In every crisis, it often seems that the first to arrive to help are healthcare workers and artists. This was most recently true during the pandemic, and it is increasingly true as the consequences of climate change become more apparent. Human caused climate change has created an existential threat to life on this planet and has dramatically altered our health and wellbeing as well as our conception of ourselves and our place in the world. It is in this spirit that we have called together care providers and artists across genres and geographies who recognize the relationship between planetary and human health. Health care providers are prescribing nature visits to increase vitality and reduce stress and anxiety. Artists and arts therapists are using the transformative power of the arts to confront despair, promote dialogue, and bring us into a fuller, sensory immersion of the reciprocal relationship between care for our planet and ourselves.
This conversation for Our Planet, Our Health was co-hosted by Christopher Bailey, Arts and Health Lead for the WHO and Dr. NIsha Sajnani, Founding Co-Director for the Arts + Health @ NYU (Curator). Panelists included Renée Fleming, Dr. Melissa Lem, Modisana Mabale, Chantal Bilodeau, Jave Yoshimoto, and Cecil Scheib.