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Frame of Mind: An Art & Wellness Podcast

Entered in Arts & Culture

Objective

Aren’t we all looking for ways to calm our minds and find inspiration? Frame of Mind: An Art & Wellness Podcast , an uplifting podcast from The Met, is designed to help. At a time of struggle and stress, the series showcases personal stories and practical tips on how art has the power to connect, inspire, and restore us wherever we are.

Right now, the world’s reckoning. This podcast can’t solve all our challenges, let alone those at The Met. But by listening and learning, we aim to respond in some small way to the current moment: social justice movements, the pandemic, and the struggles of individuals, communities, and our planet. The podcast has a generous spirit and endeavors to expand access to art. Not just to physical artworks and scholarship, but to multiple interpretations and perspectives.

Real obstacles exist to visiting museums in person. Some find art inaccessible, whether its presentation, scholarship, interpretation, and even physical buildings. This series endeavors to meet some of these challenges and above all, to connect people to art, themselves, and each other. Even when you can’t be in front of works of art, you can connect with their timeless power to support wellbeing.

Strategy

As perhaps the oldest and most intimate form of storytelling, audio can inspire us with vivid images, ideas, and new associations.

The content in this podcast engages with today's pressing struggles; anxiety, trauma, and feeling alone. While health and well-being are important topics for all of us, wellness is often commercialized for those who can afford it: from health spas to media channels marketing apps and mindfulness resources. This podcast is unique and free: it features art as an invitation. Everyone can have a seat at the "wellbeing” table when art's served up in an immediate, welcoming, and meaningful way.

Part of our strategy was to overcome a blind spot: art and museums are not immediately associated with mental health and healing, but they’re ripe to be used this way. Museums can be intimidating. Art is often mistakenly seen as inessential. Personal stories about art's power to impact us in positive ways - even in ordinary moments - can counteract that. And since art at The Met comes from all parts of the globe and spans over five thousand years of history, it's actually replete with the expression of human emotion and feeling and a tool for well-being for all. 

In choosing our guests, we opened the mic to diverse communities in order to uplift their stories. Listeners will hear from artists, activists, a nurse, a doctor, a composer, a horticulturalist, and a barber, among others. An epidemiologist describes how, during one tough year, sending his sister 100 art postcards of Met artworks helped the two of them cope and forge an even deeper relationship. Other guests share frank opinions about how the Museum can better support well-being in their communities.  For example, two sisters, one of whom uses a wheelchair, describe the importance of accessibility to their family.

We ensured the series highlights stories that are both intimate and unexpected, and especially voices of those who might not traditionally be considered experts. Why? When we hear poignant, personal stories, well told, it connects us with the speakers, their lived experiences, and ourselves. This extends beyond just discussing art, it’s about dialogue between different areas of our lives and the potential for museums to be conveners of shared humanity.

There are many more artworks to discuss, and infinite stories to tell—far more than could fit in one podcast. We also share more connections to the collection and resources on wellness, via articles in our online magazine, Perspectives, and presentations in our Healing Arts symposium. We believe art can support our health and well-being at all stages of life, and we’re excited to grow museums as resources for wellness, connection, and creativity for everybody.

 

Results

“Really powerful and very moving”

BBC Podcast Radio Hour

“Eye-opening”

Oprah Daily, “2022’s Most Powerful and Promising Podcasts”

To date, more than 100K downloads and listens across multiple podcast platforms and The Met's website.

 

Media

Video for Frame of Mind: An Art & Wellness Podcast

Entrant Company / Organization Name

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Links

Entry Credits