One Nation/One Project is bringing together artists, local government, and health providers across the United States with the aim of fostering equitable recovery to the Covid-19 pandemic and creating healthier communities through the arts.
A multi-year arts and wellness initiative conceived by community arts practitioners, ONOP is taking place in partnership with the National League of Cities (NLC) and the University of Florida’s Center for Arts and Medicine, amongst other collaborators across the health, academic and creative fields.
At the heart of this multi-sectoral initiative is the creation of large-scale participatory art projects across 18 cities and towns, all responding to the same theme: There’s No Place Like Home. Inspired by the work of the 1936 Federal Theatre Project that sought to reinvigorate America after the Great Depression, each site will be led by local artists, municipal officials, and community health leaders, working in collaboration to develop original works that will simultaneously premiere in July 2o24.
A pilot cohort of nine cities, stretching from Providence in Rhode Island to Edinburg in Texas, is working to build partnerships between municipal leadership, community health centres and safety net providers, local artists, and the communities hit hardest by the pandemic, with particular attention to working with and investing in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
A dedicated research team, led by Dr Jill Sonke of the University of Florida’s Center for Arts in Medicine, is designing a national mixed methods research protocol to measure outcomes and impacts across project sites, working in partnership with each municipal team and local community.
Focusing on post-Covid health improvements, the research will explore both the impact of ONOP activities on individual health and the potential for the arts to foster holistic recovery and a sense of belonging in communities: Can regular art practice enhance social cohesion as we emerge from the pandemic? What happens when positive health outcomes are achieved at scale? How will residents’ relationships to their communities be transformed?