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Photo courtesy of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience

A Re-imagination of Policy and Health by Nicolle Bennett

As definitions of policy and health expand, artistic practice and thought are ideally situated to become the tools that can help to re-integrate what have become disparate elements in our ideas of individual and community health and agency, allowing us to re-imagine conceptualizations of, and approaches to, health and policy. For this reason, ArtsEverywhere and its partners, including the World Policy Institute, are launching the Arts-Health Policy Nexus.

The basis for this program has been established in a newly released report titled ‘A Re-Imagination of Policy and Health’ by Nicolle Bennett. Focusing on power, policy, and perceived impacts—both in general as well as through the lens of public health—the policy paper explores ways in which communities, artists, and policymakers engage in processes pertaining to health and its varied determinants. The active citizen voice is increasingly recognized as essential to holistic policy formation and health creation, as health policies begin to incorporate a broader set of health determinants and providers embrace more engaged, co-creative approaches to health/care.

In describing the formation of an arts-health policy nexus, we seek not to create arbitrary connections, but to exemplify the ways in which the arts are already connecting to and allowing connection among people, communities, and sectors—and that the convergence of these connections is a place from which more collaborative and creative approaches to policy and health formation can continue to take place. This nexus embraces a range of practice (artistic methods or interventions) and thought (creativity, improvisation, and imagination), whether carried out by artists, health practitioners, institutions, community organizations, policy makers, and/or individuals—any range of players interested in improving, expanding upon, and engaging with issues of health and policy in new ways.

Read about the key findings of this roundtable and download the resulting policy paper at

ArtsEverywhere is an online platform by Musagetes. It focuses on experimentation with new, revived, and alternative forms, possibilities, and networks beyond the status quo.

ArtsEverywhere extends invitations to leaders, innovators, and critical thinkers in diverse fields and sectors. We wish to create open spaces for dialogue about the value that the arts bring to all aspects of our communities and societies—not only from the points of view of artists, cultural workers, and arts institutions, but also from the perspectives of journalists, policy makers, ecologists, mathematicians, children, city builders, social justice leaders, farmers, educators, activists, and so on.

Musagetes is an international philanthropic arts organization based in Guelph, Ontario. It is committed to making the arts more central and meaningful in peoples' lives, in our communities and societies.

Visit and immerse yourself in the conversations happening there. Follow us on Twitter @Arts_Everywhere and @MusagetesF

To share ideas, propose collaborations, and submit work for consideration, please contact us:
(519) 836-7300 ext.103