Announcing our long term partnership with Blue Shield

To amplify our belief that art and creativity are essential to healthy lives and communities, YBCA is excited to announce a multi-year partnership with Blue Shield of California - a champion of lifestyle medicine and healthcare provider to over four million members.

Demonstrating a shared belief in the symbiotic relationship between arts and health, this partnership speaks to our joint role in shaping the overall well-being of communities through cultural and artistic efforts. This collaboration between a nonprofit arts institution and nonprofit health plan comes on the heels of a increased international interest in the role of arts engagement in preventative care. There is growing evidence that art, creativity, and culture have measurable impacts on individual and community health. The University of Florida Center for Arts and Medicine has partnered with ArtPlace America to launch a new national initiative called Creating Healthy Communities: Arts + Public Health in America to explore and map a national agenda that realizes the potential in intersecting health, arts, and culture to build healthier communities across the country. A recent article by Jamie Hand and Tasha Golden in the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank’s Community Development Innovation Review identifies several domains where arts and cultural strategies have a unique and positive impact on mental health outcomes.

By working with Blue Shield, YBCA builds off of pre-existing efforts with the food justice group Tenderloin Healthy Corner Store Coalition (THCSC) to further discussions of health and wellness through the arts. With this commitment and and recent studies suggesting the positive impact of the arts on emotional resilience, Blue Shield continues its promotion of lifestyle medicine, in which it identifies emotional resilience as one of its key pillars, as they celebrate their 80th Anniversary. Together, we will undertake and support projects that link engagement with the arts and improved health and wellbeing in individuals and communities. YBCA and Blue Shield will introduce artist fellowships, commissioned programs, and annual community events featuring artists and thought-leaders at the forefront of the growing conversation about art and health.

Starting today, the theater will officially be named the “Blue Shield of California Theater at YBCA.”

The partnership ensures that YBCA can continue to reserve over 70% of theater rental space at a discounted rate for community organizations and civic engagement programming. As a world-class facility with over 300 cultural events, including exhibitions, performances, film screenings, and large-scale community engagements, this commitment is integral to strengthening YBCA’s relationship with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 16 union.

Given our mission, YBCA would like to kick off this partnership with the local community. You are invited to attend the official groundbreaking on Wednesday, April 3rd and learn more about our joint efforts highlighting the impact of art on health and well-being. The event will feature a special performance from Dohee Lee, a South Korean artist who combines dance, music, percussion, and vocals inspired by her inquiries into art and wellness; presentations from health practitioners incorporating art in their practice; and more.

Read the full announcement by Deborah Cullinan, CEO of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on Medium here.