Adriane Ackerman, former Program Director of the Advancing Health Literacy & Cultural Health Program at Pima County describes her thoughts on the most unique elements of the SaludArte Program.
The SaludArte program is unique in so many ways, not the least of which are the opportunities for “firsts” that it presents to the Pima County Health Department, the Arts Foundation, and the community member participants.
This is the Health Department’s first foray into the world of public art co-creation, and it is the pilot program for our organization’s objective to, “Create a Culture of Health” in Pima County. It’s also the first time we’ve used multiple funding sources for a single project, and the process allowed us to flex our imaginations and hone our ingenuity (two practices not commonly encountered in bureaucracy) when it came to combining forces, while keeping activities and funding discrete from one another. The Human-centered Design activities that community members will participating in will also provide a new type of both quantitative and qualitative feedback for the Health Department, and the takeaways from their feedback will help us design better programs and service delivery into the future.
For the Arts Foundation, SaludArte is providing similar firsts – especially when it comes to the role and relationship that community members will have with the artists who are designing with, and for, them. The unique SaludArte process allows community members who may never have anticipated being involved in a public art process to not only select the artists who will represent their stories, but to work alongside them to ensure their vision for a resilient future is captured meaningfully.
My ultimate hope for the SaludArte program is that it will be the first of many iterations, explorations, and collaborations between the Health Department, the Arts Foundation, and community members, as we collectively Create a Culture of Health in Pima County, and globally. I cannot wait to see the impact of this pilot project and where this partnership will continue to take us on our journey towards health equity!