The Recorder – Free art events will shed light on the issue of health equity

Posted: 2022-04-08 16:51:49

Modified: 08/04/2022 16:50:47

The Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network, a project of the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, will host a series of free arts and informational events over the next few weeks to highlight community health and equity issues. , especially when it comes to people. of color.

What is being called MOSAIC will offer a range of activities – storytelling, live performances, film screenings and more – at five sites in the valley and one in Berkshire County, starting April 14 at 6 p.m. with a presentation at the UMass Amherst Student Union Ballroom.

The anchor of all presentations will be a 30-minute film, in English with Spanish subtitles, by Holyoke artist Michelle Falcón Fontánez. The Hampshire College graduate, who also works in photography, installation art and theatre, uses her art to try to bring about social change.

For her film, Fontánez interviewed several people of color working in different ways to improve equity in health care in the region, such as Wilbraham poet Lynnette Elizabeth Johnson and Dayna Campbell, assistant professor of public health at the American International College of Springfield. Campbell’s research focuses on diversity and inclusion and disparities in health status and outcomes.

The Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network, a group of academic institutions and health professionals working to strengthen the region’s public health workforce, has held several annual meetings to develop new ideas and improve collaborative efforts. Risa Silverman, the band’s coordinator, said this year they went for something different.

“Instead of one big gathering…we will bring these important discussions to cities across our region with thought-provoking events,” Silverman said in a statement. These events, she added, are designed to “amplify the voices of people working within and for our communities of color toward equity, justice and representation in all aspects of life, including care. health”.

The events will include “location-specific cultural explorations,” according to advance notes, as well as varied live performances, refreshments and panel discussions.

In addition to the April 14 UMass Amherst event, MOSAIC presentations will take place April 21 in Holyoke; April 27 in Springfield; May 5 at Great Barrington; May 11 in Florence; and May 18 in Turners Falls. Many of the presentations will take place at performing arts venues; For a full schedule with locations and entry sites, visit

Steve Pfarrer can be contacted at [email protected]

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