Community-wide celebration of creativity and health scheduled for Feb. 26

More than two dozen community partners will host a daylong celebration on Feb. 26 at venues throughout the county focused on the intersection of creativity and wellness in the 352 area.

352Creates is a community-wide initiative aimed at demonstrating that creativity is fun for everyone and has the potential to make communities stronger and healthier. Its energetic “pop-up” style art-making opportunities are free and accessible to everyone, regardless of creative experience or artistic skill.

DSC_1166Activities will include hands-on art-making, performances, culinary arts, gardening and contemplative arts. Some of the events planned include making chalk art on sidewalks, drum circles, yarn bombing and creating “coffee cup mandalas” and posting pictures of them online.

Jill Sonke, director of UF’s Center for Arts in Medicine, said 352Creates is about making the whole 352 area code the healthiest community in the state by promoting creativity as a part of a healthy lifestyle and a healthy community.

“We know that this community is uniquely creative and that being creative — even just for a few minutes a day — makes us all healthier,” Sonke said. “There is great research that shows that people who engage in creativity and the arts live longer and report a higher level of well-being. We want 352Creates to show that engaging in creativity is a fun and easy way to improve health and happiness, and to build a more vibrant, thriving community.”

Participating organizations include UF Health, Arts in Medicine programs at UF, the City of Gainesville, Alachua County Public Schools, Cade Museum, Alachua County Libraries, UF’s College of the Arts and College of Journalism and Communications, UF IFAS and more.

The culminating celebration of 352Creates, 352Palooza, will take place in Lot 10 of downtown Gainesville from 4-7 p.m. the evening of Feb. 26 and will include free creative activities, live music and a community sing-along prior to Artwalk and the City of Gainesville’s Free Fridays Concert Series.DSC_1391


For more information, visit or find the 352Creates group on Facebook. Join the conversation online by using #352Creates.