Renée Fleming & Pretty Yende Named WHO Goodwill Ambassadors for Arts and Health

By OperaWire

Leading sopranos Renée Fleming and Pretty Yende have been named the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Goodwill Ambassadors for Arts and Health for 2023.

Fleming and Yende were selected for their “artistic achievement and advocacy for improved health outcomes through creative means.” Their duties began on April 8 with a concert titled “Healing Arts” which was dedicated to WHO’s 75th anniversary in Geneva, Switzerland. Continuing on they be engaged in activities where music, art, and dance intersect with mental health and overall personal well-being. Fleming and Yende will promote the integration of arts into healthcare systems and advocate for access to creative arts therapies worldwide.

In response to the lasting effects of COVID-19 Fleming spearheaded “Healing Breath” which is a collection of videos on breathing exercises and techniques. She is also an advisor for Sound Health Network at UC San Francisco and the NeuroArts Blueprint at Johns Hopkins University.

In a press release, Yende said, “I am delighted to be appointed a WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Arts and Health. I hope to help establish a foundation for continued investigation into the arts being a fundamental ingredient in improving our physical, mental, and social well-being. I am grateful to WHO for paving the way for new research and providing their global platform to spread the word and generate research on the connection of arts and health.”