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Healing through the Arts and Nature Initiatives  
Open June 17 - July 29, 2024

Prebys Foundation aims to improve community health and well-being through access to arts, culture, and nature. A growing number of healthcare providers, researchers, and community advocates recognize the importance of not only treating illness but also promoting mental, physical, and social wellness through non-clinical experiences in the arts, culture, and nature.


Recent data supports outdoors as medicine: 

  • People living near parks and “green spaces” have less mental distress, are more physically active, and have extended life spans.  

  • Exposure to nature may positively affect mortality rates in individuals with chronic diseases. 

  • There is compelling evidence that time spent in nature can improve the attention capacity of people with attention deficit (and related) disorders. 

  • Being outdoors (local beaches and parks, and other natural and recreational areas) can also make us happier and healthier.  

And this data shows arts are a pathway to: 

  • Decrease social isolation, forge new friendships, cultivate a sense of belonging and group cohesion, and improve social networks.

  • Reduce stress and anxiety by forming a healthy distraction from everyday worries.  

  • Boost self-awareness, self-esteem, and a sense of satisfaction. 

  • Improvements in physical health and quality of life.


The San Diego region is home to a vibrant arts and culture community and great outdoors that offer an abundance of opportunities for healing, inspiration, rejuvenation, and social connection. Taking advantage of these assets, Prebys seeks to fund non-clinical projects that offer proactive and relevant activities that address the health and well-being of San Diegans’ through arts, culture, and nature.


While there is a growing body of evidence on the benefits of arts and nature, this is a new area of grantmaking for Prebys that we hope will lead to a more sustainable level of community health and well-being through enhanced access to arts, culture, and nature experiences. Therefore, we plan to learn alongside and from our grantees in two new initiatives:

Initiatives Overview

Initiatives Overview

Organizations may only apply to one initiative, not both. Please review each FAQ to see which opportunity best aligns with your work.  

Healing through the Arts Initiative 

This initiative funds organizations using the arts to promote physical and mental/emotional well-being by addressing specific community health issues. It embraces the concept of “social prescription,” where nonclinical services, including community arts and cultural activities, are used to prevent or treat health issues. 

Healing through Nature Initiative 

This initiative supports non-clinical approaches to mental well-being by enhancing access to outdoor spaces for underinvested communities, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, and engagement with nature. 

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