*•Arts in Medicine Fellows from Egypt, 2021 Global Cohort.

By Prisca Sam-Duru

Over 100 students and professionals from across the globe – Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, United Kingdom, Scotland, United States, Brazil, Botswana, Canada, Ghana, United Arab Emirates, UAE, Jamaica, Barbados, etc. – were received as members of the Arts in Medicine Fellowship global family.

The fellows from 16 countries around the world were hosted on Sunday, January 16, 2022, by the Arts in Medicine Fellowship as part of the second global cohorts of fellows.

Founder and Executive Director of Arts in Medicine Fellowship, Kunle Adewale, disclosed that this edition is the 6th Cohort since Arts in Medicine Fellowship was founded in Nigeria in the year 2018, through the support of the United States Mission to Nigeria and the U.S State Department.

As a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural global program, Arts in Medicine Fellowship, Adewale hinted further, has graduated over 600 fellows from 25 countries around the world.

According to him: “The Fellowship was established as an institution to bridge the professional gaps between practitioners of arts and public health. The intention is to help students and professionals build a meaningful relationship and find innovative ways to collaborate by leveraging creativity to facilitate hope, happiness and healings for patients, caregivers, family members and the community as whole.”

The learning team lead and director, Dr. Geraldine Cunha Herbert, highlighted the courses that participants would benefit from the program which include; Introduction to Arts in Health, Leadership in Arts in Health; Developing Art-based Interventions, Design Thinking and Health Innovation, Ideathon and, Creative Practices which comprise Visual and Performing Arts: Painting, Photography, Dance and Movement Therapy.”

In her keynote presentation, Annie Ruth, an international artist and founder, Eyes of the Artists Foundation based in Cincinnati Ohio, with over four decades experience, inspired the participants and guests using her personal life experiences as a storyboard to emphasise the relevance of “The Union of Arts and Health for a Better World.”

According to Ruth: “Arts can move beyond a profession into a calling.”

The programme will reach its climax with Arts in Health Festival. The fellows from different regions of the world would have the opportunity to collaborate and host onsite and online, different creative and therapeutic programs to support the mental, emotional and social life of their community members. The goal is to advance the integration of arts to support the health and wellbeing locally and globally.

The students and professionals selected for this year’s global cohort were drawn from the field of education, mental health, art therapy, photography, Media, Entrepreneurship, public health, Arts and Pharmacy amongst other disciplines. The faculty members of the fellowship which runs in a hybrid fashion for a period of 12 weeks; mostly weekends, were also drawn from different walks of life and professional backgrounds. Some of the facilitators include, Dominic Campbell, Cultural Producer and Co-founder of Creative-aging International based in Ireland; Sarah Hinds, Artist in Residence and Lecturer at the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine; Dr. Femi Adewuyi, professional photographer, alumnus of AIM Fellowship and currently works with the Red Cross Canada; Munya Bloggo, film and television producer based in Zimbabwe; and Jeff Pufhal, senior lecturer at the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine and Theatre practitioner based in the United States.

Also in attendance at the orientation and opening ceremony were Board members of the Arts in Medicine Fellowship, Dr. Manale Elewah (Egypt), Amy Tuttle (United States), and Fellowship alumni, leadership and team members of the Fellowship program.

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