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Healing Arts

In partnership with

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Healing Arts is an unprecedented collaboration in support of a global Covid-19 response through the arts; specifically to address the growing mental health crisis. Healing Arts is produced by CULTURUNNERS in partnership with Christie's as part of the World Health Organization’s Solidarity Series of Events and UN75. The initiative was launched in November 2020 (with the sale of Ahmed Mater's Magnetism installation) in partnership with the World Council of Peoples for the United Nations and the Open Mind Project.

The Healing Arts initiative incorporates a series of auctions through December 2021 alongside a program of educational events covering urgent thematic areas of mental, societal and environmental health, each through the lens of the supportive power of the arts.

Alongside the unprecedented physical impact of COVID-19, the WHO is warning of a ‘mirror pandemic’ with many countries reporting an escalation of mental health cases resulting from isolation, income reduction, fear of infection and bereavement. It is estimated that over one million people died by suicide in 2020, three million by alcohol related deaths and hundreds of millions have suffered from deepening depression and other mental disorders. Against this backdrop, the arts have emerged as an essential part of our mental well-being, with a growing body of evidence that they bring consolation and healing to people suffering in the mind.

All proceeds from this initiative will benefit the WHO Foundation, supporting the urgently needed mental health response; and the Artist Response Fund, supporting artist-led projects that directly facilitate community healing and healthcare messaging on the frontline of the pandemic.

Image Credit: Sutapa Biswas, Hospital Rooms commission for Garnet Ward

Project Films

UN75: Medicine Men, The Art of Health

This UN75 Moderated Dialogue in partnership with the World Health Organization brought together physician artists and curators to explore the healing power of art as a driver for improved health, education and social justice at this critical time.

UN75: Art in The Time of Coronavirus

Influential art world voices explore the role and value of art when facing systemic-level, global threats like COVID-19. This UN75 dialogue was held on Earth Day to highlight Coronavirus' connection to our ecological emergency.

UN75: The Pilgrimage and the Pandemic

The Pilgrimage & The Pandemic brings together voices from the world of Art and Health to discuss this year's Hajj in the context of COVID-19 and the role of creativity in faith and spirituality during times of societal anxiety.

Program Highlights

WHO Arts and Health Lead, Christopher Bailey speaking at the Wellcome Center, London.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General announcing the launch of the Healing Arts Auction Series, as part of the Healing Arts Initiative.

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