New Renée Fleming NeuroArts Investigator Awards to Advance Arts and Health Research

July 20, 2023

Renée Fleming Foundation and NeuroArts Blueprint Initiative announce groundbreaking program to encourage collaborative Neuroarts research between early career artists and scientists

Susan Magsamen
NeuroArts Blueprint Initiative

Jon Purves
The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, July 20, 2023  The Renée Fleming Foundation has joined forces with the NeuroArts Blueprint initiative (a partnership between Johns Hopkins University and the Aspen Institute) to establish the Renée Fleming NeuroArts Investigator Awards. Neuroarts is the study of how the arts and aesthetic experiences measurably change the brain and body and how this knowledge is translated into practices that advance health and wellbeing. Its work can help people prevent, manage, and recover from physical and mental challenges across the lifespan.

Experts associated with the NeuroArts Blueprint initiative will develop and manage this pioneering awards program for young and emerging scientists, artists, and researchers, enrolled in, or recently graduated from, a higher education program. Grant recipients will be awarded $7,500 in funding for one year. 

The purpose of the awards is three-fold, with each goal critical for building the field of neuroarts:

  • Provide seed funding for young scholars in both the arts and the sciences to work collaboratively on critical neuroarts research.
  • Identify and fill key gaps in neuroarts research.
  • Develop and sustain a new generation of neuroarts professionals.

“The NeuroArts Blueprint is driving a new field at the intersection of medical research, the arts, and technology” said Renée Fleming, acclaimed soprano, NeuroArts Blueprint co-chair and World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Arts and Health. “Engaging and supporting the next generation of scientific researchers and arts practitioners is crucial for bridging established silos and encouraging collaboration. The Renée Fleming NeuroArts Investigator Awards will, I hope, foster inquiry and partnership between young scientists and artists, nurturing the imaginative spirit and the potential of the neuroarts field.”

The awards program is a major step in implementing the recommendations of the groundbreaking 2021 report, Advancing the Science of Arts, Health, and Wellbeing, produced by the NeuroArts Blueprint initiative, a partnership between the Health, Medicine and Society (HMS) Program at the Aspen Institute and the International Arts + Mind (IAM) Lab, Center for Applied Neuroscience, Pedersen Brain Science Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The report makes specific recommendations for research, evidence-based arts practices, educational and career pathways, dedicated funding, public policy, and leadership and communications infrastructure – all necessary to cultivate neuroarts as a recognized field.  

Interdisciplinary research is the key to success. “We need solid research – designed and conducted together by scientists and artists – to build the evidence base necessary for recognizing the field of neuroarts,” noted Ruth Katz, NeuroArts Blueprint initiative co-director and HMS executive director. “The Renée Fleming NeuroArts Investigators Awards will help us identify and target important, yet under-studied neuroarts research.” 

Added Susan Magsamen, NeuroArts Blueprint initiative co-director and executive director of the Hopkins’ IAM Lab: “The seed funding will also help to foster, nurture, and promote promising neuroarts researchers and begin to build a cadre of neuroarts professionals. These young investigators with their partner laboratories will become members of the NeuroArts Blueprint Research Consortium, a group of individuals from academic research Institutions who share the mission and goals of the Blueprint. By supporting the work of those early in their careers as arts practitioners and scientific researchers, we believe we can increase the interdisciplinary collaborations necessary to cultivate the neuroarts field and, in turn, encourage others to join it.”

The Renée Fleming NeuroArts Investigator Awards Program will be housed at the Aspen Institute. The IAM Lab and HMS are in the process of developing the application process which will include an external application review committee. Application details and other information regarding the Program will be made available in Fall 2023.

Renée Fleming is one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time, honored with five Grammy® awards and the US National Medal of Arts. A World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Arts and Health, she will receive the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor this fall. As a leading advocate for research spanning arts, health, and neuroscience, Fleming launched the first ongoing collaboration between The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the NIH, and she has presented her program Music and Mind around the world. Other awards include the 2023 Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum, the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, and honorary doctorates from eight leading universities.

The Renée Fleming Foundation is committed to helping to build the future of music and health research, as well as nurturing emerging artists, through targeted projects and support of recognized organizations doing this crucial work. The Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

The International Arts + Mind Lab (IAM Lab) is a Center for Applied Neuroaesthetics from the Pedersen Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Its mission is to amplify human potential through the arts and aesthetic experiences. IAM Lab brings together researchers and practitioners across a range of disciplines and art modalities through research, education and outreach, and community building. It is pioneering Impact Thinking, a translational research approach designed to address intractable problems in health, wellbeing, and learning through the arts. IAM Lab aims to accelerate the science of neuroaesthetics and the emerging field of neuroarts, and empower humankind to realize the full potential of the arts to help us heal, grow, and flourish.

The Health, Medicine & Society Program  at the Aspen Institute brings together influential groups of thought leaders, decisionmakers, and the informed public to consider health challenges facing the US in the 21st century and to identify practical solutions for addressing them.

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.


View Comments