We see culture as a necessary ingredient for public health, one that is often neglected or underappreciated. Our new CultureRx Initiative aims to change that.
CultureRx is a Mass Cultural Council initiative that advances the role of culture as a protective factor for the health of everyone in the Commonwealth. Working with partners in public health, social services, and the cultural sector, we’re making the case for cultural experiences as a social prescription and an essential investment in our well-being. And we’re building an infrastructure to make cultural participation more accessible to vulnerable populations across the state.
As thought leaders and conveners, we are creating cross-sector partnerships that support a comprehensive approach to health and well-being, and help us remove barriers to broad community participation in cultural experiences. We are also developing a funding infrastructure that encourages health care providers and cultural organization to join our effort. And we’re rallying our partners to make the case for cultural experiences as a powerful social prescription, an important public health investment, and a cost-effective health care intervention.
Massachusetts has one of the most expensive health care systems in the world. Even here however, there are significant gaps in the way we provide care – especially for vulnerable populations and for health conditions like stress and trauma and substance use disorder. The good news is that culture can help to meet these gaps and effectively address social determinants of health – all at a much lower cost than conventional health care. We have an opportunity to redefine the value of a culturally engaged life by putting health front and center. Culture has the power to save lives and improve our well-being. Together, we can make that power work for everyone.
Today Mass Cultural Council and Massachusetts Health Connector joined state and local leaders, cultural organizations, and public health officials in Amherst to celebrate an innovative new partnership and launch ConnectorCare Card to Culture.
Inside an unassuming Victorian-era building, just west of downtown Holyoke, is one of the nation’s most distinctive creative community development initiatives: The Care Center. It is an example of what can happen when culture and creativity form the foundation to dismantle systemic barriers for individuals, as well as communities.
This month the Mass Cultural Council teamed up with our Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development Committee chairs in the state Legislature, Senator Edward J. Kennedy (D- Lowell) and Rep. Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham) to spread the word about our new partnership with the Massachusetts Health Connector, the ConnectorCare Card to Culture Program.
From Artist News to Creative Youth, Community Initiative, and Power of Culture, our email lists are a great way to keep up with the work of Mass Cultural Council and its partners across the Commonwealth.