Hope & Healing: The UF Health Blog

A call for artists and community

352 Creates event chalking sidewalks

Something magical happens when we start to do something creative. Our troubles begin to melt away, we relax a little and we put our focus toward making something. It’s so simple and yet so many of us think, “I’m not creative,” or “I don’t have time for this.” There is a growing amount of research into this small, yet significant shift; can the creative act make us healthier? If creativity is good for the individual, can it be good for a whole community? The data is coming in, and researchers are sharing the exciting news that yes, creativity is good for our health and engaging in creativity as a community helps us break down barriers and come together. Those of us who’ve spent our lives working in the arts have known this for years and sharing our arts within a community is a passion and a joy. Now this idea is catching on and whole communities are taking up the challenge to become healthier through participating in the arts and self-expression.

352Creates is an initiative that started in Gainesville with the question: “What if the whole 352 area code across North Central Florida got together and got creative for one day? What would happen?” Well, here in the UF Center for Arts in Medicine, we took that question seriously and partnered with UF, UF Health and the UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine program, and the College of the Arts to create momentum. We asked the community to join us in February last year for one day of art-making. The response was fabulous! The community jumped on board and we had over 80 pop-up events take place all over the area, open to all. Folks made some great stuff and had a great time connecting with others in hands-on activities. So we decided to expand the event and this year we’re inviting community to get together on March 24 and 25 to get creative!

352 Creates belongs to the community: Friday, March 24 is a call for businesses, organizations and individuals to host creative events at the workplace or at home. Our only mantra is to have fun.

On Saturday, March 25, we invite the Gainesville community down to Depot Park on South Main Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to get creative together! We are calling artists and community organizations to come out and host a free, participatory event in the park. We want to provide the opportunity for people to try something new: dance, paint, act, write, draw, sculpt, play in a band, practice yoga or tai chi, sing or hula-hoop! Anything goes! Events can happen anywhere and anytime over the course of the two days in the 352 area.

We’ve been working with our design sponsor, Liquid Creative, to build a fantastic website that links us all together. Through our website and Facebook, we promote your event and if you’re looking for creative ideas we can help with that, too. To set up an event, go to the website and fill out the event information and download instructions and promotional materials. We’ll help you think up a fun activity for your co-workers or neighbors — or request a spot in the park and tell us what you want to do with the community.

We believe in community action and well-being through engagement in the arts. We want you to join us! Contact us through 352Creates.com.

Jeffrey Pufahl
Center for Arts in Medicine

About the Author

Jeff Stevens

Assistant Web Manager

Jeff Stevens is the Assistant Web Manager for Web Services at UF Health and is responsible for content and social strategy.Read More