Few people have a clear understanding or vision of equity. It is a difficult concept to define, and harder still to explain in terms of what it means to have equity in our communities. The word “health” generates an immediate mental image – perhaps a doctor with a stethoscope or a family growing a vegetable garden. But public perception of equity is a blank canvas.

To fill that canvas, RMHF will invite six local artists and/or artist collectives to create works of art that communicate the concept of equity and its importance to residents of the greater Richmond region. Through the Health Equity Arts, or HEArts, program, creative artists and artist collectives will receive an award of $10,000 to support their individual projects.  The artists will participate in periodic discussions to share their insights with each other and Foundation staff, and to demonstrate progress. Their completed works will be exhibited at RMHF’s offices. 

The Visiting Artist grants program is an important signal of RMHF’s commitment to fostering an equitable and healthy Richmond region. Participating artists can help illustrate how social, economic and structural conditions contribute to poor health outcomes. Through creative disciplines -- from the fine arts to photography to textiles to performance to storytelling -- RMHF seeks to better understand how individuals and groups conceive of an equitable and healthy region, and to share and exhibit this work with the broader community. As part of the experience, RMHF encourages creative projects that are interactive and participatory with populations who are experiencing inequities.

RMHF has identified these guiding questions for visiting artists to focus on as they complete their projects:  

  • What is equity?

  • What is the role of the arts in understanding equity and health?

  • What does an equitable and healthy region look like?

  • How can artistic expression engage the voices of those affected by inequity?

  • How can creative expression cultivate empathy and understanding toward those who experience health inequities?

There is an exhibit at VCU's The Depot, 814 West Broad Street. The exhibit displays the work of all of our HEArts grantees, and is open to the public until July 22, 2018.

  • ​5/31 – 5pm – 7pm – Eva Rocha - The Depot

  • 6/13 – 7pm – 9pm – Lauren DeSimone – TBD

  • 6/16 – 3pm – 4:30pm – Alfonso Perez Acosta – The Depot

  • 6/27 – 7pm – 9pm – Lauren DeSimone – TBD

  • 7/6 – 5pm – 8pm – All HEArts Artists – The Depot 

  •  7/11 – 7pm – 9pm – Lauren DeSimone – TBD

  • 7/12 – 5pm – 7:30pm – Kevin Orlosky – The Depot

  • 7/21 – 3pm – 5pm – Alfonso Perez Acosta – The Depot