Designing a creative approach to improve health.

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Our health and happiness are connected.  Health surrounds us every day like a bubble. When we feel healthy we are hopeful and readily embrace everything important to us, like our family, friends, school and work, which all bring joy, support and meaning to guide us in living a fulfilling, purposeful life. 

It sounds so simple, right? In reality, being healthy is more than not being sick. And, it is much larger than we can do alone. The culture that surrounds us – friends and family, neighborhood, school, work–  influences every step of our path, drives what we believe, and defines how we see our future. 

Everyone should have the opportunity to make choices that allow them to live a long, healthy life. IDEAS xLab is creating an approach to improving health that uses CULTURE to influence happier people, support healthier communities and build strong economies where everyone has the chance to thrive based on their abilities. 

Our community development approach centers around the arts – a signature driver of culture. Artists of all types - visual, music, theatre, poetry, dance, etc - work in our program and help to bring people together and share perspectives that are proven to drive change and improve health.  IDEAS xLab's model combines culture with science to make sure that we know what is working and why.

We are a network of artist-innovators who believe that health is foundational. In connecting culture to healthcare, we drive change that inspires a new perspective on how to be healthy in those places where Americans live, work and learn.

We are unique creators of change.

ideas xlab team

Louisville, KY | New York, NY

We are Proud that a majority of The Staff, Governance and Leadership of both IDEAS xLab and Creative AGents of Change are comprised of Women, LGBTQ or People of Color and represent Different faith Traditions.

Ayelet Danielle Aldouby | Chief Curator + Partner (New York, NY)

Based in New York, Ayelet is a public art and social practice curator focusing on the tools of social practice as manifested in the intersection of art and health. Ayelet has curated numerous public art projects commissioned by the Alliance for Downtown NY among others and as the special projects curator for RU implemented art projects in the NY public school system, and in civic and corporate settings.

As a mentor for artists, Ayelet believes it is instrumental for artists to expand their role in society by creating an impact beyond the traditional "white box".

Hannah Drake |  Project HEAL Cultural Producer + Strategist (Louisville, KY)

Hannah Drake is an artist-advocate with an inspirational message. Frequently asked to speak throughout the country, she brings message of hope and deliverance believing that poetry can ignite true transformation.  Hannah is a veteran performer whose credits include the legendary Showtime at the Apollo in Harlem. In 2014 she joined Roots and Wings, a dynamic group of artists that seek to bring social change in Louisville.  Before joining IDEAS xLab, Hannah spent many years as Pastoral Administrative Assistant to Dr. F. Bruce Williams at Bates Memorial Baptist Church in Smoketown. (Louisville, KY) In her role with IDEAS xLab, Hannah acts as a lead artist for Project HEAL and other community-related initiatives. Visit Hannah's website to learn more.

Theo Edmonds | JD, MHA, MFA | Chief Imaginator + Co-Founder/Partner @theoedmonds  (Louisville, KY)

Born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of south eastern Kentucky, Theo is an artist and former healthcare executive who was selected as one of "50 People Changing the Face of the South in 2015" by Southern Living Magazine. Over the past 3 years, he has been dedicated to establishing new value paradigms and mutually-beneficial relationships between artists, entrepreneurs, corporations and emerging philanthropic structures. Theo is a founding co-director of Roots & Wings, Vice Chair of Americans for the Arts' Private Sector Council, a Commissioner on Louisville Metro's Commission on Public Art, Co-Chair of the Louisville Health Advisory Board's Cultural Committee, and a member of Louisville's LGBTQ+ Community Coalition. He was co-leader for Louisville's successful 2016 bid to be named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize winner.

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Josh Miller | COO + Co-Founder/Partner  @j_jmiller (Louisville, KY)

Originally from Chattanooga, TN, Josh is a photographer with a background in art administration, business, and editorial production. Since the launch of IDEAS xLab, he has engaged a broad spectrum of stakeholders around cultural and health equity while managing operations, documentation and special project implementation. Josh is Co-Chair of the Louisville Health Advisory Board's Communications Committee and a member of the Social/Cultural Committee.  He serves on the Board of Directors for Strive Inc and Creative Agents of Change Foundation, and is a member of Louisville's LGBTQ+ Community Coalition. He co-led Louisville's Culture of Health Prize application in 2016.

Jessica Oberdick  | Administrative Coordinator (Louisville, KY)

Jessica Oberdick is a visual artist originally from West Virginia. She holds a BFA from Shepherd University, and was a co-founder of the non-traditional artist run space The Slant Factory in Charles Town, WV. Currently, she is the Gallery Manager at Zephyr Gallery and is also working toward her dual MA/MPA in Critical and Curatorial Studies and Non-Profit Management at the University of Louisville. 


ShawnNika Marie Queen | Project HEAL Community Health Champion / In Partnership with KentuckyOne Health (Louisville, KY)

ShawnNika Marie Queen is the Community Health Champion for Project HEAL in Louisville, KY's Smoketown neighborhood. In collaboration with IDEAS xLab's Project HEAL team and artists, Shawnnika serves as a liaison and resource - working towards improving health, well-being, and equity by bridging gaps caused by health disparities in the community.

Chris Radtke | Partner (Louisville, KY)

Chris is a practicing artist, Commissioner on Louisville Metro's Commission on Public Art, and co-founder of Zephyr Gallery. She has been a valued advisor to IDEAS since it's inception, and joined the team to launch IDEAS xLab and further develop roles for artists as innovation consultants. 

Notes on Self is Chris' ongoing series of installations that quietly, nearly imperceptibly respond to their environment. Gradually shifting and changing over time, they blur the boundaries between sculpture and drawing.

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Mariko Takashima | Intern + Curatorial Assistant (New York, NY)

Mariko Takashima is an arts administrator based in New York, with a strong interest in exploring the role of the arts and artists in community health and urban revitalization. Mariko holds an MA from NYU in Visual Arts Administration.

Mallika Sabharwal, UofL Social Justice Scholar with IDEAS xLab

As an undergraduate student at the University of Florida, Mallika Sabharwal volunteered at the Equal Access Clinic, a student-run free clinic that provided medical care to underinsured communities in North Florida. Patients were often uninsured, homeless, or undocumented immigrants. Learning how the clinic addresses non-medical barriers she designed a social services resource manual for volunteers to refer to patients, like local GED classes and federal aid program enrollment. Before starting medical school, she worked at the Chicago Department of Public Health through the CDC’s Public Health Associate Program. In Chicago, Mallika worked in the school-based sexually transmitted disease program which educated and tested high school students on the south and west sides of the city, areas of high morbidity that also lacked health care professionals.

Currently a second year medical student at the University of Louisville, Mallika is an active member of Students for a National Health Program, advocating for equitable and affordable healthcare for vulnerable populations.

Primary Research Partner:

Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky: A transdisciplinary collaborative for population health improvement, policy, and analytics at The University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences (SPHIS). 

National Advisory Board:

Barbara Bloemink, PhD is a curator based in New York.

Colleen Keegan is a corporate Strategic Planner and Arts Activist.

Tzili Charney is Head of the Leon Charney Resolution Center, art collector and philanthropist.  

James Croak is an American-born artist concentrating on sculpture and photography. 

Katie Getchel is Chief Brand Officer and Deputy Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 

Peggy King-Jorde is chairperson of the Classical Theatre of Harlem and an architecturally trained, cultural projects consultant. 

David Pasqual is a widely recognized authority on omni-channel retailing, retail technology and consumer experience.