Robin Strongin

Loneliness.  It is an epidemic that has silently gripped the nation. And it is not going away.  I wrote about the issue back in February:  In that post, we announced that we were looking for ways to help.  And we found one!

art and healingDr. Jeremy Nobel, Founding CEO at the Foundation for Art and Healing, is spearheading The Creatively Connected Film Festival, which involves a film contest, digital platform, public health outreach, and evening of celebration in New York City on May 9, 2017.  Sharing information about the Foundation for Art & Healing’s UnLoneliness Project, and the Creatively Connected Online Film Festival.

Why Feeling Connected Is More Important than Ever. Isolation and loneliness, a burden born by so many and in so many circumstances, is rapidly increasing and a threat to health. According to a recent study by the AARP, over one-third of American adults are lonely. Emerging research indicates that in addition to depression, substance abuse and suicide, isolation and loneliness is associated with increased risk of early death from heart disease and cancer of 30%: a risk on par with smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Introducing The Creatively Connected Online Film Festival. The Creatively Connected Online Film Festival is an online exploration of loneliness and isolation, drawing on the time-tested power of creative arts expression to powerfully share the stories that “connect us.” • The Festival, an initiative of The Foundation for Art & Healing’s UnLoneliness Project, embraces the healing power of sharing stories with a cinematically rich and diverse collection of short narrative and documentary films. • Intended as a widely accessible experience through our online showcase and network of strategic partners, the Festival aims to give over one million viewers the chance to explore isolation and loneliness, revealing ways we can help ourselves meet those challenges. • The range of selected works highlight specifically affected groups, including older adults, those with major illness, caregivers, military veterans, youth and young adults, and minority populations including LGBTQ and immigrants. • Festival films are juried with winners selected by guest juror Mike Paseornek, President of Production at Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, a major global producer and distributor of independent feature films.

The Festival will be launched with two events in New York City on May 9, 2017, both held at the New York University Law School in the West Village in Manhattan: • Public Conference. Free and open to everyone (advanced registration required), this afternoon event will include film excerpts and expert panel discussions on loneliness and isolation in various contexts. • Festival Launch Celebration. This festive invitational and ticketed evening event will be co-hosted by Steven Safyer, MD the CEO of Montefiore Health System and Lionsgate’s President, Mike Paseornek. Arts, medicine, and public policy luminaries will join guests for screenings of winning films, awards presentations, light refreshment and conversation. Our Goal Through the Festival and the UnLoneliness Project, we aim to increase awareness and understanding of loneliness and isolation. We’re taking steps to support, build upon, and expand efforts to address the root causes of loneliness by encouraging community outreach and collaboration. The Foundation for Art & Healing is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 2004.


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