Renowned artists Renee Fleming and Pretty Yende have been appointed as WHO Goodwill Ambassadors for Art and Health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is pleased to appoint internationally renowned artists Renee Fleming and Pretty Yende as Goodwill Ambassadors for Art and Health. This valuable announcement was made as part of WHO’s 75Th 76th AnniversaryTh World Health Assembly on 22 May 2023.

Renee Fleming, one of the most popular singers of our time, and Pretty Yende, an extraordinary soprano known for her dazzling performances, have been selected for their artistic achievement and improved health outcomes through creative means. On 8 April 2023, Fleming and Yende performed for a special concert, Healing Arts, dedicated to WHO’s 75.Th Anniversary in Geneva, Switzerland.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, „WHO is proud to have Renee Fleming and Pretty Yende join us as Goodwill Ambassadors for Arts and Health. Their unparalleled talent, commitment to the arts and commitment to promoting health and well-being make them great ambassadors for this important cause. Their commitment to individuals, communities and inspire policymakers to recognize and harness the transformative power of the arts toward better health for all.”

Fleming brings a wealth of expertise to his new role. She has captivated audiences worldwide with her sparkling soprano voice and compelling artistry. Beyond her remarkable vocal talent, Fleming has been a passionate advocate for research at the intersection of art and health. Her presentations to scientists and practitioners worldwide, her leading role in major initiatives and her association with the WHO demonstrate her commitment to harnessing the transformative power of the arts to better society.

„I’m thrilled that a major global health organization is recognizing the powerful impact of the arts on health, and I’m so honored to share this news,” said Fleming. „Every day, advances in neuroscience and medical research reveal more about the benefits of art therapies, experiences and education, with implications for well-being across the human lifespan. However, we are only just beginning to realize the amazing potential of this work, and I look forward to expanding awareness and reach as a WHO Goodwill Ambassador.”

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Pretty Yende has mesmerized the audience with her exquisite voice and stunning performance. As a soprano with a deep understanding of the power of music, she has demonstrated her commitment to using her talent to improve society. Yende’s passion for sharing the healing aspects of music and his commitment to social causes are fully aligned with WHO’s arts and health agenda.

Yende said, „I am delighted to have been appointed as a WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Arts and Health. I hope to help establish the foundation for continued investigation of the arts as a fundamental ingredient in improving our physical, mental and social well-being. To pave the way for new research and build research on the link between arts and health, this I thank WHO for spreading the word and providing their global platform.”

I look forward to all opportunities to do essential work for a better and healthier tomorrow in my native South Africa and globally,” Yende added.

Fleming and Yende’s nominations underscore the profound connection between art and health. Engaging in creative activities such as music, art, and dance positively affects physical, mental health, social well-being, and overall quality of life. Through their roles as Goodwill Ambassadors, Fleming and Yende will promote the integration of the arts into health care settings, advocate for access to creative arts therapies, and champion the importance of artistic expression in improving health outcomes worldwide.

Fleming and Yende join other distinguished WHO Goodwill Ambassadors Alison and Natalia Becker, a Brazilian professional soccer player and his doctor wife; Ivorian retired professional footballer Didier Drogba; Michael Bloomberg, entrepreneur and three-term mayor of New York City; Cynthia Germanotta, president of Born This Way Foundation; Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown; and broadcaster and author James Chau, among others.

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