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Research

Art and the Brain: How Imagery Makes Us Human

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“The Art and the Brain conference aims to encourage an interdisciplinary discussion between archaeologists, neurophysiologists and artists to develop current understandings and interpretations of non-verbal communication and the development of art in prehistory. Recent developments in the fields of neurophysiology and neuroaesthetics have highlighted the limitations, capacities and facilities of the brain with respect to our perception and cognition.”

How Engaging With Art Affects the Human Brain

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“Embodied cognition is “the sense of drawing you in and making you really feel the quality of the paintings,” Tyler explained. For example, viewers appreciate Botticelli’s painting “The Birth of Venus” because it makes them feel as though they are floating in with Venus on the seashell. Similarly, viewers can feel the flinging of the paint on the canvas when appreciating a drip painting by Jackson Pollock.”

How Culture Is Transforming our City

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“Creative placemaking not only lifts up a neighborhood physically with murals and sculpture and investments in artist housing, galleries and theaters, it helps strengthen the local economy, as eye-catching storefronts, new cultural activities and intriguing installations bring in customers and attract new businesses. It increases a sense of community identity and local pride. It can make a neighborhood a more interesting, livable place.

But most importantly arts and culture are a powerful force that help shape a neighborhood’s narrative — telling the story of what kind of place it is, changing its reputation and its trajectory.”

Science Shows Art Can Do Incredible Things for Your Mind and Body

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“After analyzing 15 studies that had people looking at art for different reasons, neuroscientist Oshin Vartanian explained in a Q&A that “areas of the brain involved in processing emotion and those that activate our pleasure and reward systems are also being engaged.” Essentially, parts of the brain that are associated with contemplation are automatically sparked when viewing art, even if they aren’t thinking about it critically.”

The power of art: Hospitals use paintings, sculptures to improve patient health, satisfaction

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“Patients, especially those anxious about undergoing procedures and tests, respond well to the visual stimulation, finding it reduces their stress. And despite the fact that many hospitals face budget shortfalls, they often can purchase or commission art through funds supported by donations, or those built into budgets for new construction.”

Arts & The Economy: Using Arts & Culture to Stimulate State Economic Develpment

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“The arts and cultural industries provide jobs, attract investments, and stimulate local economies through tourism, consumer purchases, and tax revenue. Perhaps more significantly, they also prepare workers to participate in the contemporary workforce, create communities with high appeal to residents, businesses, and tourists, and contribute to the economic success of other sectors.”

Artwork at hospitals can help in the healing process

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“Nanda, who has a doctorate in architecture with a specialization in health-care systems and design, says scientific studies show that art can aid in the recovery of patients, shorten hospital stays and help manage pain. But she says it has to be the right art — vivid paintings of landscapes, friendly faces and familiar objects can lower blood pressure and heart rate, while abstract pictures can have the opposite effect.”

Why Public Art Is Important

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‘According to Bach, studies have looked at the economic development benefits of art, but only just recently have there been wider examinations of the effect of art on a community’s sense of place. The Knight Foundation’s Soul of the Community initiative surveyed some 43,000 people in 43 cities and found that “social offerings, openness and welcome-ness,” and, importantly, the “aesthetics of a place – its art, parks, and green spaces,” ranked higher than education, safety, and the local economy as a “driver of attachment.”’

Art & Business

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“Shining a spotlight on art and cultural relationships and business provides a better understanding between people of diverse nations. The quest for better communications through the arts help define businesses. By associating with the arts, businesses have discovered that their brands are enhanced and increase their reach and in the end their profitability.”

Why Art Matters Now More Than Ever

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“Fundamentally, human nature revels in the creative side of life. Art chronicles the history of humans and some of the very finest individual accomplishments of the human race. Unlike museums of natural history, art museums document and enshrine human creativity. Without creativity, without innovation, there’s nothing new in our future.”

Sparkle of Glass, Sense of Place Designing Beauty at Methodist

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“We wanted people to walk in the door and feel better—that they were in a positive space with a lot of light and pleasant colors and things of beauty to look at.”

“This brings us to the aesthetics of entryways, which are charged with creating that welcoming atmosphere. This is perhaps most critical in healthcare facilities, where visitors are dealing with illness, stress, and matters of life and death; not surprisingly, the stereotype of the hospital setting is one of gloom and sterility.”

Design And Patient Satisfaction: One Study’s Misconstrued Message

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“What the researchers did find was significant improvement in facility-related satisfaction scores such as noise level (39.9 percent vs. 59.3 percent), pleasantness of décor (33.6 percent vs. 66.2 percent), and visitor (family) accommodation and comfort (50 percent vs. 70.3 percent). Likewise, there was great improvement in perception of room cleanliness (49 percent vs. 68.6 percent). Also there was a significant (5 percent) increase in patients who would recommend the hospital to others.”

Sweet Jesus, the Arts Are Good for the Economy

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“The “Arts & Economic Prosperity IV” study is a valuable document with tons of detailed information drawn from 182 geographical regions.

Southeastern Pennsylvania’s cultural organizations and their audiences have a combined impact of $3.3 billion on the region’s economy.
Arts and culture supports 44,000 full-time equivalent jobs throughout the region.
Arts and culture returns $1.04 billion in household income to Southeastern Pennsylvania residents.
Cultural tourism is a valuable asset for the region, injecting nearly $230 million in direct spending into the economy.”

How the Arts and Culture Sector Catalyzes Economic Vitality

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“The activities of the arts and culture sector and local economic vitality are connected in many ways. Arts, culture, and creativity can

-improve a community’s competitive edge
-create a foundation for defining a sense of place
-attract new and visiting populations
-integrate the visions of community and business leaders
-contribute to the development of a skilled workforce”

Visual art in hospitals: case studies and review of the evidence

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“In 2006 a Department of Health Working Group on Arts and Health reported that the arts have ‘a clear contribution to make and offer major opportunities in the delivery of better health, wellbeing and improved experience for patients, service users and staff alike’.”

“The fact that patients frequently express a preference for landscape and nature scenes is consistent with this observation and with evolutionary psychological theories which predict positive emotional responses to flourishing natural environments.”

Art in Healthcare

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“The benefit of art in healthcare is in the experience of the art. While it may be dismissed by some as merely decoration, decades of research in Europe and the United States concludes otherwise. The role art plays in an overall strategy to produce healing environments has been measured against health and economic outcomes.”

LOCAL ARTS RAPID RESPONSE KIT: TALKING POINTS

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“The arts are essential to the health and vitality of our communities and our nation. They improve the quality of life in our cities and town. They enhance community development; spur urban renewal; attract new businesses; draw tourism dollars; and create an environment that attracts skilled, educated workers and builds your third millennium workforce.”

Awe-Inspiring Moments Lower Inflammation Marker Cytokines, Positively Impact Health

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“Researchers conducted two experiments designed to measure the affect positive emotions, such as amusement, awe, compassion, contentment, joy, love, and pride, have on the cytokine Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a marker for inflammation.”

‘”That awe, wonder, and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines suggests that the things we do to experience these emotions — a walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art — has a direct influence upon health and life expectancy,” Dacher Keltner, co-author of the study and psychologist at the University of California-Berkeley, said in a press release.’

The Importance of Incorporating Local Culture into Community Development

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“The culture of a community significantly shapes debate and action that lead to development. Local culture also presents unique options for locally based economic, social, and other developments. Local understandings and interpretations of a community’s history reflect past events that feed into and are partially driven by the demands, sentiments, and interests of those in the present. This makes it crucial for community development practitioners to consider the cultural importance of efforts to improve local well-being.”

This is your brain on art

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“In the journal “NeuroImage”, Emory University School of Medicine researchers found that parts of the brain involved in making decisions, taking risks and experiencing pleasure — the ventral striatum and the hypothalamus — are activated more from viewing paintings than photographs that represent similar themes.”

The Economic Benefits of Great Public Places

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“Placemaking is the art of developing a public space that attracts people. In the process, it almost always pays economic dividends back to the community.”

“Places that incorporate local heritage and artists attract more tourists, and residents feel a stronger connection to such places. The Arts and Economic Prosperity III report from Americans for the Arts states that annual support in the arts generates a 7:1 return.”

Healing Spaces: Elements of Environmental Design That Make an Impact on Health

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“In recent years, design for health care environments has begun to include esthetic enhancements in an attempt to reduce stress and anxiety, increase patient satisfaction, and promote health and healing. In this paper, the authors survey the existing research on those elements of the built and natural environment most often asserted by proponents as being inherently healing or promoting health.”

Brain scans reveal the power of art

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“We put people in a scanner and showed them a series of paintings every ten seconds. We then measured the change in blood flow in one part of the brain.”
“The reaction was immediate. What we found was the increase in blood flow was in proportion to how much the painting was liked.”
“The blood flow increased for a beautiful painting just as it increases when you look at somebody you love. It tells us art induces a feel good sensation direct to the brain.”

We have to recognise the huge value of arts and culture to society

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“It starts with the inherent value of culture, continues through all the social and educational benefits and only ends with the economic.”

“The inherent value of culture, its contribution to society, its symbiotic relationship with education and, yes, its economic power (but in that order) … this is what we call the holistic case for public support of arts and culture.”

The Art of Extension: connecting with the arts to build stronger communities

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“The arts give people a creative voice, a path to leadership, a way to express shared values, and to create a shared experience working together toward meaningful outcomes. There is consensus among social scientists, historians, educators, and activists that it is exactly these kinds of experiences that helps to build community. Working in and through the arts becomes another way to help people meet the economic, ecological and social challenges of the future.”

Art and Happiness

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“And the more recent research of Semir Zeki (link is external), University of London, connects the mere viewing of art with an increase in dopamine and activity in the brain’s frontal cortex, resulting in feelings of pleasure that are similar to being the throws of romantic love. What’s more, positive sensations are almost immediate when viewing an enjoyable or stirring work of art.”

How Art Changes Your Brain: Differential Effects of Visual Art Production and Cognitive Art Evaluation on Functional Brain Connectivity

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“Recent research on visual art has focused on its psychological and physiological effects, mostly in clinical populations. It has shown that visual art interventions have stabilizing effects on the individual by reducing distress, increasing self-reflection and self-awareness, altering behaviour and thinking patterns, and also by normalizing heart rate, blood pressure, or even cortisol levels.”