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Organization Focused on the Health Benefits of the Arts Brings National Convention to Cleveland

Jackson, Linda

Cleveland will host more than 250 artists and health care professionals from throughout the country when the National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH) convenes its annual conference September 19-21.

NOAH President Barbara Steinhaus said the city’s reputation for world-class health care and its internationally renowned arts institutions made it an obvious choice to host the organization, which is dedicated to the arts as an integral component of health and well-being.

The convention, sponsored by the MetroHealth Center for Arts in Health and Cleveland Clinic Arts and Medicine, will begin with a day devoted to workshops and an opportunity for attendees to visit The Glick Center and Cleveland Clinic Main Campus for in-person tours of both health systems’ art programs, including the MetroHealth-sponsored public art projects in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood.

Steinhaus said the chance to learn more about the innovative programs happening in Cleveland is a special draw.

NOAH representatives last visited Cleveland in 2019, when The Glick Center was still in the vision stage. But the intention was already in place to make art a central focus of the hospital’s public spaces. Linda Jackson, Director of the MetroHealth Center for Arts in Health, gave the group a preview of the plans for the hospital, which is now home to more than 1,000 works of art, including murals and photography commissioned for the building, much of it by local artists.

Steinhaus said she is eager to see the finished project.

“All of it was so impressive,” she said. “We had colleagues there who approach arts in health from an interior design background, and they were blown away by it, as I was. Even before the new building, the artwork at MetroHealth lent a spirit of the home, a sense of invitation, of belonging. I loved that.”

Steinhaus said MetroHealth differentiates its arts in health program through its emphasis on bringing the art out of the hospital and into the community through efforts like the S.A.F.E. (Students Are Free to Express) Project. This groundbreaking psychology and trauma-informed program engages teaching artists to lead workshops in Cleveland Municipal School District classrooms based on a primary prevention curriculum to promote resiliency and stress responsiveness among children and teens.

“I am amazed by the partnerships that MetroHealth’s Center for Arts in Health has within the community and how they saw the opportunity for their new building and grounds to enhance those partnerships,” she said. “We are looking forward to learning more about their innovative programming.”

The NOAH annual conference will be hosted at Cleveland Play House at Playhouse Square, with an opening night reception in the lobby of the Mimi Ohio Theatre. Jackson is co-chairing the event along with Katherine Trapanovski, Director of Events at University of Buffalo and Vice President of NOAH.

“It’s exciting to welcome NOAH to Cleveland,” Jackson said. “This is a diverse group of artists, arts administrators, students, health care professionals and industry representatives who come from vastly different backgrounds, but who all believe in the power of the arts in improving health and well-being. They’re going to discover Cleveland’s hidden gems as well as our world-class institutions. We’re eager to come together as a field and learn from one another.”

About The MetroHealth System

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through five hospitals, four emergency departments, and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites. Each day, our nearly 9,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable health care–through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services–that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers For more information, visit