APA Course #2: Public Art and Healthy Communities
Welcome to Public Art, Placemaking, and Planning for Healthy Communities!
This is the second of a series of courses to provide city planners and others with useful knowledge and tools to shape healthier, more vibrant, and better-designed cities, towns, and neighborhoods. This course requires 90 minutes to complete. OPTIONAL supplementary information and many web links are provided which add time (but not additional CM credit) if the user chooses to review them.
The course expands planners’ knowledge of public art, placemaking, and community health and how they can work together. The course provides guidance through the process of assessment, planning, and implementation for a wide range of public art projects designed to improve health conditions of communities. Among the areas of impact are individual physical and mental health, social cohesion, active lifestyles, a healthy environment, and safety. The course was created by a team working with Forecast Public Art in St. Paul, Minnesota with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.
After completing this course you will:
- Understand ways to connect community health concerns with public art projects.
- Describe ten different domains of community health and how public art can make a meaningful contribution to improving community health in each domain.
- Identify opportunities in your community for public art to positively impact one or more domains of community health.
- Know how to or talk about community health, and what a community health impact assessment is.
- Describe and make the case for meaningful synergies between public art and community well being.
Case Studies in this course are illustrated by photography, short videos, or both. OPTIONAL supplementary material is often included such as longer videos or PDFs of reports, plans, or research studies. The material will:
- Demonstrate ways in which public art projects have contributed to one or more of the ten identified domains of community health.
- Show a variety of approaches for differently sized communities.
- Demonstrate creative projects that utilize diverse art forms.
- Illustrate the value of both permanent and temporary art works.
- Include art work using different media that is interactive in a multitude of ways.
- Include site-specific projects as well as projects that are transferable to other communities.
These courses emerged from a two-year effort that explored ways public art and placemaking can contribute to thoughtful, innovative community health and wellness goals. Five cities in southern Minnesota participated in piloting the project.
Click on the “Take this course” button to begin!
- Lectures 13
- Quizzes 5
- Duration 2 hours
- Skill level All levels
- Language English
- Students 47
- Certificate Yes
- Assessments Yes
Lesson 1: Planning for Healthy Communities: Building on Evidence
This lesson reviews recent thinking and research around evidence-based community health as a way to demonstrate how design and aesthetics of the built environment and functional aspects of public art can contribute to both the physical and psychological health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.
Lesson 2: Introduction to Public Art and Community Health
The video in this lesson provides an introduction to some of the ways public art has served to advance community health.
Lesson 3: Ten Domains of Community Health
Ten different major domains of public health relative to planning are introduced in this lesson. Examples of public art projects that follow will help you understand how public art has been applied to address each of these domains.
Lesson 4: From Fluxus to Fitness
The 1960s art movement known as Fluxus tried to erase boundaries between art and everyday life and to literally change the world through art. Case studies in this lesson address how public art brings about more active lifestyles and healthier food systems.
Lesson 5: From Landscapes to Longevity
Artists' interest in and representation of physical landscapes has a long and enduring history. Creative approaches to understanding the landscape and how we shape it can impact our lifespan. Case studies illustrate public art projects that address the domains related to environmental exposures and emergency preparedness.
Lesson 6: From Statues to Sutures
Public art projects are more than statues and sculptures and sometimes they help stitch together communities. Case studies in this lesson demonstrate how public art projects have addressed social equity and cohesion and access to health care.
Lesson 7: From Realism to Rehabilititation
The Realism Movement in art sought to portray ordinary people and situations with truth and accuracy, not avoiding unpleasant aspects of life. These case studies demonstrate public art projects addressing mental health/stress reduction and safety.
Lesson 8: Reliefs for Relief
The term relief is from the Latin verb relevo, to raise. A relief is a form of sculpture that gives the impression that the sculpted image is raised above the background. These case studies illustrate how public art projects can address stable, safe housing and economic opportunity and security.
Lesson 9: Introduction to Community Health Assessment
What is a community health assessment and the key steps planners need to know?
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