Atlantic Center for the Arts

Progress of program the PSF grant was to support

In the spring of 2020, ACA artist ambassadors and staff designed a robust Arts & Wellness Academy curriculum for specific populations. Four artists contributed protocol they use with demographics served through the years with ACA Community Programs. These groups include elders with cognitive disabilities and/or physical disabilities, children with autism, at-risk youth, and veterans. In the fall of 2020, each artist produced a video lecture presentation sharing best practices with these groups. Lecture topics begin with an introduction by the ACA Director of Community Program discussing the ACA Arts & Wellness methodology (The 5 Phases of an Arts & Wellness Experience) that is practiced by all the featured artist ambassadors. A separate experiential video activity workshop was produced by each artist, designed to illustrate the theory in practice. The workshop themes in 2020 are Creative Wellness Collage and Free Play, Awareness of Being Through Movement, and The Process of Layering. In addition, the ACA Director of Community Programs produced a lecture video detailing the process of building partnerships for sustainability of programming in arts and community health. Again, this methodology is a valuable resource for working artists, healthcare professionals, and arts administrators to learn a common protocol for programs in this field.

In September 2020, ACA successfully produced an online symposium designed to share experiences of arts and wellness as a viable continuum of care model. The theme of the symposium, The Arts Within Whole Health, reflected a holistic approach encouraging collaborative and innovative approaches. Thirteen participants from the Central Florida region came together to discuss current trends, research and development, and ideas to create more support and awareness of the arts as a bridge to community health.

How the organization shifted their plans/programming due to pandemic circumstances

Due to the recent uptick in COVID 19 cases, ACA has made the decision to delay the Academy that was partially funded through our grant from the Pabst Steinmetz Foundation until 2021. ACA staff have come to the conclusion that even when held in 2021, the Academy may have to presented as a “hybrid” model, such as we recently held with our residency participants. This residency was well-thought out, providing opportunity for 15 artists to attend in-person, and 11 to participate virtually. ACA is establishing best practices for the field in terms of COVID Protocol and establishing new norms, as well as use of technology.

Lessons learned from having to re-group which will help the organization going forward

In place of the Academy this year, ACA will produce videos with three Arts Ambassadors through the end of 2020, two per Ambassador, for ultimate use in the Academy curriculum. This includes the presentation and recording of a PowerPoint with a voiceover that would address pertinent issues such as elders, grieving, etc., and a second video that will be experiential in terms of a project. In addition, our Director of Community Programs will produce an hour-long video that gives an overview of ACA’s Arts & Wellness model. Thus, we would have pre-packaged 7 hours of modules that can easily be shared. The goal of the Academy is to put our model into pragmatic use within communities; the modules create streamlined models that can be easily replicated.

The ability to focus our resources for 2020 on the filming and editing of these modules allows us to create a more substantive experience for a “hybrid” Academy in 2021. It also gives us time to arrange the significant tech aspects to make this a successful, collaborative, creative and substantive model.