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Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

New York City Health + Hospitals has unveiled a significant addition to its Community Mural Project, coordinated by the Arts in Medicine department. The mural, titled “Legacy at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln,” is the result of collaborative efforts led by artist Dister Rondon, who engaged community members, staff, and patients through focus groups and a communal painting event.

The artwork, unveiled today, is part of a broader initiative that has seen the creation of nine new murals over the past year, complementing the initial 26 murals documented in the recently released book, “Healing Walls: New York City Health + Hospitals Community Mural Project 2019-2021.” The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund has generously supported this program.

“Legacy” commemorates the pivotal role of the Young Lords’ 1970 takeover of Lincoln Hospital in advocating for improved healthcare and patient rights. Symbolizing resilience and activism, the mural portrays key figures such as Felipe Luciano, Iris Morales, and Denise Oliver-Velez alongside a tender depiction of motherhood, all set against a backdrop of vibrant roses symbolizing hope amid adversity.

Larissa Trinder, Assistant Vice President of Arts in Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals, emphasized the mural’s significance in reflecting community history and themes of social change. Chris Roker, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, praised the project for its ability to bring together diverse stakeholders, fostering community engagement and stress relief among staff and residents.

Artist Dister Rondon underscored the mural’s tribute to the Young Lords’ transformative movement and its enduring relevance in challenging systemic inequalities. Rondon, known for his dedication to public art and community service, founded the collective I LOVE MY HOOD, advocating for social justice through hip-hop culture.

The Community Mural Project, reminiscent of the Works Progress Administration’s public art initiatives during the 1930s, aims to enhance the healthcare environment while addressing staff burnout and promoting wellness. In the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this initiative takes on added significance, offering solace and inspiration to communities disproportionately affected by the crisis.

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