What is wellness—and what connects wellness with community-based creative arts practices? FLOURISH, a research cluster based at the University of Toronto Scarborough, is an arts-led, community-engaged initiative that explores how creative arts engagement enriches social connection and wellness across the lifecourse.
We support the development of 1) community-engaged arts-wellness initiatives across Scarborough and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and 2) meaningful evidence that reflects how high-quality arts experiences—in multiple forms, venues and roles—catalyze human interactions crucial to social wellness.
How might creative arts practices enhance the “global judgments of life satisfaction” that define wellness? In contrast to traditional, often clinical, definitions of “health,” each of our Cluster’s contributing projects prioritize the meaningful outcomes of arts engagement as defined by a community. Our multidisciplinary team expertise includes arts-based and health research methods; fine and performing arts; community-engaged practice; assessment and education science; knowledge translation; and implementation science.
Leading with and learning from the assets of our community partners, we aim to assist the growth of an intergenerational culture of wellness through the arts—locally, provincially, and nationally. Through research, collaborations, training opportunities, and advisory relationships, FLOURISH seeks to advance our understanding of creative arts engagement as an impactful method for enhancing social wellness: for the further benefit of health and social services, the arts and culture sector, and Canadian society.