Annette Ridenour is one of the top leaders in the use of art in healthCare. She is also one of the founders and leaders of the Society for Arts in Healthcare (SAH). She was on the board of SAH since the beginning and served as its president for two terms. I wanted to get her impression of the their annual conference this year.
What was your overall impression of the SAH conference in Philadelphia this year?
I believe that SAH should be spending more time on the visual arts and less time on performance arts. With the huge construction boom in healthcare there is a tremendous need for high quality visual arts programs.
Was there anything that caught your eye at the conference?
There was a fascinating art making program for children from Robert Rothschild and Jay at the University of Florida at Gainesville. It makes it easy for hospitalized kids over the age of three to create images on screen. These images can they be displayed on their screen, shared with others or put in virtual galleries online.
SeeWall Studos had a great booth and a fascinating product that we are going to start to use. Seewall Studios merges art and technology in a multimedia display of color, sound, for, light and motion. Brilliant seascapes invite children and families into a multimedia exploration.
Last, but not least is the Blair Sadler Awards. The five winners this year had some incredible projects. For example, one showed how music therapy in a burn unit could reduce pain substantially. Another showed how dance could get pregnant women in the ghetto to be more involved with prenatal care and to have improved outcomes. More information about this years and former years winners and how to apply for 2009 can be found on the SAH website.
Tell me a little about your upcoming book about art in HealthCare, who is your intended audience?
We intend this to be used by hospital leadership, artists and the public. For hospital leadership we (she is writing with Blair Sadler) will explain the business case for art. For artists we want to show them the possibilities, to help them see what is needed. Lastly, we want to explain to the general public how important the arts can be in healthcare.
Annette now runs one of the largest companies involved with art in healthCare: Aesthetics Inc. In addition to finishing her book on the use of Art in HealthCare she is deeply involved in the Blair Sadler awards.