Artists in Healthcare: Collaborations and Complexities

DANCE 371

The economically over-burdened US health care system and extended life expectancies for older adults offer a unique opportunity for working artists—not arts therapists—to intervene in the rapidly expanding field of integrative art and health. Rather than study health outcomes as indicators of “success,” we centralize creative practice as our axis of inquiry. Course readings, interviews, and field visits to a Durham-based intervention highlight power imbalances and cultural sensitivities in hospitals, clinical care, assisted living, and nonprofit community care contexts. Culminates in student driven case studies of local arts work and workarounds.  

Instructor: Sarah Wilbur. Sarah Wilbur (Assistant Professor of the Practice/Dance) is a cross-sector choreographer and performance researcher who studies arts labor, economies, and institutional support principally in a US context. Her current manuscript, Funding Bodies: Five Decades of Dance “Making” at the National Endowment for the Arts [1965-2016] asks the choreographic question: How has the movement of US federal arts philanthropic capital motivated the movement of dance organizers across the last five decades? and is under contract with Wesleyan University Press.

Learn more about the instructor here.

The economically over-burdened US health care system and extended life expectancies for older adults offer a unique opportunity for working artists—not arts therapists—to intervene in the rapidly expanding field of integrative art and health. Rather than study health outcomes as indicators of “success,” we centralize creative practice as our axis of inquiry. Course readings, interviews, and field visits to a Durham-based intervention highlight power imbalances and cultural sensitivities in hospitals, clinical care, assisted living, and nonprofit community care contexts. Culminates in student driven case studies of local arts work and workarounds. Instructor: Wilbur
Curriculum Codes
  • CCI
  • EI
  • R
  • ALP
  • CZ
Cross-Listed As
  • MUSIC 371
  • THEATRST 371
  • VMS 374
Typically Offered
Fall Only