Yes, engaging in the arts does improve quality of life

ARTS | A new interactive graphic, created by Createquity, details the benefits of art participation in different aspects of our lives. The authors compile research confirming that participating in arts activities improves happiness and promotes empathy, and that engaging in art at an early age promotes social and emotional development. (Createquity, 12/19) In addition:

Participatory arts activities help to maintain the health and quality of life of older adults. …Singing improves mental health and subjective wellbeing; taking dance classes bolsters cognition and motor skills; dancing and playing a musical instrument reduce the risk of dementia; and visual arts generate increases in self-esteem, psychological health, and social engagement.

Arts therapies contribute to positive clinical outcomes, such as reduction in anxiety, stress, and pain for patients. Music interventions tend to dominate studies in this area, mostly characterized by passive forms of participation (e.g., listening to music).

RACISM | Katy Moore, WRAG’s Managing Director of Corporate Strategy, reflects on WRAG’s recent training Communicating about Race with White Family, Friends, and Colleagues and shares lessons on how to effectively communicate about racism as a white ally. (Daily, 12/20)

– The D.C. Council will hold their second vote on D.C.’s paid family leave bill today and many are still debating if the bill will hurt or help low-income communities. (WAMU, 12/20)

– A Loudoun County teachers’ union presented its budget priorities to the School Board and asked for a living wage, among other things. (Loudoun-Times, 12/19)

HEALTH | HyeSook Chung, head of DC Action for Children, has been named DC Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services. Former Deputy Mayor Brenda Donald will return to the Child and Family Services Agency. (WaPo, 12/20)

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTRestaurant, Grocery, and Incubator Space Planned for Anacostia (WCP, 12/16)

HUMAN RIGHTS | Amidst the threat of a reintroduction of a Muslim registry and heightened Islamophobia, local advocacy groups are coming together to form the ‘D.C. Justice For Muslims Coalition’. (DCist, 12/19)

How to trick technology….


P.S. We may or may not be posting tomorrow, so have a great winter break and we’ll see you January 3rd!