May 6, 2024 - News

Crystal Bridges talks wellness, debuts Jewel's "The Portal"

photo of Jewel

Jewel performs May 2 at Crystal Bridges during a wellness festival in Bentonville. Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and The Momentary wrapped up a wellness festival over the weekend with the opening of an art experience focused on mental health curated by singer Jewel.

The big picture: The festival agenda touched on several aspects of overall wellness, including innovations in health care, meditation, maternal health and food demos.

This comes as Crystal Bridges founder and Walmart heir Alice Walton will soon open both a medical school and a physical home for the nonprofit Heartland Whole Health Institute.

  • The organizations aim to practice a "whole health" approach to care that focuses on physical, emotional and mental health, while emphasizing preventative care and healthy lifestyles.

The intrigue: Heartland Whole Health Institute is looking at how to implement a payment model that incentivizes hospital systems to stress preventative care over major surgeries, Deven Daehn of the institute said during a panel on health care as an economic driver.

  • During the same panel, Oklahoma state Rep. Ellyn Hefner discussed how community health workers can help with barriers like navigating Medicaid or helping working parents make it to appointments.

Zoom in: Olivia Walton, chairperson of Crystal Bridges, hosted a talk with Tonya Lewis Lee, co-director of the documentary film "Aftershock" that follows the stories of women who died of preventable pregnancy-related complications.

  • She discussed Black women's higher likelihood of maternal death compared to white women, "overmedicalized" births like unnecessary C-sections and how promoting trained midwives and doulas can improve childbirth outcomes.
  • She also said total abortion bans like Arkansas' lead to higher maternal mortality rates.

What they're saying: Jewel opened the festival with a talk of her personal experiences of homelessness, panic attacks, agoraphobia and shoplifting.

  • She stumbled on mindfulness when she spent weeks writing down everything her hands did and said it forced her to be present in the moment.
photo of drone show during The Portal art exhibit
"The Portal" includes a drone show. Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

The Portal: The exhibit centers around three "spheres": the inner sphere — our feelings, thoughts and desires; the seen sphere — the day-to-day like work and people we encounter; and the unseen sphere — the mystery of what we can't see and know.

  • Selected works represent each of the three spheres. Jewel also has two art pieces included in the exhibit.
  • It ends with putting on provided headphones to hear soothing words and music from Jewel coordinated to a 10ish-minute drone show.
  • The Portal runs through July 28.

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