NYC Health + Hospitals unveils new public mural at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
NYC Health + Hospitals unveils new public mural at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln

NYC Health + Hospitals unveils new public mural at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln

The Community Mural Project is believed to be the largest public hospital mural program in the country since the 1930s

The nine new murals build on the 26 murals created in the first wave of the project

March 22, 2024

Artist Dister Rondon in front of his new mural, Legacy, at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln

NYC Health + Hospitals today unveiled a new mural as part of the Community Mural Project, managed by the health system’s Arts in Medicine department. the mural, Legacy at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, was developed by artist Dister Rondon through a series of focus groups with community members, staff and patients and brought to life at a painting party where the community was invited to paint the mural together. Legacy is one of nine new murals that have been created in the past year, building on the 26 murals created in the first wave of the Community Mural Project, which are featured in a new book, Healing Walls: NYC Healthcare + Hospitals Community Mural Project 2019-2021. You can find a video of the artist and community members talking about the mural here. This program is made possible by the generous support of the Laurie M. Tisch Lighting Fund.

Legacy describes the takeover of Lincoln Hospital by the Young Lords in 1970 as a key moment in the struggle for improved healthcare and patient protection. Through their activism—along with neighborhood residents—they not only challenged the deplorable health conditions for patients and staff, but also confronted the racial and class inequities embedded in the health care system. Holding a megaphone is Felipe Luciano, a key figure in the Young Lords movement, alongside protesters Iris Morales and Denise Oliver-Velez, fists raised and embodying the spirit of activism and resilience as they unite in the fight for social justice and equality. On the right side of the mural, a gentle image of a woman cuddling her baby adds depth to the narrative. Her arm bears a tattoo of roses, representing beauty and strength amidst adversity. These elements contrast with the vibrant roses in shades of red, pink and violet located in the lower left corner, emphasizing the interconnectedness of struggle and hope in community.

“NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln is a vital healthcare anchor in the Bronx,” said Rick Luftglass, executive director of the Laurie M. Tisch Lighting Fund. “It is clear from decades of research that the arts are an effective healing tool. The Community Mural Project is a perfect example of how NYC Health + Hospitals’ Arts in Medicine program uses the arts to improve health and address staff burnout and compassion fatigue, as well as bring joy and comfort to all. who enter the hospital. We are proud to help make it possible.”

“Murals are a window into our past, present and future. They reflect community, shared experiences and in many cases our history,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Assistant Vice President of Arts in Medicine Larissa Trinder. “Legacy, by Dister Rondon, is based on an important moment and serves as an example of how art can highlight critical themes that have been catalysts for change. The Young Lords played a key role in the legacy of Lincoln Hospital, and Arts in Medicine is proud to present it to the Bronx community today.”

“So being in focus groups is one thing where a lot of ideas come out, but now they’re coming to fruition and we have to draw them, you see the fruits of your labor,” said Chris Rocker, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. “It’s a beautiful thing. It’s almost like us taking care of our patients. They come sick and we can help them. The same goes for surgery, primary care and our specialties. Love it. We are in the arts and Arts in Medicine brings everyone together, our community, my staff. Helps relieve stress. And then they can see the CEO painting with an Environment Agency worker. It just brings everyone together.”

“This mural is a tribute and ode to the Young Lords and their movement – a testament to the collective power of people united against the illusion of a sustainable capitalist system,” they said artist Dister Rondon. “As our journey continues, the Young Lords have changed health care not because of America, but in spite of it.”

Dister Rondon (@dister) is an artist, dancer and choreographer. He founded the international collective I LOVE MY HOOD, which includes artists, educators and activists who are dedicated to serving the greater good through hip-hop. His work is invested in providing free public art spanning all of New York City.

The Community Mural Project is considered the largest public hospital mural program in the country since the 1930s, when the Works Progress Administration (WPA) commissioned murals in public buildings, including nearly every hospital in the system of New York Public Health. The WPA murals were the beginning of the NYC Health + Hospitals art collection, which is now the largest public art collection in the city and includes more than 7,000 works of art from a variety of disciplines. The artwork collection is used to enhance the healthcare environment, inspire creativity, promote wellbeing, increase access to the arts and engage staff.

The community mural project creates opportunities for hospital staff to collaborate with each other and with neighbors, relieve stress and improve the physical environment of the facilities. Health care worker burnout is a national health crisis, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created mental health challenges in New York City, particularly in low-income, immigrant, and historically excluded communities, which are a significant patient population for NYC Health + Hospitals.

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About NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, located in the South Bronx, is a 362-bed Level 1 acute care trauma center and has more than 168,000 emergency department visits and more than 600,000 outpatient visits annually. Clinical Centers of Excellence include: Emergency Medicine and Traumatology; Breast imaging; Designated Stroke Center, Diabetes Center and HIV/AIDS Center. Lincoln Hospital was the first designated baby-friendly hospital in the Bronx, providing clinical and consultative services for over 1,500 births annually. The hospital emphasizes primary care and specialty medicine using the latest advances in medical science. Lincoln is part of NYC Health + Hospitals, the nation’s largest public health system. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org/lincoln and connect on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LincolnHosp

About Arts in Medicine Department of NYC Health + Hospitals
The Arts in Medicine Department at NYC Health + Hospitals strives to promote emotional well-being and promote healing and well-being for all patients and their families, staff, and the greater community through the use of the arts, including literary, visual, and performing arts throughout the healthcare system. In addition to managing the system’s substantial visual arts collection, the Arts in Medicine department promotes evidence-based practices and provides technical assistance to all of the system’s health care facilities and clinics. This is achieved by combining artistic innovation and education into a comprehensive healthcare continuum that supports the healing benefits of the arts. For more information, visit https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/artsinmedicine/.

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the nation’s largest public health system, serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, community-based primary care and specialty centers anchors care coordination with trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agencies and MetroPlus Health Plan – all supported by 11 major hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest lives possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

About the Lori M. Tisch Lighting Fund
The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund is a New York-based foundation dedicated to improving access and opportunity for all New Yorkers and fostering healthy and vibrant communities. In 2018, the Illumination Fund launched Arts in Health, a multi-year initiative to support organizations using the arts as a tool for healing and building understanding in New York City communities. The initiative’s focus areas are stigma, trauma and aging-related illnesses, as well as supporting organizations targeting mental health in communities disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, the Illumination Fund supported the creation of NYC Health + Hospitals’ Arts in Medicine department, expanding programs serving healthcare staff, patients and communities at sites across the city. For more information, visit www.lmtif.org or follow @LMTischFund on Twitter.

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