Art Really Is a Tool for Health and Healing — and This Only-in-Houston Conference Will Prove It

Lisa E. Harris / photo by Marla Jose Govea

EDITOR'S NOTE: This event has been postponed until September 2022.

THE HEALING POWER of art is the theme of Innovations in Arts and Health: Collaborating for Medical Humanities, Professional Development and Community Health, a three-day, international conference bringing together highly esteemed, Houston-based medical professionals and artists working in the intersection of arts and health.


Organized by the UH Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts and the UH College of Medicine, the conference takes place Jan. 20-22 at the UH campus, and includes workshops, performances, demonstrations and research presentations open to healthcare professionals, artists and the general public.

Several celebrated local artists are participating in the conference, including composer and Director of Houston Methodist Hospital System’s Center for Performing Arts Medicine Todd Frazier, Project Row Houses founder Rick Lowe, and soprano and interdisciplinary artist Lisa E. Harris, who is widely recognized as an innovator in the world of contemporary opera, and whose live performances with voice and theremin explore the mental, physical and spiritual benefits of sound, color and movement.

“My work integrates psychology, folk medicine and indigenous healing practices,” says Harris, who has facilitated musical theatre workshops at the Shriner’s Hospital and Texas Children’s Hospital and performed bedside visits at the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center. The conference gives artists like Harris and health care professionals the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of each other’s respective fields, and to consider ways to improve health care for patients and communities.

In the midst of a pandemic which has contributed to an increase of pre-pandemic mental and physical health issues, the arts provide an important though often misunderstood tool for successful treatment of patients. It’s exciting to see Houston at the forefront of such innovation.

“We need to use all tools and resources available to us,” says Stephan Spann, Founding Dean of the UH College of Medicine. “From health sciences to the arts and everything in between — for collective healing.”

Art + Entertainment
Duos, Trios and Teams: Clients Get ‘Personalized, Hands-on Service’ at Perdomo Group

Standing left to right: Meghan Johnson, Jill Knowles, Julianna Lind, Beth Stephan, Marla Reade, Galina Saburov, Lil Newman

Seated left to right: Susan Boylan, Julie Sheets, Kim Perdomo, Kim Zander, Tracy Ackley

HOW DID YOUR team form? After ten years as a realtor for a top firm in Houston, Kim Perdomo established a boutique brokerage in 2011. The team grew organically and joined forces with Compass in 2019.

Keep ReadingShow less

Oysters at CAPS (photo by Gondola Picon)

IT’S ONLY THE first week of December and H-Town is already bubbling over with culinary news. Here’s the latest taste of what’s new and coming soon!

Keep ReadingShow less
Food

The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina, next door to the USS Yorktown

THERE'S SOMETHING SPECIAL about an old-school Southern city, with its subtropical landscaping, old bricks, older trees and rib-sticking food everywhere, especially at the holidays. But, then again, a waterfront resort with a huge pool and potent cocktails served under cabanas is hard to beat. Can’t decide? May we suggest The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina? Located across the harbor from downtown Charleston, it offers both.

Keep ReadingShow less
People + Places