Wellness and the Arts
Tips from a Dance Therapist
Artis—Naples Lifelong Learning
Jennifer Baxley Lee, lecturer
Artists have a significant role to play in health promotion and collective and community well-being. Whether dancing with individuals with PD or multiple sclerosis, or writing poetry with child awaiting a heart transplant, artists can contribute concretely and invaluably to efforts to humanize healthcare experiences through the transformative power of the arts. This lecture offers a view of the role the arts and cultural participation can play in promoting health, extending life, enhancing quality of life and augmenting the spirit of community through social connection.
This presentation is part of the Artis—Naples Lifelong Learning Wellness and the Arts series.
Jennifer Baxley Lee
Jennifer Baxley Lee
Jenny Baxley Lee serves as current director of UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine and senior lecturer at UF Center for Arts in Medicine. Informed by 22 years of field building and practice in arts in health, Lee’s research profile features an internationally prominent record of contributions in arts in health. She is currently undertaking lead authorship on an invited textbook for Routledge on Arts in Health in Practice and is co-authoring an invited chapter on Arts in Palliative Care in a research handbook on palliative care edited by Dr. David Clark.
Lee’s research explores visual, literary and performing artists’ professional practices including skills and structures necessary for safe, meaningful and effective arts engagement with individuals with palliative and end-of-life care needs. She has practiced telehealth-based dance/movement therapy with veterans and their families at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center. This extensive research yielded some of the earliest and most frequently cited publications on telehealth delivery of creative arts therapies, which became a vital contribution during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lee practiced dance/movement therapy with UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine working with children and adults with acute and chronic health issues, including children awaiting organ transplantation. In addition, Lee has facilitated theatre and dance for health education and promotion among middle school and high school students in schools, juvenile justice and other community settings from 2012 to 2018.
With regard to teaching, Lee co-founded the first master’s degree program in arts in medicine worldwide. She served as both assistant director and curriculum coordinator, providing oversight to the faculty and building a graduate degree program and two graduate certificates in the UF Center for Arts in Medicine. She continues to serve as faculty in the master’s program. From 2012 to 2019, she directed an annual study abroad course based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, entitled Arts for Health, Peace and Community Engagement in Northern Ireland. Lee is affiliated faculty with the School of Theatre and Dance and the STEM Translational Communication Center, and she has served on the Research and Curriculum Committees at the College of the Arts. Lee is an active member of the American Dance Therapy Association and served on the editorial board of the American Journal of Dance Therapy as book and film review editor from 2013 to 2016.
View this month's program book to get general information about Artis—Naples and to read articles about this month’s activities.