Supervisor Hilda L. Solis Declares Arts and Health Week, Encouraging the Further Integration of Arts and Culture Into Health, Wellbeing, and Recovery

Today, in a motion authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously declared the week of June 10, 2024 as Arts and Health Week. There is growing research that demonstrates the arts have a positive impact across physical, mental, and public health. Recognizing that the benefits of the arts are many, and that everyone deserves to have equal access to them, the motion highlights the collaborative efforts of LA Opera, the LA County Department of Arts and Culture, and County health departments already underway, and encourages continued growth of this work and the County’s strategies and services at the intersection of arts and health.

The motion asserts the importance that the arts, when implemented into service through cross-sector collaboration, are integral to equity and to healthy communities across aspects of civic life, from education, youth development, justice reform and prevention, health, infrastructure, aging, and more. It also highlights that the arts can have a positive influence across social determinants of health, which are the conditions in the environments where people live, work, and play, to promote health equity for all. The five social determinants of health domains include economic stability, education access and quality, health care access and quality, neighborhood and built environment, and social and community context.

The recognition of the role of the arts in health continues to grow, yet there is still more work to do to capitalize on this momentum and further integrate arts and culture into our health, civic, and community infrastructure. We must ensure everyone has access to the arts, continue to utilize the arts in cross-sector strategies, and increase awareness of the power of arts for health. These cross-sector efforts also actualize the goals of the Countywide Cultural Policy, which was adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 2020 and directs County departments to integrate arts and culture into their strategies and services.

For the third year, LA Opera will host the Arts and Health Week Summit on June 14. Its goal is to encourage greater understanding of the connection between arts, health, and wellbeing, and build collaborative practices. The event is advised by renowned soprano and arts and health advocate Renée Fleming, in collaboration with Supervisor Solis, the Department of Arts and Culture, Healing Arts—an initiative of the Jameel Arts & Health Lab, and the World Health Organization.

In addition to convening the Summit, there are several cross-sector collaborations underway. The Department of Arts and Culture has initiated a growing body of work at the intersection of arts and health, working across its various divisions and in collaborations with a wide range of County departments including Public Health, Mental Health, Health Services, Aging and Disabilities, Children and Family Services, Public Works, the Justice, Care, and Opportunities Department (JCOD), and others. This work includes commissioning Civic Art at County hospitals and facilities; providing healing-centered arts education and Creative Wellbeing programs to support young people and adults who care for them in schools, foster care facilities, residential treatment programs, and temporary shelter care facilities; awarding grants to community-based organizations delivering access to arts and culture activities for communities; providing referrals to arts programs for adults released from incarceration, and their families, as part of reentry services; and placing artists with County departments in its Creative Strategist Artist in Residence program.

“Art has the power to transform bodies and minds, transcend cultures and economic and demographic boundaries, and unify individuals of every age and ethnicity to promote deeper understanding and appreciation of one another in a way that no other single medium can,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, who represents the First District. “Everyone, no matter their geographic, economic, or cultural background should have equal access to art’s universal unifying and healing power, and this motion today is about increasing equity and access—empowering the County to better integrate arts and culture into the daily lives of every community and reach people where they live, work and play.”

"We have long lived the credo that the arts are vital to the human experience, enabling us to commune with joy, wonder, fascination, curiosity, excitement—but most of all, to one another," said Christopher Koelsch, LA Opera's Sebastian Paul and Marybelle Musco President and CEO. "To have the enthusiastic support of Los Angeles County as a leading partner for the Arts and Health Week, amplifying this message, is incredibly gratifying. A great deal of groundbreaking research in arts and health research is taking place in our County and I'm so proud that this important annual event shines a much-deserved spotlight on the amazing work that has been accomplished. Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture deserve a standing ovation for everything that they have done to make Arts and Health Week a truly transformational event."

“With this motion, the Board of Supervisors uplifts the power of the arts in health and encourages growth of this work across the social determinants of health domains,” said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture. “Arts and cultural practices have been utilized for healing since time immemorial. Now, there is growing research that the arts positively contribute to wellbeing across our lifespans, prevention of illness, promotion of health, recovery from trauma, and bettering the conditions in which we live, work, learn, and play, also known as the social determinants of health. This is a moment of opportunity—artists, arts and health organizations, public sector leaders, funders, and County partners can make strides by coming together with a cross-sector approach to weaving arts interventions into policies, programs, and services. I’m incredibly proud of the arts and health work we’ve done so far in LA County. Together, we can build on thesepromising practices to create cultural equity and health equity for all.”

An overview of arts and health at the Departments of Arts and Culture and Public Health can be found here.

About the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture
The mission of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture is to advance arts, culture, and creativity throughout Los Angeles County. It provides leadership, services, and support in areas including grants and technical assistance for nonprofit organizations, countywide arts education initiatives, commissioning and care for civic art collections, research and evaluation, pathways to the creative economy, professional development, free community programs, and cross-sector creative strategies that address civic issues. 

About LA Opera
Los Angeles is a city of enormous diversity and creativity, and LA Opera is dedicated to reflecting that vibrancy by redefining what opera can be. Through imaginative new productions, world premiere commissions, and inventive performances that preserve foundational works while making them feel fresh and compelling, LA Opera has become one of America’s most exciting and ambitious opera companies.

In addition to its mainstage performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the company explores unusual repertoire each season through the LA Opera Off Grand initiative, featuring performances in a variety of venues throughout Los Angeles. The LA Opera Connects department offers a robust variety of educational programming and community engagement offerings that reaches people throughout every corner of Los Angeles County. The company also offers a multitude of online content via its LA Opera On Now digital offerings, which launched in 2020. Learn more at