The Kennedy Center Arts Summit: UnLonely Discussion
Bill O’Brien and Jeremy Nobel have a conversation about how the arts can have a big impact on mitigating one of today’s major health crises: Loneliness.
About Bill O'Brien
Bill O’Brien, Senior Advisor for Innovation/Director of Creative Forces, National Endowment for the Arts Bill co-organized three summits to identify emerging art-sci practices among the nation’s leading artists, scientists and technologists in partnership with the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He also co-organized a complex-system working group investigation into The Nature of Creativity in the Brain in partnership with the Santa Fe Institute. Since 2011, Bill has served as the agency’s project director for the National Endowment for the Arts’ military healing partnerships, including Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. Previously, Bill served the agency as Deputy Chairman of Grants and Awards and as the Director of Theater and Musical Theatre. Prior to joining the Endowment, he produced numerous award-winning theatrical productions, including the Tony-honored Deaf West Theatre Production of Big River. He has also acted in numerous theatrical and television productions, including performances in 48 states, and as an ensemble player on all seven seasons as Kenny (Marlee Matlin’s sign language interpreter) on NBC’s The West Wing.
About Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH
As a practicing general internist for many years, Dr. Nobel experienced “the front lines” of health care and its delivery. Currently, through his faculty appointments at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Medical School, Dr. Nobel’s teaching, research, and community based projects address the design of healthcare delivery systems that improve quality, cost-effectiveness and access. His work has been the basis of significant improvements in preventative, acute, chronic, rehabilitative, and end of life medical care that focus on understanding what quality healthcare means from a patient perspective, and how best to deliver it. Dr. Nobel is also a recognized leader in the field of medical humanities, an interdisciplinary endeavor that draws on a diverse range of fields, including the creative arts, to inform medical education and practice. He is the founder and president of the Foundation for Art & Healing (www.artandhealing.org), an organization dedicated to exploring the important relationship between creative expression and health and well-being, and bringing those benefits to individuals and communities. The foundation is actively involved in creating a broader societal awareness that arts-based activities can improve health, while simultaneously developing and distributing innovative programs to the field, and promoting an active research agenda. Also a published poet, Dr. Nobel has received several awards for his poetry including the Bain-Swiggett Prize from Princeton University, and the American Academy of Poets Prize from the University of Pennsylvania.
The Kennedy Center Arts Summit is an annual spring convening designed to bring thought leaders from the arts and related fields together for conversation and connection. Set to be held in Washington, DC, on April 16, 2018, this year’s edition of the Summit will look into the future — what is the collective future we want and how can we use arts, creativity, culture, and technology to get us there? How do we build a future where the markers of certain identities are no longer indicators of barriers or poor outcomes? Through the landscapes of education, health, and finite resources, we will explore stories of existing, visionary projects and engage in dialogues with artists, futurists, scientists, engineers, and policymakers that help us catalyze new projects and partnerships, and bring us closer to activating a future where we all thrive. Together we will engage in a variety of panels, interactive art activities, and curated discussions that concentrate on major themes of identity, representation, creativity, culture, and technology.
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Have a Story to Share?
If you have a story or tip to share for how you use creative expression to be UnLonely or have an inspirational observation of how you have seen others tackle loneliness by connecting with others through their creativity, we’d love to hear!
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The UnLonely Project is brought to you by The Foundation for Art & Healing, a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. Your tax-deductible contribution will go towards helping us produce programs like this one.