Interagency Working Group on Arts, Health, and Civic Infrastructure

Starting in 2024, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) convened a new Interagency Working Group on Arts, Health, and Civic Infrastructure (IWG-AHCI). Chaired by Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA, and Xavier Becerra, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), this group will foster exchanges of insights and information about arts and cultural resources and strategies across federal agencies, with the goal of helping to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

This working group builds from previous cross-agency efforts to more fully integrate arts and cultural perspectives with public policy interventions. Recent examples include the Federal Interagency Task Force on the Arts and Human Development, the Sound Health initiative, and NEA partnerships with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the CDC Foundation. In addition, arts-based approaches are recommended throughout the Equitable Long Term Recovery and Resilience (ELTRR) Plan, an HHS-led initiative spanning multiple agencies and departments.

On a quarterly basis, the IWG-AHCI will convene representatives across the federal government to:

  • explore potential partnerships and research areas;
  • identify opportunities for including arts and cultural strategies in programs and initiatives that affect public health and animate social and civic spaces within communities;
  • lift up exemplary practices across government; and
  • unlock opportunities for community-based organizations and state and governments to engage with federal programs supporting the arts, health, and civic infrastructure.

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