Client: Humana
Project: Natchez/Adams Co., MS "Fit for Life" Launch
Artist: Koren Shadmi

Improve the health of Natchez/Adams County, Mississippi by 20% by 2020.

That’s the goal of Humana and their ‘Fit for Life’ initiative. They plan to do this by taking a holistic approach through behavior modification, by focusing on nine areas including healthy eating and food quality, sexual activity, education and employment and more. “We are working hard every day to improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Eric Eaker, who is a director of Humana Inc. “It’s inspiring to see how people here have come together to not only envision a healthier community, but begin taking meaningful steps to make that vision a reality.” 1

With the launch of the ‘Fit for Life’ health initiative planned for May 16 with a community fun walk/run and health fair, Humana Inc. engaged IDEAS and Residency Unlimited (RU) through XLerateART to create an arts and culture related strategy to engage the community.

The engagement took place with 2 weeks on the ground with the XLerateART team, Theo Edmonds and Josh Miller of IDEAS, and Ayelet Aldouby of RU, along with illustrator Koren Shadmi traveling to Natchez, Mississippi, for a week of community engagement and a second week to help with the launch on the Natchez bluff overlooking the Mississippi river.

Outcomes from the engagement included an illustrative novel depicting five stories that represented a cross sector of people from Natchez to serve as the “Natchez health heroes”. These images were then translated into mobile murals co-created with community members that were displayed at the "Fit for Life" launch and currently at the Natchez Visitors Center.