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Art also positively influences health

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At St. Joseph’s Hospital Di Milano, life and art come to light thanks to “Curarsi ad Arte,” an exhibition itinerary of care and culture now in its second edition. At the Maternal-Infantile Department of the facility for the past few days it has been possible to admire a series of paintings made by students of the Brera Academy on the theme of light. According to the “cultural welfare” paradigm, art and culture improve patients’ quality of life by reducing hospitalization, inpatient and medicalization costs: It is no coincidence that one of the objectives of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage is to highlight the contribution of culture to the well-being of EU citizens.

The initiative

In the presence of Lombardy Region Welfare Councillor Giulio Gallera, the exhibition “Curarsi ad arte – La luce” was inauguratedprecisely on Dec. 13, the day that celebrates St. Lucy, considered the patron saint of eyesight. Launched in 2016 thanks to the collaboration between the well-known Milanese hospital and the prestigious Art Institute, the project was born as an original experiment of “diffuse museum” within places deputed to care and, after the success of the first edition, is back again this year with a specific focus on light. Exactly in the corridors of the Maternal-Infantile Department, where new lives are being “brought to light,” works created by Brera students are in fact on display.
The virtuous partnership between Art and Medicine thus continues., which, on the one hand, allows young artists to exhibit and make themselves known; on the other hand, it creates an unprecedented possibility of cultural fruition, taking art outside its classical “temples” and bringing it closer to a particular audience: that of the users and health workers who populate the corridors of a large Italian hospital every day. In addition, there is a growing body of evidence confirming that art and beauty can exert a beneficial effect on patients, aiding the healing process and, at the same time, reducing anxiety and depression.

Health benefits of culture

“Today there are studies that show the effect of culture on quality of life and psychological well-being, but also its effectiveness in a wide variety of clinical areas”-confirms Pier Luigi Sacco, professor of Economics of Culture at IULM University in Milan. The idea of a possible“cultural welfare” paradigm is spreading” which, with appropriately declined interventions, is able to produce an improvement in the conditions of the people being cared for, at the same time reducing the costs of hospitalization, hospitalization and medicalization, and freeing up resources that can be used, among other purposes, to cover these same interventions, which would then in fact be self-financing. In order to achieve such a result, new pilot experiences are needed, no longer as has happened so far on a small scale, but with significantly larger numbers.”
Unlike 2016, for this year’s edition, students were given a theme to develop: light. “On our part, it therefore seemed logical and natural to offer the St. Joseph’s Maternal and Child Wards as an exhibition space”- concludes Daniele Schwarz, chief executive officer and general manager of the MultiMedica Group -.This department, in recent years, has been able to regain a leading role in Milan’s birth rate, reaching a quota close to 1,500 annual deliveries. Not only that, it has contributed to St. Joseph’s Hospital obtaining the recognition of the two Pink Stamps of the National Observatory on Women’s Health (ONDA). Results also made possible thanks to numerous upgrades and modernizations: from the new delivery block with a tub for water births, to the activation of a second-level neonatal intensive care unit, to name but a few examples.”

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The exhibited works were created by: Flavia Albu, Marta Galbusera, Raffaele Greco, Maddalena Lusso, Anna Mangone, Michele Oppizzi. The selection was made by the Scientific Committee composed of: Franco Marrocco, Director, Brera Academy of Fine Arts; Daniele Schwarz, CEO, MultiMedica Group; Giuseppe Bonini, Dean, Department of Visual Arts, Brera Academy of Fine Arts; Roberto Casiraghi, Lecturer, Department of Visual Arts, Brera Academy of Fine Arts; Alessandra Chiarello, Director of Marketing and Communications, MultiMedica Group; Sergio Harari, President of Peripato Association; Alberto Mugnaini, Curator and art critic; Pierluigi Sacco, Professor of Economics of Culture, IULM/Special Advisor to the European Commissioner for Culture/Visiting Scholar, Harvard University; Carmen Sommese, Corporate Health Director, MultiMedica Group

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