Center for Art + Health Innovation (CAHI): Project HEAL

Center for Art + Health Innovation (CAHI): Project HEAL

Coulter Stage




University of Louisville


Performers: Tasha Golden, Justin Golden, and Hannah Drake
The notion that the arts can affect health often seems intuitive, but this is typically recognized only at the individual level—such as in expressive therapies. In this engaging presentation threaded with live performance, The University of Louisville’s Center for Art + Health Innovation (CAHI)—based in UofL’s School of Public Health and Information Sciences—will share its innovative approach to improving community and population health through research-based arts interventions.

CAHI’s founding initiative is Project HEAL: a place-based framework for organizing communities’ arts and culture assets to influence social determinants of health. Currently piloting in the Smoketown community of Louisville, KY (with New Orleans and Asheville NC launching soon), Project HEAL has used poetry, music, and visual arts to initiate policy action related to predatory advertising.

In this multidisciplinary presentation, Smoketown poet Hannah Drake will perform works that reveal how the arts address environmental and social toxins—inspiring and galvanizing her community. Guests will also see visual art images that have helped Smoketown discuss historical trauma and establish its own narrative in Louisville.

Throughout, CAHI director Tasha Golden will invite the audience to consider the potential population-level health impacts of arts-based interventions, such as increases in social connectivity, the amplification of under-heard voices and issues, greater civic engagement, policy change, economic investment, reductions in stigma and isolation, and more. Golden, a former touring songwriter, will also weave song into her talk: illuminating the critical and invigorating interplay of disciplines that advance the growing intersection of art and public health.