Web Site Links Healing and the Arts

Innovative projects weaving the arts, aging, wellness and healing abound. While poking around on the Internet, researching renowned Bay Area book artist Charles Hobson, I discovered his daughter, Mary Daniel Hobson, also an artist.

In addition to her art and photography career, Hobson is the director of the Arts and Healing Network, an international online resource that celebrates the rich connection between healing and the arts. Essentially AHN believes that the arts offer powerful wide-ranging healing in a variety of ways. AHN offers resources, information, community project updates, support and inspiration to “environmentalists, social activists, artists, art professionals, health care practitioners and those challenged by illness.”

Hobson explained by telephone that Marion Weber founded AHN in 1997. Hobson and Weber had both personally experienced the healing effects of art, and deeply believe “in the healing power of creativity to be a catalyst for transformation.”

When you log on to www.artheals.org, enchanting music emanates from your computer inviting you to relax and explore this varied Web site. Next click on “New.” There you will find the AHN monthly newsletter that includes book reviews, links and interviews with leaders in the field of arts and healing.

The current issue of AHN News profiles Dance & Elders, in honor of 2006 AHN awardee Anna Halprin and her outstanding work with dance and healing. Halprin, 85, is a notable dancer, choreographer, teacher, author, creator of the Life/Art Process and founder of the Tamalpa Institute. The Tamalpa Institute is dedicated to dance and expressive arts therapy.

The AHN newsletter features an excerpt from Halprin’s speech at UC Davis in 2000. This is followed by information about Halprin’s recent project called Seniors Rocking.

Finally, within the AHN Web site, be sure to explore the “Inspiration” section. There are numerous links to the Web sites of healing artists and arts associations.

I hope you enjoy this incredible resourceful Web site. Hobson welcomes your feedback and suggestions for future news topics. She says, “Regardless of your age, I hope this issue will inspire you to move in new and inspired ways.”