Flourish: An Online Arts & Mental Wellness Initiative

The Flourish Initiative seeks to unite themes of mental health and creative expression, encouraging healthy conversations & reflection about how the arts impact our well-being.

Last spring, Arts NC State and the Counseling Center hosted the first annual Flourish Festival, spearheaded by our student intern Rebekah Middleton. Due to COVID-19, this spring we are unable to organize an in-person festival, but feel that art and mental wellness should still be celebrated despite our social distancing. From taking advantage of some of our digital art making opportunities to diving into research on how the arts affect mental wellness, we invite you to take a moment to flourish.

Online Experiential Arts Resources

Featuring: The Arts NC State Online Student Art Sale: Friday April 17 at noon and ongoing. View students’ online shops on this link: go.ncsu.edu/studentartsale2020

We have been working hard on compiling a list of online experiential arts resources for you. You can access the full Google Spreadsheet HERE and view select highlights below.

Highlights by art form:

** Indicates an artist who has performed on campus as part of the NC State LIVE performing arts series

Art & Craft Making Projects

NEW: NC State Crafts Center launches a Youtube page with art making content! 

The Word Project with Crafts Center Director, Carol Nix, A Calligraphy Project

NC State Craft Center Craft Relief: online craft/visual art classes from our very own Craft Center

Calling All People Who Sew And Make: You Can Help Make Masks For 2020 Healthcare Worker PPE Shortage

Color Our Collections: libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions around the world are sharing free coloring sheets and books based on materials in their collections. Download, print, and share your favorites!


New York Times Makes a List Like This One: Great Theater, Dance and Classical Music to Tune Into While Stuck at Home

Google Arts & Culture website: visitors can enter a world of learning and 3D experiences. Anyone can learn about nearly any culture, museum, art object, statue, photograph, etc, from the comfort of their own home

Artist Soapbox Podcast:Local artist and Piedmont Laureate Tamara Kissane’s podcast that celebrates local creatives and audio drama

Creative Morning Talks:  Local Creatives give TED style talks

The Social Distancing Festival: an online artist’s community made to celebrate and showcase the work of the many artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing that has come about due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Virtual School Activities!: A collection of sites to live webcams, virtual tours/trips, and other miscellaneous creative academic sites


NC State Dance Program: Concert from Your Couch Each week during the COVID-19 shutdown, the Dance Program will l be releasing concerts and performances for you to enjoy from the comfort of your couch!

NC State Dance Program Online Master Classes: To keep you dancing during this time, please enjoy the following list of online classes.

Contra Tiempo online dance classes (they just appeared with NC State LIVE last fall!)**

The Rockettes Will Launch a Weekly Dance Class Live on Instagram

Lucky Plush Virtual Dance Lab A frequent artist on NC State LIVE’s stage, Lucky Plush Productions is a company-in-residence in Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS) at UChicago. They are partnering with the TAPS Dance Program to provide online dance and movement classes to the University community and beyond.**

Exquisite Corps A dance-film: 42 American contemporary choreographers link together on a chain love letter to dance. And catch the sequel, “And So Say All of Us” at http://bit.ly/JoesFilm

 Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre Past Performances: We know you can’t see the Ailey dancers perform in a theater, so we wanted to make sure you can still find comfort and joy in the beauty of dance by virtually connecting with their performances. For a limited time, Ailey is thrilled to share videos of the Company performing on stage.

Pilobolus YouTube Playlist: Curated videos from one of the world’s leading physical dance companies

Carolina Ballet: Posting segments from past performances each week

Museums & Visual Art

NEW! The Gregg Museum of Art & Design’s Virtual Tours

These 12 famous museums are offering virtual tours

Art History: Kahn Academy: This link will take visitors to sources that include short paragraphs, videos, etc. that are super informative and can teach almost any time period or geographical location in the history of art from prehistoric to contemporary.

Online Exhibition: Vermeer and the Master of Genre Painting (at the National Gallery of Art, D.C.)

Online Exhibition: Which Books did Vincent van Gogh Read? (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam)

Chicago Art Institute: 44,000 works of art viewable on the Art Institute of Chicago’s site

CAM Raleigh Online Exhibition: Structure in Space and Time – Photography of Phil Freelon


NEW! NC State Department of Music YouTube Page 

All Star Orchestra Band Instrument Lessons: Learn about band instruments from expert musicians with the United States Marine Band. Lessons include warm-ups, excerpts, and helpful advice.

Berliner Philharmoniker: The Digital Concert Hall now Free for Everyone!

Choirplace: Online choirs and other resources

The Met Opera YouTube Page

Moog & Korg make synth apps free during these times of social distancing & self-quarantine


NEW: NC State University Theatre’s new Page to Stage documents the process of building a show via videos

The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues New monologues are updated regularly!

 The National Theatre is going to stream a free play every Thursday night

Stream Shakespeare Plays Recorded At The Globe Theatre: Globe Player has paid-for recordings of many of the theatre’s Shakespeare adaptations spanning more than 10 years. You may have to rent certain titles.

The NYC Magnet Theatre Streams Live Improv Shows: You do have to pay for tickets, but for improv fans, it’s worth it!

Costume Design & Visual Art Online Exhibition: Fashioning a Nation – Drawings from the Index of American Design (at the National Gallery of Art, D.C.)

 Joe’s Pub YouTube Channel: NYC’s iconic venue streams new works and shows from their archives


Check back as we will be adding more resources regularly!

See below for research on the arts + wellness

NEW! Breathing Activities from Joyu Lee, board-certified music therapist


PDF: Breathe with the shapes

Research on the arts + mental wellness

The healing power of art: Creative activities can relieve stress, aid communication, and help arrest cognitive decline. From Harvard Medical School

Music + Mental Health

How to Use Music for Your Mental Health: From Reachout.com

How Listening to Music Can Have Psychological Benefits: From Verywellmind.com

Dance + Mental Health

Benefits of Dance on Mental Health from starquestdance.com

A blog piece from mindwise.org about the positive effects of dance on depression

The Powerful Psychological Benefits of Dance from Psychology Today


If any questions arise, we can easily be reached on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter at @ArtsNCState or email Amy Sawyers-Williams in the office of arts outreach & engagement: acsawyer@ncsu.edu.


Past Opportunities for NC State Students

  • Submit to the Creative Artist Award
    • Deadline March 27 extended to April 3 by 11:59pm
    • Original one act play, choreographed dance, or composed music.
  • Make art to sell in the Online Student Art Sale
    • Submission form due by April 3