Creating Accessible Public Art
A session was presented at the 2019 Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Conference in Denver, Colorado by Danny Belanger. (dbelanger@crt.la.gov) The presentation on The Hug by JuanJo Novella can be found here. A site specific work created by weaving accessibility through the process in Site Evaluation, Artist Selection, Design Process, and Installation. The goal was to make this public art piece accessible to all. This project was selected as one of the top 50 public art projects in the US for 2019 by Americans for the Arts (here). This is the first public art project to be selected in Louisiana. 

JuanJo Novella - The HugJuanJo Novella - The HugJuanJo Novella - The Hug

Art Heals

Groundbreaking Healing Arts Initiative Is First In Video Series

In its first video in a series highlighting how art improves under-served lives across the state, Louisiana Division of the Arts explores the Healing Arts Initiative at St. Tammany Parish Hospital.

Danny Belanger, director of arts education and accessibility for the arts agency, was struck by the hospital’s embrace of art as a meaningful part of healing.

“There was an understanding that art could provide a respite from stress for patients and others,” said Belanger, who learned about the role of art at STPH from Mary Lee, chairman of the St. Tammany Hospital Foundation’s Healing Arts Committee and also chairman of the Louisiana State Arts Council.

“I was so impressed by the sense of purpose,” Belanger added.

The videos capture an array of vantage points on the meaning of the Healing Arts at STPH, including that of hospital CEO Joan Coffman and Chief Medical Officer Patrick Torcson MD.

Northshore artist Bill Stewart, an engineer who taught himself to paint with his left hand after losing the use of his right hand to a stroke, also shares the role of art in his own healing process.

The state agency, the hospital and the foundation will all share the video via digital, web and social media channels.

“The videos underscore the work of so many constituencies in coming together to make the Healing Arts possible,” said Nicole Suhre, the foundation’s executive director.

Shot on site in late 2018, the eight video shorts include footage of arts installations across the hospital campus, sometimes from the point of view of what a patient might see while moving through its corridors.

The STPH Healing Arts videos will be followed by others that explore novel ways art is being used to serve elderly, disabled and imprisoned Louisiana residents.

“We want to raise awareness of what is happening around the state and also show how the arts are making people’s lives better,” Belanger said.

To learn more about the Healing Arts Initiative, visit sthfoundation.org/healingarts. If you would like to view the videos click here

©2020 Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism