FORT WORTH, Texas– Many people find the arts to be healing—and science backs them up, with research connecting support for the arts with greater well-being in the community. Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum of American Art is taking an extra step to promote health and happiness, joining the growing Blue Zones Project® movement for longer, better lives.
The Amon Carter is the first museum in Fort Worth and among the nation’s 27 participating communities to become Blue Zones Project Approved™ for its commitment to healthy practices. Blue Zones Project, a community-led well-being improvement initiative, works with individuals, organizations, and businesses in select cities to transform environments and daily routines in ways that make healthy choices easier. From moving naturally and eating with a plant slant to having a sense of purpose and downshifting to relieve stress, principles are patterned after lifestyles in Blue Zones® areas—pockets of the world where people are most likely to reach age 100 and beyond. Fort Worth is the nation’s largest city to date to seek Blue Zones Project certification.
The Amon Carter will celebrate its achievement during the museum’s free Party on the Porch event, from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, September 17 (3501 Camp Bowie Blvd.). The event is open to the public and will feature art, live music, Blue Zones-inspired food from local food trucks and Central Market, and a special Blue Zones Project presentation at 6:30 p.m.
“Art is good for the soul—and the Amon Carter is proving that it’s good for the body too,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “The museum is going beyond the intrinsic health benefits of the arts to actively support well-being. They are leading the way for the nation’s cultural institutions and helping make our city one of the healthiest in the country. We’re proud the Amon Carter calls Fort Worth home.”
To earn approval, the Amon Carter completed the Blue Zones Worksite Pledge, which promotes evidence-based actions for employee health and wellness. Amon Carter’s actions include lunchtime yoga and walking groups, employee bike racks and locker rooms, “microbreaks” to stretch and move, healthy options in vending machines, an employee-led wellness committee, and a policy supporting community volunteerism, among other efforts.
“Where we work has a major impact on overall health and happiness. When an organization like the Amon Carter stands up for well-being, it has a real impact on the community,” said Matt Dufrene, vice president of Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth.
“The Amon Carter has always played an important role in the cultural history of Fort Worth and we want to be part of creating a healthier, more vibrant future for our city as well,” agreed Andrew J. Walker, director of the Amon Carter. “By joining the Blue Zones Project movement we hope to inspire others to help make this city one of the healthiest in the nation.”
With the addition of the Amon Carter, Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth now has 60 approved worksites, 26 restaurants, six grocery stores, four schools, and three faith-based organizations, plus 14 participating organizations—all of which have optimized their environments to make healthy choices easier. Nearly 21,000 individuals have taken the Blue Zones Personal Pledge since the initiative kicked off in February 2015.
About Amon Carter Museum of American Art
The Amon Carter offers a renowned collection of American art housed in Philip Johnson’s masterpiece in the heart of Fort Worth’s Cultural District. The museum is open Tuesday–Saturday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Thursdays until 8 p.m., and Sunday from 12–5 p.m. Closed Mondays and major holidays.
About Blues Zones Project
Blue Zones Project® is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city’s environment, policy, and social networks. Established in 2010, Blue Zones Project is inspired by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author who identified five regions of the world—or Blue Zones—with the highest concentration of people living to 100 years or older. Blue Zones Project incorporates Buettner’s findings and works with cities to implement policies and programs that will move a community toward optimal health and well-being. Currently, 27 communities in seven states have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 1.7 million Americans. The movement includes three beach cities in California, 15 cities in Iowa, the city of Fort Worth, and communities in Hawaii, Southwest Florida, and Oregon. For more information, visit www.bluezonesproject.com.