LOCATIONS & PARTNERS
Louisville, KY| Smoketown (Active Urban Prototype Site)
YouthBuild Louisville (Lead), Bates Memorial Baptist Church & CDC, Smoketown Neighborhood Association, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Humana, Metro Louisville: Office for Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods; Department of Public Health & Wellness;
Natchez, MS | St. Catherine Street (Active Rural Prototype Site)
City of Natchez (Lead), National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Alcorn State University, Historic Natchez Foundation, Visit Natchez, Natchez Museum of African-American History and Culture, Natchez Art Association, Community Health & Prevention Program, Southwest MS, Mississippi State Department of Health, Humana, Miss Lou Heritage Group & Tours.
New Orleans, LA| Saint Roch (Ongoing Planning)
Arts Council of New Orleans (Lead), St. Roch Neighborhood Association, New Orleans Health Department, Humana, and Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Asheville, NC| Southside (Ongoing Planning)
Buncombe County Health and Human Services Steering Committee (Lead), the Western North Carolina Diversity Engagement Coalition, Mission Health, and Green Opportunities.
Wilmington, DE| West Center City (Ongoing Planning)
Wilmington Renaissance Corporation (Lead), Mayor Purzycki, Council President Shabazz, Christiana Care Health System and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware.
Santa Monica, CA| Pico (Ongoing Planning)
Santa Monica Office of Civic Wellbeing (Lead), The Wellbeing Project, 18th Street Arts Center
Breathitt County, KY| Jackson, KY (Ongoing Planning)
Juniper Health (Lead), Breathitt County Health Department (Lead), University of Kentucky, Jackson Independent School System, Kentucky River Medical Center, Breathitt County Schools, Jackson City Council, Note: This is where IDEAS xLab co-founder, Theo Edmonds was born and raised. His family has lived in this place for 10 generations.
Project HEAL DESIGN TEAM
LEAD ORGANIZATION: IDEAS xLab (a/k/a Creative Agents of Change Foundation) is an artist innovation group designing creative approaches to improve health with a singular philosophy: Health is culturally created. IDEAS xLab uses culture as a catalyst for building healthier communities and resilient economies where everyone has chance to thrive based on their abilities. Our community development approach centers around the arts – a signature driver of culture. We believe that health is foundational. In connecting culture to health and wellbeing, we drive change that inspires a new perspective on how to be healthy in the places where we live, work and learn.
Principal Investigator & Chief Imaginator: Theo Edmonds, JD,MHA,MFA, is an artist-innovator and former healthcare executive who Southern Living Magazine named one of 50 People Changing the Face of the South. Born in Appalachia, Edmonds earned his BA in Theater from Transylvania University (1991), JD/MHA from Tulane University (1996) and MFA-Art Studio from the University of Kentucky (2012). After an executive career leading cardiovascular strategy for well-known health systems in New Orleans and Honolulu, Mr. Edmonds changed life courses in 2008 to return to the arts. In 2012, he co-founded the artist innovation group IDEAS xLab, to establish new shared value paradigms and mutually beneficial relationships between the arts/culture and health sectors. He is Vice-Chair of Americans for the Arts' Private Sector Council; Co-Chair of the Louisville Health Advisory Board's Cultural and Social Impact Committee; founding board member of Louisville's LGBTQ+ Community Coalition; and co-leader for Louisville's successful 2016 bid to be named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize winner.
Ayelet Danielle Aldouby is a partner in IDEAS xLab and the curator of Project HEAL. She leads Project HEAL’s curatorial training program for artists and has prototyped the Project HEAL Community Playbook with art projects and methodology. As a public art and social practice curator Ms. Aldouby has built an international reputation as a curator whose work contributes both to artistic advancement and community development. She has led multiple, high profile initiatives in which the arts intersect with community health in Kentucky, Mississippi and NY's public education and health systems. Selected projects include Re:Construction a public art program aimed to transform NY's downtown area post 9/11, commissioned by the Alliance for Downtown NY, and co-curated Poles together Poles Apart with the artists' museum at the Venice Biennale.
