Living Artful Lives to Enhance Health and Well-Being

Health and Well-Being Matter is the monthly blog of the Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

“One of my core beliefs is that the arts don’t exist in a bubble. There is immense opportunity in understanding the arts comprehensively and holistically, recognizing their intrinsic value and understanding how arts and culture can strengthen other fields — health, community development, education, transportation, among others.”

- Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, National Endowment for the Arts Chair

Greetings! As some of you may have noticed, I’ve begun to occasionally share this space with partners from throughout the federal family to talk about the collaborative work of advancing equitable health and well-being for all people – specifically within the context of the recently released Equitable Long-Term Recovery and Resilience Federal Plan (ELTRR). This month I’m very pleased to introduce the first in a new quarterly video “vlog” series that will expand the conversations we have and the work we do to advance individual and community recovery and resilience.

In this first installment, I had the pleasure to sit down with National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chair, Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson for a discussion on the vital role played by the arts and culture in establishing enhanced resilience and aiding us in recovery from stressors such as the pandemic. As Dr. Jackson so eloquently refers to it – the practice of living “more artful lives”.

The NEA has long supported projects and initiatives that deeply resonate with the tenets of our office and the ELTRR federal plan, and which improve resilience and well-being for individuals and communities. Their Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network places creative arts therapies at the core of patient-centered care at clinical sites throughout the country – increasing access to community arts activities that promote health, wellness, and quality of life for military and veteran populations suffering trauma. Their Sound Health Network promotes research and public awareness about the impact of music on health and wellness, and the NEA Our Town grant program supports activities that integrate arts, culture, and design into local efforts to strengthen communities and lay the groundwork for systems change and centered equity. And so much more!

For a deeper dive on NEA’s approach to creating and promoting greater health and well-being, I encourage you to explore their website at

Yours in health,


Paul Reed, MD
Rear Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health
Director, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

In Officio Salutis — In the Service of Health

Categories: Blog, Spotlight