Embracing Arlington Arts released its Health Benefits of the Arts package: a three-part Educational Podcast Series and one-stop library database of 100 study links providing evidence of these benefits. The database is broken down into five community sectors (Medically Disabled, Physically Disabled, Seniors, Students/Children and Veterans), with five links for each of the four art therapy genres (dance, music, theater/drama and visual arts). The database will be updated each year with new studies replacing those more than 5 years old.
The Educational Podcast series features three distinguished researchers from George Mason University. Dr. Thalia Goldstein from GMU’s Applied Developmental Psychology Department has had years of experience examining the health benefits of the arts for children and students, which include higher academic grades, better test scores, less absenteeism (leading to decreased hunger), better social skills and more expertise in collaborative work than students without the arts.
Dr. Niyati Dhokai, Director of the Veterans and Arts Initiative Program, expounded on the many benefits art therapies provide our nation’s military members, including feelings of relaxation and well-being, ability to talk more confidently and providing a sense of safe space outside the rehab center.
Dr. Jatin Ambegaonkar, Associate Professor at GMU’s College of Education and Human Development has conducted much research on dance and movement therapy and found dance allows older adults the opportunity to remain active members of this community physically, mentally and spiritually. Dance also helps with fall risks, better balance and less depression.
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