Expert promotes ‘Art as Medicine’

Feb 14, 2017

An expert on the relationship between the arts and medicine is in town to discuss how families can introduce art therapy into their own communities.

For those living with a chronic illness, or who have a friend or family member who struggles with one, Elizabeth Auer has an easy prescription to fill: art.

Auer is the assistant director of performing arts for the University of Florida. She will be in Aspen making the case for caregivers to incorporate music, dance or the visual arts into a patient’s every day treatment plan.


“If you have someone dealing with cancer, someone who has alzheimer's or parkinson's, and how you can utilize the arts in their everyday life just to make their life experience much more pleasant and give you a chance to connect,” said Auer.


Although Auer recognizes that art is not a substitute for pharmaceutical medications, introducing the arts into a patient’s daily routine will benefit that patient’s physical and mental acuity reaction.


“It gives families a bit more of a chance to reconnect with these family members. It's a lot more comforting when you can see the person you know still in there,” she said. “It’s nice to kind of get a glimpse back at the person who you know is still there.”


Art as Medicine will take place at the Limelight at 6 p.m. tomorrow. Local musician Dan Sheridan will perform.