Detroit Regional Chamber > Mackinac Policy Conference > The Link Between Art and Business: A Tool for Evoking Emotion and Cultivating Healthy Spaces

The Link Between Art and Business: A Tool for Evoking Emotion and Cultivating Healthy Spaces

September 21, 2021
Key Takeaways:

  • Art programs should be made to support the employee experience just as much as the patient healing experience.
  • To convince stakeholders that an investment in art will be worthwhile for patient, community, and employee health, managers should showcase data that supports art as an integral component in the mental, emotional, and physical healing process.
  • To effectively connect with the diverse population of patients and staff, arts programs should feature different mediums to ensure they can be accessed by everyone.
  • Support artists in the community. “Henry Ford is an anchor in so many communities across Southeast Michigan and Jackson and there are lots of creative people doing really wonderful things around our hospitals. Through our program, I want to invest in their work so that they are supported,” said Winkel.
  • Establish a collaborative process for aligning your company’s goals with the goals of the artist to make the art experience feel authentic.

Art is essential to the mental, emotional, and physical healing process and should be infused into an organization’s culture for optimal patient and employee experiences.

Wright L. Lassiter III, president and chief executive officer of Henry Ford Health System and Chairman of 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference, and Megan Winkel, manager of Healing Arts Program and Lindsay Anderson Curator of Art for the Division of Supportive Oncology Services at Henry Ford, discussed why the arts are essential to the health care experience in a conversation moderated by Omari Rush, executive director of CultureSource at the 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference.

Through its Healing Arts Program, Henry Ford embraces art as a tool for evoking emotion and cultivating healthy spaces for patients, employees, and communities.

“Art has a restorative power, as well as a healing power, that is powerful both for physical and mental restoration,” said Lassiter.

This program is connecting the passion of local artists with the potential passion of healing patients. The program also focuses art projects around supporting staff.

“Your greatest asset is talent. While a lot of this is about the restorative power of art for our patient care mission, this is really also about creating an environment for the people who are doing the work to have the most productive environment and the most positive environment,” said Lassiter.

When business leaders decide they want to bring art into their workplace, they often feel overwhelmed with the task of creating something internally.

“Look into your community,” said Winkel. “There are so many organizations in the City of Detroit and surrounding areas, there are so many people who are doing amazing projects. Nonprofits and businesses who are looking to infuse art should be looking to those people and putting their support there.”

Lassiter echoed Winkel’s advice and encouraged businesses to simply start and “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”

This session was sponsored by Henry Ford Health System.