Arts in Medicine and Wellness Programmes in the US

Published: 6 Nov 2014

Arts in Medicine and Wellness Programmes in the US

Filipa Pereira-Stubbs spent four weeks in the US on a Churchill Fellowship, researching Arts and Wellness programmes designed to effect positive health choices and outcomes for patients, staff and the wider hospital community.

Filipa is a movement artist and director of DanceMoves, a small, local company that devises and delivers dance and movement projects within healthcare settings in Cambridge.  Travelling from the East coast to the West coast, she visited New York, Gainseville, Florida and San Francisco.  

Her aim was to experience the ways in which the arts, and dance in particular, are used to engage with and benefit older people, through the experiences of a variety of hospitals, community centres and individual dance practitioners from diverse communities. Filipa met and danced with people living with Dementia, Parkinson's and MS, as well as healthy older people who dance to promote and enjoy good health and well-being and a sense of purpose in their lives. 

Travelling through different communities, Filipa experienced how dance transcends cultural differences, economic differences, health challenges and attitudes to ageing.  “People welcome and need opportunities to enhance the quality of their lives - especially in becoming healthier, more connected and more expressive older adults,” says Filipa.

A particular highlight was meeting and dancing with Anna Halprin, a legendary San Franciscan dancer who has inspired developments in modern dance. At 96, she continues to dance, to teach and to perform, and influences generations of new dancers of all ages.  

“As a self-employed practitioner, the opportunity to take a significant amount of time, financially supported, in pursuit of my work practice has been extraordinary and wonderful.  It has allowed me to deepen my understanding of and commitment to the work I deliver, knowing this work to be important and vital, internationally as well as locally.  It has refreshed and resourced my ideas and abilities on how to best deliver this work,” says Filipa.

Filipa hopes to work with Addenbrookes’ Hospital in Cambridge to enable medical professionals to join forces with arts professionals in delivering good health care.

Contact Filipa: [email protected]