Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the health needs of artists and creative workers are critical to preserve and maintain. That’s why we love this week’s story about the O+ Festival, which was hatched after a dentist and a painter mulled over the idea to exchange visual art and musical performances for healthcare. Read about the festival’s origins on ARTSblog, and stay tuned next week for an ArtsU virtual “coffee chat” with two of the festival’s leaders to learn more!
Also this week, we saw a new survey confirming what we already know well—that creative skills are increasingly important to employers—and partnered on a second, larger letter signed by Chambers of Commerce from all 50 states that was delivered to congressional leadership urging COVID relief for the arts. And with the 2020 election less than three months away, now is the perfect time to take the Arts Action Fund’s ArtsVote Pledge to Make Your Vote Count and ensure your voice is heard this November.
Festival Aims to Empower Artists to Improve Their Health by Holly M Kelly
A small group of underinsured artists and providers founded the first O+ (pronounced O Positive) Festival in 2010. Their simple idea of exchanging “the art of medicine for the medicine of art” acknowledged the value that everyone brought to their community. The festival was a way to both celebrate that and bring attention to the inequities of the American healthcare system.
Creative Skills Top Survey of Managers and HR Professionals
Soft skills such as creativity and collaboration—skills that benefit from participation in the arts and arts education—were found to be top priorities among managers and HR professionals surveyed for the 4th Annual Workplace Learning Report, conducted by LinkedIn Learning.
204 Chambers of Commerce Deliver Letter in Support of Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations
A second letter of support for arts and culture in the new COVID-19 relief package has been completed by 204 local Chambers of Commerce in 50 states! This is a substantial increase from a similar May letter, which garnered 140 signatories from 39 states. If your chamber is listed in the final letter, please take a moment to reach out and thank them.
Americans for the Arts Action Fund has launched the ArtsVote “Make Your Vote Count” campaign and pledge, featuring artwork designed by renowned contemporary artist Shepard Fairey. Every eligible voter in the United States can pledge to Make Your Vote Count by taking four easy steps: register to vote or confirm your registration information; request your absentee ballot and learn your state’s deadlines for mail-in voting; cast your vote; and celebrate your vote on social media to encourage others to vote as well! The ArtsVote website provides customized voter fact sheets for every state and U.S. territory and other helpful resources about the upcoming election. Plus, by taking the pledge, you will get access to the exclusive ArtsVote digital artwork (available in English and Spanish) by Shepard Fairey! Visit www.ArtsActionFund.org/ArtsVote to get started.
Pictured above: Every artist and musician first visits with a nurse at the O+ Artists Clinic. Photo by Stefan Lisowski.