Hannah Drake is an artist-activist with an inspirational message of hope and deliverance and a belief that poetry can ignite true transformation. In her role at IDEAS xLab she acts as a lead national artist and health equity strategist for Project HEAL. Ms. Drake offers a powerful, inspirational message that has been heard in various arenas around the world. She has performed her poetry at the Legendary Showtime at the Apollo and has had the distinguished privilege of opening for author and motivational speaker, Iyanla Vanzant, political and social justice activist, Angela Davis and National Book Award Winner and world-renowned poet, Nikki Finney. In 2016, Ms. Drake’s poem SPACES was featured at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize ceremony in Princeton, New Jersey. She is frequently asked to speak throughout the country, offering an inspiring, poetic message of hope and deliverance believing that her words will ultimately be used for true transformation. Ms. Drake's powerful, honest delivery has garnered her the nickname, "Brimstone". She is the author of several books of poetry and multiple novels.
Chris Radtke is a practicing artist and co-founder of Zephyr Gallery, an artist-run exhibition space. Radtke served on the Speed Art Museum's Board of Governors and chaired the Louisville Metro Commission on Public Art overseeing the city's first public art master plan during her tenure. She has been a valued advisor to IDEAS xLab since its inception, and joined as a partner in 2015 to lead, further develop and support the training program for artists through Project HEAL. As an artist, Radtke produces an ongoing series of installations that quietly, nearly imperceptibly respond to their environment, gradually shifting and changing over time. Recent installations include collaborations with the Louisville Ballet's Balanchine performances and the University of Kentucky's Department of Theater and Modern Dance.
Josh Miller, MBA, oversees operations, finance, special project implementation, and documentation for IDEAS xLab. He earned a B.A. in Art Administration and Business from Bellarmine University and Master of Business Administration from Indiana University. Mr. Miller is a partner and co-founder of IDEAS xLab, bringing his skills and expertise to an entrepreneurial endeavor to influence community change through art and innovation. He is a photographer and has experience in editorial production, having served as Associate Editor for Nfocus Magazine. He is Co-Chair of the Louisville Health Advisory Board's Communications Committee; executive board member of Louisville's LGBTQ+ Community Coalition; and co-leader for Louisville's successful 2016 bid to be named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize winner.
Jared Giles is a professional hip hop dancer and pursuing his M.A. in Arts Politics in the Department of Art & Public Policy at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Arts Politics is an intensive one-year course of study in which artists and those working in the arts in all forms, community activists, and researchers delve into theory and practice from social, historic, cultural and political perspectives. The focus of his study will be developing an initiative designed specifically for Project HEAL. He was formerly Operations Director for Louisiville-based digital company Interapt. Since 2016 he has served as local (Louisville) board chair to support Project HEAL through IDEAS xLab's Creative Agents of Change Foundation.
Project HEAL EVALUATION TEAM
LEAD ORGANIZATION: Center for Art & Health Innovation is a partnership between IDEAS xLab and the Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky (CIK), a transdisciplinary collaborative for population health improvement, policy, and analytics at The University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences (SPHIS).
LEAD EVALUATOR: Monica Wendel, DrPH, MA, will serve as lead evaluator Project HEAL. Dr. Wendel has over 16 years of experience in applied research and community health development. She will provide scientific leadership throughout the evaluation process. Dr. Wendel brings expertise in community-based participatory research, in which researchers apply strategies to engage communities in addressing their own issues to work toward population health improvement and increased community capacity. Dr. Wendel has been the director of CIK since its inception in 2014, and has developed relationships throughout the Louisville community that bring together thought leaders, policy makers, and members of the community to discuss solutions for health disparities.
Susan Buchino, PhD, OTR/L, will serve as evaluation team manager. She will provide project management, development of the research agenda, data collection and analysis, and dissemination of results. Dr. Buchino uses mixed method approaches to investigate population mental health and the impact of policy on health disparities. As an occupational therapist, Dr. Buchino believes in the powerful influence that participation in meaningful activity and community engagement can have on health. Her former career as an opera stage manager nurtured her appreciation for the role of arts and culture in communities and developed her skills for project management.
Tasha Golden, M.A., is a doctoral Health and Social Justice fellow in the UofL School of Public Health. Having transitioned to public health after a 10-year career as a full-time artist-activist, Ms. Golden now researches the impact of the arts on stigma, advocacy, public discourse, and health. She will participate in data collection, data analysis, and dissemination. Her unique experience as both a professional artist and a public health researcher will provide additional insight throughout the project.