The Oglethorpe University Museum of Art has become an official cultural partner with Art Pharmacy, a Georgia organization that helps healthcare providers prescribe arts and cultural experiences to patients experiencing mental health issues. In doing so, OUMA joins several other Atlanta institutions, including the Alliance Theatre and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
As a cultural partner with Art Pharmacy, the museum is now included on a registry of locations around Georgia that may be prescribed as a way to help manage stress, anxiety, and sadness, while also providing opportunities to connect with community. Such prescriptions leverage the therapeutic qualities of the arts and provide creative outlets that allow patients the space to heal.
Prescribed experiences include a variety of artistic disciplines, including theatre, visual arts, music, dance, creative writing and more. Art Pharmacy team members work with healthcare providers to carefully select experiences that match a patient’s interests, age, and neighborhood. Art Pharmacy also helps defray financial barriers to these health-improving arts and culture experiences, aiming to provide equitable care to patients regardless of insurance status.
OUMA’s partnership with Art Pharmacy adds to a host of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts announced recently by the museum. The recently-published “Art for All: OUMA and Accessibility” page on the museum’s website details many of the services, features and programming available to increase accessibility, including clear, readable signage, interpreters available upon request, and a sensory/meditation room expected to be completed in 2023.
“Our improvements in accessibility are changes that will benefit any visitor, regardless of their ability,” says Museum Director Elizabeth Peterson, “Using ideas about ease of use, perceptible information, flexibility, and so on, guides us to provide experiences that are better for all visitors and users with a range of abilities and differences.”