Cultural Organizations + Mental Wellness

Museums. Arboretums. Historic Sites. Add Mental Wellness & Build Your Communities!
Historic house museum
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

North Carolina Arboretum: "To advance our state’s future by creatively connecting people, plants and places through education, design and economic development." Might the NC Arboretum decide to add, without much difficulty, an expanded mission statement that includes mental wellness?

MIddleton Place"Uses historic preservation, documented research, and interpretation as a force for education, understanding, and positive change." Might Middleton Place one day decide to build on their site's opportunities to improve their visitors' mental wellness?

Taubman Museum: "The Taubman Museum of Art exists to bring people and art together for discovery, learning and enjoyment." What new visitors might the Taubman Museum attract if they explored the topic of mental wellness?

Atlanta History Center: "...preserves and interprets historical subjects pertaining to Atlanta..." The collections and landscape seem to be ripe at the Atlanta History Center for encouraging a mental wellness perspective.

Kirkland Museum: "Dedicated to enriching lives by presenting art and design in a unique and approachable way." Does the Kirkland Museum know that they already incorporate some aspects of mental wellness into their visitor experience?

Mission statements from museums and cultural organizations across the country and around the world include words like...

  • Re-think the ways we live

  • Connecting people and culture

  • Sharing stories of our community

  • Finding meaning in art and with each other

  • Engage the mind and enrich the spirit

  • Enrich people's lives

  • Inspiring curiosity and conversation

Each of these could easily include aspects of mental wellness and emotional resilience: learning, awe, wonder, curiosty, sense of accomplishment, social engagement, etc. 

"In 2017, there were an estimated 46.6 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States with AMI. This number represented 18.9% of all U.S. adults." (National Institute of Mental Health)

"One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives." (World Health Organization)

Encouraging and supporting mental wellness through museums, parks, historic sites, and gardens can be integrated in small ways using current resources, or done in big ways through re-thinking an institution's relationship to community and meaning and mental wellness.


Museums and cultural organizations can become a new forefront to help individuals and communities build mental wellness.