‘Brain Storm: The Art of Resilience’ concludes a collaborative study between NYU Steinhardt’s Art Therapy program and NYU Langone.

Beginning January 8, NYU Steinhardt’s Art Therapy program will host a new exhibit featuring artwork from nine patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s  Disease. “Brain Storm: The Art of Resilience” celebrates the culmination of a collaborative study between Art Therapy and the Marlene and Paolo Fresco Institute for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders of NYU Langone Health.

Over five cohorts composed of approximately ten patients each, the study has examined the neurological benefits of art therapy. Participants diagnosed at stages 2 and 3 of the disease completed twice weekly sessions overseen by program director Ikuko Acosta and program coordinator Marygrace Berberian. They were then evaluated  by NYU Langone’s team, which concentrated on brain imaging, eye tracking, gait testing, and more. Overall, patients showed improved motor skill function, among other exciting results that touched on their sense of self.

“In addition to the rehabilitative potential, art therapy supported participants to envision and cultivate new identities. Other resilient strengths were realized through a renewed sense of agency gained in the artmaking processes.” said Berberian.

The Parkinson’s Foundation estimates that close to 1 million people in the US will be living with Parkinson’s by 2020. Finding alternative therapies that have not just a physiological but a positive emotional impact on patients remains critical.

“Brain Storm” runs January 8—16 at the Common Gallery in the Barney Building (34 Stuyvesant Street). There will be an opening luncheon reception on Wednesday, January 8 at 11:00 a.m. [Subways: Astor Place (4/5/6); 8th Street (Q/R/W).]

Beginning in the spring, the Art Therapy program will also offer free classes twice a week to Parkinson’s patients, many of whom originally participated in the study and are eager to continue creating. Those interested in participating are encouraged to contact Marygrace Berberian at mb3397@nyu.edu.

About the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Located in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School's mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit steinhardt.nyu.edu.

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