The Dublin Arts Council will continue its arts and wellness series this year, with an event June 13 called Connect.

The free event will be held in Scioto Park and feature a variety of activities with a focus on connections and battling social isolation, said Janet Cooper, director of engagement for the Dublin Arts Council.

The council's continuation of its arts and wellness series is just one of the initiatives it has planned for 2020. The year will also include planning for more public art installations in the city.

The arts council began the arts and wellness series in October 2019, with Play, an anniversary event celebrating the Field of Corn anniversary, and Flow, an October event celebrating community connection through well-being arts activities, Cooper said.

She said the series was inspired by the arts experiences physicians have prescribed for those with mental health issues or declining health. The arts council leadership, she said, felt it would be groundbreaking and important to explore that.

Artistic expression and physical movement aid in the body's healing from addiction and trauma, said Julie Erwin Rinaldi, CEO of Syntero, one of the series' partners. Syntero is a business that provides behavioral health and social services.

"The focus on how the arts can positively impact an individual's and community's well being is so well aligned with our mission and values," Rinaldi said.

"We have been utilizing yoga and other forms of artistic expression to help tap into the creative force within the individuals we serve to heal and recover from addiction and traumatic life experiences so this fit very nicely with some of the work we were already doing," she said.

The response from the community has been strong, Cooper said, from both survey data and anecdotal information.

Since holding the first two events, the arts council has heard from four or five residents who have had other ideas for future events, she said.

The arts council is developing a gallery exhibition that will illustrate the events that have been held so far in the series, Cooper said, and will likely also hold additional activities this year in addition to Connect.

In addition to focusing on health and wellness in the community, the arts council is also prioritizing public art installations.

Staff had been working on a public art master plan and the document is slated to be approved soon by the arts council board of directors and Dublin City Council members, Cooper said.

The plan is a kind of roadmap for administering the art in public places program, she said, and includes plans to create a public art review committee to review and prioritize suggestions for public art projects.

The arts council will also likely present to Dublin City Council members later this month site ideas for another large-scale art commission in the city, Cooper said.