and pitched projects as a public relations professional, and represented artists and their work in an e-commerce venue and a gallery. She is currently a Marketing Consultant for CODAworx (www.codaworx.com). She is working with artists who commission their work for designers, architects, art consultants and public art projects. These artists have created amazing projects in settings around the globe, including corporate, hospitality, healthcare, public, liturgical, and residential spaces.

Annette Ridenour NOAH
Vivien Speiser

Vivien Marcow Speiser has directed and taught in programs across the United States and internationally and has used the arts as a way of communicating across borders and across cultures. She believes in the power of the arts to create the conditions for personal and social change and transformation.

Her interests and expertise are in the areas of working with trauma and cross-cultural conflict resolution through the arts and she has worked extensively with groups in the Middle East and in South Africa. She is an expert in the creation and performance of rites of passage rituals and in the use of dance and performance in expressive therapy practice. Her contributions to the field have made her an international leader in dance and expressive therapy and earned her a Fulbright Scholar Award, as well as a Salzburg Global Seminars Fellowship in 2020.

She received an honorary JAAH Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Health Award in 2019, the 2014 Distinguished Fellows Award from the Global Alliance for Arts and Health, as well as a 2015 Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award from the Israeli Expressive and Creative Arts Therapy Association.

Vivien holds a PhD from Union Institute, an M.Ed. from Lesley University, and a BA from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT), a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), National Certified Counselor (NCC), and a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT).

Annette Ridenour NOAH
Christina Eskridge

Christina D. Eskridge is a performing artist, teaching artist, director, playwright and public health professional, holding a Master’s Degree in Public Health from UC Berkeley. For the past decade, Christina has worked to fuse her two passions of health and theater through performance, her teaching artistry and her extensive work in health care consulting for large organizations like Kaiser Permanente. From performances specifically for children on the autism spectrum, to facilitating workshops using drama-based techniques in the corporate environment, Christina believes live theater is a healing tool, ripe with opportunity. Christina is also the Founder and Executive Director of Elevate Theatre Company, an organization born during the 2020 pandemic. Elevate leverages the power of storytelling to create space for audiences and artists to explore their health and well-being, build community, and improve health literacy for all. As part of the NOAH Board, Christina aims to further exposure of arts in health to both large health institutions and arts organizations across the country by strategically positioning the NOAH Core Curriculum and expanding efforts to measure the profound impact of the arts in health field.

Jennifer Wilcox

Jennifer Wilcox is Principal and founder of Cotter/Wilcox, LLC, and has more than 20 years of experience in the association and non-profit communities. She has successfully led large-scale change management processes focused on technology implementation, new product development, leadership development, customer service and brand repositioning and management. She has taught membership development courses at the University of Maryland and facilitated retreats for associations and not-for-profit groups. Jennifer also serves as the Director of Education for The Center for Health Design.