Session: Well-Being, Community Engagement, and Academic Art Museums

This panel explores well-being in academic art museum practice, theory, and research. Panelists are museum and university professionals who have mobilized, led, and studied a variety of wellness experiences in museums, galleries, and community programs. The session features an overview of wellness as an emerging and bold area of arts education that is reaching marginalized populations through museum practice. Each paper provides a focused look at the healing, restorative, and therapeutic aspects of the arts. Topics include 1) the country’s first art therapy program housed in a university museum and implications for museum-based art therapy, 2) multivocal approaches to working with marginalized immigration audiences, 3) creative wellness as a dimension of student rights, and 4) a model for faculty engagement, opportunity, and interdisciplinary collaboration with rural communities. The session concludes with discussion of the risks and possibilities for university museums, wellness, and the arts. 

Todd Burkhardt, Director of Campus Partnerships for the Center for Rural Engagement, Indiana University

Heidi Davis-Soylu, Director of Education, Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University

Amanda Potter, Curator of Education and Interpretation at the Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University

Amber Thieneman, School Outreach Manager at the Speed Museum, Louisville, Kentucky