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Investing in the Arts Is an Investment in Healthier Communities

Blue Shield of California and Promise Health Plan invest in arts across the state

There’s more to good health than good medical care: Access to the arts – painting, music, and theater — has been shown to boost both physical and mental well-being. This is even more important in a state where pandemic restrictions kept people from experiencing concerts, plays, and museums for nearly two years. For a company like Blue Shield of California that’s devoted to people’s health and wellness, an investment in the arts is really an investment in community health.

Recognizing the increased need for the arts and enrichment of our community facilities and outdoor spaces, Blue Shield of California, and Blue Shield Promise Health Plan, which serves Medi-Cal recipients in San Diego and Los Angeles counties, has increased investments in the arts across the state. This includes support for the reopening of the Blue Shield of California Theater at the iconic Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) in downtown San Francisco. 

“There is no doubt in my mind that art and culture have amazing impacts on individual and community health,” said Blair McGrain, vice president of Marketing at Blue Shield of California. “It is our honor to continue to support the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as a reminder of the rich beauty around us that leads to healthier places in our hearts.” 

Blue Shield of California has a multi-year partnership with YBCA to raise public awareness around the relationship between active engagement with the arts and improved health and well-being. To encourage that engagement and celebrate the reopening, YBCA created a “welcome back” video for the community.


In addition, to encourage community and youth engagement in outdoor spaces and community centers, Blue Shield of California and Blue Shield Promise have commissioned more than 20 murals across the state over the last two years. Each mural is executed by artists from the local communities and represents diverse cultural icons.  Many projects have also engaged residents in the design and painting of the murals. These murals are designed to inspire and unite community members around art that reflects their cultural heritage and honors their heroes. 

Check out some photos of finished murals in the carousel. 

“Murals are important contributors to the community and its health, not only because they beautify the community, but also because they help create positive socio-cultural outcomes,” said Kristen Cerf, president and CEO, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan. “By inspiring hope, creating a stronger sense of community and elevating community voices, especially for youth, these murals are powerful tools for healthcare.”