Arts and Wellness Panel with NeuroArts Blueprint 4/19

Join us for a discussion with Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor-at-Large Reneé Fleming as part of the Kennedy Center’s Arts and Wellness programming. Wharton Club members and guests are invited.


Join us for a discussion with Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor-at-Large Reneé Fleming as part of the Kennedy Center’s Arts and Wellness work. The discussion will also feature Susan Magsamen, Francis S. Collins, Dr. Emmeline Edwards, and David Leventhal.

How can someone with advanced dementia, unable to recognize their own spouse, perfectly recall songs from their youth? Why can some patients with Parkinson’s disease, struggling to rise from a chair or walk through a doorway, easily accomplish these tasks, or even dance, to the sound of a musical beat? Music and arts therapies are proving to be effective tools for addressing the symptoms of a vast array of conditions, not only Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, but also cardiac failure, stroke, PTSD, chronic pain, and traumatic brain injuries.

The Kennedy Center joins the NeuroArts Blueprint, an initiative of the Aspen Institute and Johns Hopkins Medicine, to present a series of in-depth discussions about the potential of the arts to improve our health and well-being. The series launches with a session devoted to the powerful impacts, both therapeutic and economic, of arts interventions for disorders of aging. Highlights of the first event in the series will include an interactive demonstration of movement activities from Dance for PD and a new National Institutes of Health toolkit for research in this field.

Susan Magsamen, director of the International Arts + Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University and co-director of the NeuroArts Blueprint, will be joined by Renée Fleming, Artistic Advisor to the Kennedy Center and arts/health advocate; Dr. Francis Collins, former director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); Dr. Emmeline Edwards, director of the Division of Extramural Research of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH); and David Leventhal, program director for Dance for PD (Parkinson’s Disease) at the Mark Morris Dance Group.


Renée Fleming

Renée Fleming is one of the most acclaimed singers of our time, performing on the stages of the world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls. Honored with five Grammy® awards and the U.S. National Medal of Arts, she has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Super Bowl.

Susan Magsamen

Susan Magsamen is the founder and executive director of the International Arts + Mind Lab (IAM Lab), Center for Applied Neuroaesthetics, a pioneering initiative from the Pedersen Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her body of work lies at the intersection of brain sciences and the arts—and how our unique response to aesthetic experiences can amplify human potential.

Francis S. Collins

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., served as the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2009. In 2017, President Donald Trump asked Dr. Collins to continue to serve as the NIH Director. President Joe Biden did the same in 2021. For those 12 years, serving an unprecedented three administrations, Dr. Collins oversaw the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research. Dr. Collins stepped down as Director on December 19, 2021.


Dr. Emmeline Edwards

Dr. Emmeline Edwards is director of the Division of Extramural Research of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). In that capacity, she is responsible for development of scientific programs or areas of science that fulfill NCCIH’s mission as well as planning, implementation, and policy. NCCIH is one of 27 components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with a mission to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine interventions and their roles in improving health and health care.

David Leventhal

David Leventhal is a founding teacher and Program Director for Dance for PD®, a program of the Mark Morris Dance Group that has been used as a model for classes in more than 300 communities in 25 countries. He leads classes for people living with Parkinson's disease around the world and trains other teaching artists in the Dance for PD® approach. He’s co-produced five volumes of a successful instructional video series and helped conceive and design Moving Through Glass, a dance-based Google Glass App for people with Parkinson’s. David has written extensively about the intersection of dance and Parkinson’s, contributing chapters to theBloomsbury Handbook of Dance and Philosophy,Moving Ideas: Multimodal Learning in Communities and Schools(Peter Lang), andCreating Dance: A Traveler’s Guide(Hampton Press), and he has served as a co-author on several peer-reviewed studies on the impact of the Dance for PD approach on people living with PD.

Ticketing and Entry

For all Millennium Stage performances, a limited number of advance reservations are available on a first come, first served basis. Advance reservations do not guarantee a seat, and patrons are encouraged to arrive early.

Online advance reservations for a given performance date will open on a rolling basis, opening every Wednesday two weeks out from the date.

For live Millennium Stage performances free tickets will also be available at the Hall of States Box Office on the day of the performance, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Seating is first come, first served. Standing room is available behind the seated area as space allows.

Terms and Conditions


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7:00AM - 5:00PM Wed 19 Apr 2023, Eastern timezone

Virtual Event Instructions:

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