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Art Makes Life Better (and Longer)


A young woman wearing glasses and a mask sits in a chair at a shared table, with a box of oil pastels and a 4 panel art work in front of her
VK Member Casey with an oil pastel project

We've always believed our VK daily programming was ahead of the curve in many ways, and a recent book offers confirmation of the value of our focus on the arts! According to Professor Susan Magsamen, who is executive director of the International Arts + Minds Laboratory, Center for Applied Neuroaesthetics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 45 minutes a day of any artistic activity can transform and extend your life.


A group of people of mixed genders and ages sit together at a long table, with art supplies in front of them, each person working on their own collage, coloring, or painting project
VK Members enjoy making art together

Drawing, painting, singing, dancing, playing music, reading poetry, creative writing, knitting or crocheting, coloring, or whatever artistic pursuit you enjoy most is good for your brain, your immune system, your stress levels, and your overall health and wellbeing. The more emotionally engaged you are, the better. Work your favorite arts into each day following your own interests, the way we build our Adventures and Activities program around VK Members' interests, and you'll reap the benefits, no special training required. Art belongs to ALL of us.


A group of people of mixed genders and ages dance together outside, doing the "zombie hands" move from Michael Jackson's Thriller dance
VK Members rehearse their "Thriller" flash mob dance

VK members who participate in our Adventures & Activities program spend at least this much time each day engaging with various forms of art, and we hope you're able to do the same wherever you spend your days! If you know a Kitsap County teen or adult who has an intellectual or developmental disability, we'd love to include them in our VK A&A crew - You'll find more information about our program here. For ideas you can use if you're not able to join us as a VK member, read this article and check out the book written by Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross, Your Brain on Art.


A woman sits at a table with art materials including tape, paper, and a pile of curled ribbon, giving the camera a thumbs up sign
VK Member M'Rissa gives art a definite THUMBS UP

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