The mission of the UNM Arts-in-Medicine Program is to improve health and well-being and alleviate suffering by engaging participants in their innate powers of creativity and healing.
Based at the University of New Mexico Hospitals (UNMH), the program offers a diversity of healing arts and creative encounters intended to revitalize relationship with self and others, transform medical environments, and enrich communities.
Various projects to evaluate the program as a whole as well as specific interventions for specific populations
Artists-in-medicine aim to engage the participant as deeply as possible in the creative encounter
Meeting and joining an other; be it person or place, idea, image, or sensation; in openness, without judgment or expectation, intending for and allowing something new to be born.
AIM engages people in their own healing process through creative encounters involving one or more of the following:
- music, visual art, dance, poetry, creative writing
- life review, self-reflection, guided imagery, deep breathing, relaxation techniques, meditation, mindfulness
- massage, energy work, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, essential oil
Benefits for Patients and Families
- Encourage participants to stop, examine, and transform the quality of their lives
- Provide opportunities to express painful and/or suppressed feelings
- Co-create new perspectives on and increased meaning in life
- Facilitate positive experiences and heightened self-esteem
- Relieve pain, discomfort, anxiety, restlessness, respiratory difficulties, insomnia, isolation, depression, withdrawal, loss of speech, grief, and anticipatory grief
Benefits for Health Care Workers
What is the connection between creative encounters and improved medical practice?
As you engage more frequently and more deeply in creative encounters you:
• Learn to facilitate and attend to details of process rather than outcome
• Observe and create more opportunities for change and choice
• Express yourself more easily, alone and in collaboration with others
• Clarify and personalize your sense of spirituality
Arts-in-Medicine Special Events
The Arts-in-Medicine concert series takes place every Wednesday during the semester from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. The free concerts are held in the UNM Hospital BBRP Cafe and all are welcome to attend!
From the Director
“Arts-in-Medicine at UNM is a growing community of people immersed in creative process. Through music, art, dance, and many of the healing arts we facilitate this creative process for others in medical and community environments. Our aim is to inspire healing, learning, and potentially a relief from suffering, increased connectedness with self and other, and a renewed sense of possibility. Our commitment to the act of creating is not for ‘decoration’ but rather, to quote Rollo May, for ‘giving birth to some new reality’, whether it be personal or in the world around us. We invite you to participate in our Healing Arts Certificate program or our clinical program at UNM Hospitals, our local and regional community outreach projects or our international exchange program with Sub-Saharan Africa. Whether you are an aspiring or professional artist, a healing arts practitioner or medical provider, a potential donor, or someone dealing with illness, we welcome you.”
—Dr. Patricia Repar, Director, UNM Arts-In-Medicine
“The difference I see in the patients when they are participating in the art group always fascinates me. They are completely different people.”
Physician at UNMH Psychiatric Center
Psychiatric Center patients participated in live music, open art studio, creative movement and poetry sessions
Healthcare workers received massage, music, art and poetry services at UNM Hospitals
Children and their families participated in open art studios in Carrie Tingley Hospital and UNMH Pediatric Dermatology clinic
New Mexicans served by the Arts-in-Medicine Program from September 2021 - May 2022