Photo by RW Photography

The Thought Leadership Series is designed to advance the dialogue around the essential impact of the arts and drive further integration of the arts into related policy, leadership, and decision-making in a measurable and lasting way.

In fiscal year 2022 we have awarded...... to date....

Thought Leadership events explore the role of arts-integrated practices in driving healthy, vital, and inclusive outcomes for self, life, and community.

Who needs art: a thought leadership summit

Event I: Art + Health & Well-Being - May 9, 2023

Photo by RW Photography featuring City in Motion Dance Theater

The inaugural Thought Leadership event called on arts leaders, community representatives, business professionals, and health practitioners to come together for the first time to inspire tangible community change.

Advisory Committee

Event Co-Chairs
Julie Robinson, Trozzolo Communications Group
Madeline Romious, AT&T

ArtsKC Thought Leadership Advisory Committee
Dr. Lorna Jarrett, Brain Peace-Mindset Coaching and Consulting
Sharon Freese , Behavioral Health · Truman Medical Centers
Tim Marchesi, DeMarche
Erica Taylor-Murff, Kansas City Health Department
Becky Gernon, Spira Care
Dr. Jeff Radel, PhD, KU Medical Center
Dr. Daniel Terry, Medical Resident
Dr. Susan Jackson, PhD, KU Medical Center (Retired)
Donna M. Bushur, MSW, Health Forward Foundation
Deborah Cullinan, Stanford University
Rashida Phillips, American Jazz Museum
Stuart Carden, KCRep
Gina Golba, Kansas City Art Institute
Sheri Purpose Hall, Poetry for Personal Power, East of Red, Consultant
Dylan Mortimer, Artist/Activist
Anne Spenner, The University of Missouri–Kansas City
Emma Swinney, District Office Manager at U.S. House of Representatives
Susan K. Pingleton, MD., KU Medical Center Continuing Education & Professional Development

Discovery Session Facilitators

Rev. Roxanne Pendleton, MDiv, CYT200

Lisa Benson

Andrea Dalton, MA, MT-BC

Anne Palmer, DMA

Art Experiences

Interactive Art Experience – Michael Toombs
Immersive Art Experience – Eugenia Ortiz
Interactive Art Experience – Coloratura, Camry Ivory
City In Motion Dance Theater
Kyle Jones, Saxophone

Amado Espinoza and Robert Castillo

This first-in-the-nation event featured Keynote Presenter Susan Magsamen, founder and executive director of the International Arts + Mind Lab (IAM Lab), Center for Applied Neuroaesthetics, co-director of the NeuroArts Blueprint, and co-author of The New York Times Bestseller, “Your Brain on Art”.

Photo by RW Photography


A partnership between the Johns Hopkins International Arts + Mind Lab Center for Applied Neuroaesthetics and the Aspen Institute’s Health, Medicine & Society Program, the NeuroArts Blueprint: Advancing the Science of Arts, Health and Wellbeing is an initiative designed to strengthen, standardize, and propel the emerging field of neuroarts.


The International Arts + Mind Lab (IAM Lab) is a multidisciplinary research-to-practice initiative from the Pedersen Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University that is accelerating the field of neuroaesthetics. Its mission is to amplify human potential.



Presenting Sponsor

Featured Sponsors

Wellness Sponsor

Downtown Council of Kansas City

Kansas City Community NeuroArts Coalition

Born from the NeuroArts Blueprint, the Kansas City Community NeuroArts Coalition is one of the first coalitions of its kind in the country. By mobilizing an informed network of arts, civic, business, and health activists, this group will pave the way forward in implementing arts + health & well-being-centered solutions to address priorities and build capacity in our community to continue advocating for the arts.

Photo by RW Photography