Artivate 2020 Summit, with a focus on Art + Healing, goes virtual

Since the theme of Art + Healing was announced last January for the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts' Artivate 2020 Summit, the goal of this year’s Summit has been to bring together creatives in the arts, medical and spiritual fields for an experiential practice-based event that inspires inquiry between innovative integration of the arts, science, spirituality and holistic wellness. 

With the theme more timely now than ever, the Kenan Institute has announced that the Artivate 2020 Summit will continue online this year, with live virtual events September 15 and 16, to ensure safe and equitable access to the broadest range of attendees possible, in particular those most affected by COVID-19.

UNCSA Chancellor Brian Cole believes the conversion of Artivate to a virtual platform highlights UNCSA’s and the Kenan Institute’s dedication to fostering a collaborative and innovative artist community.

“In moving Artivate 2020 to an online platform, the Kenan Institute continues to demonstrate its commitment to the artistic community while embracing innovation and creative problem-solving. A virtual Summit has the potential to set new precedents for ways in which to broaden the number of artists and interdisciplinary creatives who engage with UNCSA and with each other,” Cole says.

This year's theme of Art + Healing builds upon some of the highlights of 2019, like UNCSA percussion instructor John Beck's session on therapeutic drumming. / Photo: Wayne ReichChristina Soriano, director of Wake Forest University's dance program, talks about the intersection of art and medicine at Artivate 2019. / Photo: Wayne ReichArtivate 2019 featured a yoga and sound bath session with Jasmine and Jeremy Grace of Wildlight Wellness Collective. / Photo: Wayne Reich

The Artivate Summit 2020, a vital component of the Creative Catalyst program, will be presented online with keynote speakers, breakout sessions and other virtual community-building exercises in the spirit of the original in-person event.

“This is an opportunity to gather the community around a conversation that is productive and healing and provide artists with actionable insights that they can take back into the world,” says Nadiyah Quander, Program Manager for the Kenan Institute’s Creative Catalyst Initiative. “The programming will stay true to the original goals of the Summit, while being sensitive to those most impacted by COVID-19 at this time.”

A request for session proposals for Artivate 2020 is open through Monday, June 29 to those interested in conducting a session.

Registration for attendees will open Monday, July 13 and will be limited due to streaming capacity. Registration fees have been waived, but donations of $20 are suggested.

The theme: Art + Healing

The deep purpose of the Artivate 2020 Summit is to acknowledge the split between arts, science and spirituality, and to propose that practice is a powerful mindset to explore and renew among a diverse group of innovators and leaders. 

The theme seeks to address questions for health and spiritual professionals like, “How can I benefit from engaging the arts in my practice?” and encourage creatives to ask, “How can I integrate my practice into the worlds of health and spirituality?”

Practitioners like Buddy Marterre, MD, MDiv, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Surgery and Internal Medicine (Palliative Care) at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, sees the value at the intersection of arts and medicine. “Medical learners can use the arts and humanities for their own self-awareness, care and compassion,” Marterre says, “which hopefully will translate to cultivating more empathy and compassion for patients.”

Likewise, artists are poised to share and learn from medical professionals. “Artivate aims to create a space where artists and practitioners not just connect and talk about what we need — but a space to learn from one another in terms of how to do the work where we are right now,” says Jacinta White, Poet, Facilitator and Publishing Editor at “Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing."

To that end, the Summit will focus on three paths within Art + Healing, encouraging deeper exploration of each:

  • Arts Innovation – How can we use arts practices as a strategy to create new knowledge or effect positive change? How can I adapt my practice for a changing world?
  • Creative Entrepreneurship – In what ways can artists create value in the worlds of health and spirituality?
  • Artist Leadership – How can artists lead projects or movements to promote community healing?

Call for session proposals

Artivate 2020 is currently accepting proposals for presenters now through June 29. The Kenan Institute invites session proposals that explore the following inquiries:

  • How can the arts heal beyond traditional therapies?
  • What are integrative practices in the arts?
  • What are the most emergent integrative practices in medicine?
  • How are creatives, science, medicine and spiritual leaders collaborating in traditional and emerging fields?
  • Where are the opportunities for the health and science world to develop more integrative strategies for their practices in the 21st century?
  • How can we think of wellness and health more broadly to bring well-being to people’s lives and communities?

Presenters will have the option of presenting a 3-5 minute Pecha Kucha (a presentation format that includes showing 10 visuals for 20 seconds each) or an interactive workshop (20- to 45-minutes). The Pecha Kuchas, in particular, can provide quick, inspirational insights for peers, as well as opportunities to ideate and explore new ways of approaching your practices.

In some cases, the Kenan Institute can pair creatives with medical experts or researchers to design an interactive experience that has an active and inclusive presentation style. Artivate 2020 may also have opportunities to participate in panel dialogues.

Take the next steps

The Kenan Institute will continue to release details about registration, scheduling, online access and other Artivate-related events and activities throughout Summer 2020. In the meantime, mark these dates on your calendar:

Deadline for Session Proposals: June 29

Add to Calendar 06/29/2020 05:00 PM 06/29/2020 05:00 PM America/New_York Artivate 2020 - Deadline for Session Proposals June 29, 2020 is the deadline for submitting session proposals for the Thomas S. Kenan Institute's Artivate 2020, Art + Healing. Submit proposals at UNCSA False MM/DD/YYYY

Registration opens for Artivate attendees: July 13

Add to Calendar 07/13/2020 09:00 AM 07/13/2020 09:00 AM America/New_York Artivate 2020 - Registration Opens Registration for the Thomas S. Kenan Institute's Artivate 2020 Summit, to be held virtually on Sept. 15, is now open. Visit to register! UNCSA False MM/DD/YYYY

Artivate 2020 Summit online:
September 15 and 16

Add to Calendar 09/15/2020 09:00 AM 09/16/2020 05:00 PM America/New_York Artivate 2020 Summit More information at UNCSA False MM/DD/YYYY

For more information about becoming a presenter, sponsoring programming or attending Artivate 2020, email

May 20, 2020