On November 9, 2017, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) will host a first-of-its-kind pop-up art exhibition that explores health equity and gives voice to communities around the nation. Health equity means that everyone has the same shot at living a healthy life and requires attention to “social determinants of health” – like access to healthy food, good jobs, and safe neighborhoods. Health equity is the focus of a 5-year, $5 million Culture of Health program at the NAM, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

This past summer, the NAM put out a nationwide call for artists to submit artwork of all kinds that illustrates how communities understand health inequity and the solutions that promise a brighter, healthier future. Artists were asked to answer: What does health equity look, feel, and sound like to you?

Artwork for the pop-up exhibit was selected by a panel of reviewers drawn from the Culture of Health program advisory group. Thirty pieces of art were selected for the pop-up exhibition based on the insight each piece brought to the subject of health equity, as well as artistic impact. Pieces include visual and nonvisual art, such as music, creative writing, paintings, drawings, and spoken word. The following artists are featured in the show:

Birmingham AIDS Outreach-Magic City Acceptance CenterBirmingham, AL 
Véronique Vanblaere, Birmingham, AL
Connie Cagampang Heller, Berkeley, CA
Jayanti Dasgupta, Los Angeles, CA
Alvaro Garza & Marisa Garza, Modesto, CA
Michelle Tan, Oakland, CA
Antea DeMarsilisFarmington, CT
Cristina Valentin, Farmington, CT 
Center for Health Progress, Denver, CO
Tobey Busch, Washington, DC 
Nonja TillerWashington, DC
Samuel Mendez, Chicago, IL
Shaneah Taylor,  Chicago, IL
Hannah Drake, Louisville, KY
Minoo Emami, Boston, MA
Henry Ford Health System (Project S.N.A.P), Detroit, MI
Mia Keeys & Brittney Washington, Silver Spring, MD
Grace Morris, St. Louis, MO
Burton Street Peace GardensAsheville, NC
Joel Burt-Miller, Durham, NC
Emily Kragel, Greenville, NC 
Megan Ghiroli & Emma KaywinBrooklyn, NY
John Colavito, New York, NY
Cristina Baccin, Albuquerque, NM
Ellie Mosbaek, Portland, OR
Meagan CorradoPhiladelphia, PA
Aurinés Torres, San Juan, PR
Andrew Gonzalez, San Antonio, TX
Shannon Guillot-Wright, Galveston, TX 
Wendy Sittner, Alexandria, VA

“These talented local artists have added important new insights to our work on health equity,” said Laura DeStefano, NAM director of communications. “The involvement of communities in defining their own goals for health and well-being is essential for progress. We hope the ‘Visualize Health Equity’ art show will get more people talking about health equity and working together on solutions.” 

In addition to the pop-up exhibition, over 100 submissions have been selected to appear in a permanent online gallery, launching November 9. This website will be an interactive hub that aims to promote bidirectional dialogue on issues related to health equity. To learn more, please visit nam.edu/VisualizeHealthEquity.

To register to attend the pop-up exhibition on November 9 in Washington, DC, please click here.

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