Keywords: Art; Culture; Third Sector; Healthcare; Social Innovation.
The idea that all art forms are able to positively influence human health is by now a concept widely acknowledged and clinically tested. The aim of this study is to determine whether or not artistic projects in hospitals, experimentally carried out in Italy by no profit healthcare organizations, can be considered as social innovation. Four cases have been analysed: Fondazione dell'ospedale pediatrico Anna Meyer, Athenaeum Musicale Cooperativa Sociale ONLUS, Associazione Unità Spinale Niguarda ONLUS, Amici di Luca ONLUS. The results show that artistic activities carried out by those healthcare organizations - by supporting the creation of new professional figures, facilitating networking and the co-working between physicians and artists and increasing the capacity to attract art lover's funding - can be considered as a process of social innovation in the Italian healthcare system.