Center Stage Arts boosts wellness with new multicultural coloring pages
Penn State Health is helping patients, families and employees boost their wellness while learning about other cultures through new multicultural coloring pages provided by Center Stage Arts in Health in the Penn State College of Medicine Department of Humanities. Employees may download the coloring pages from the Digital StoreFront to share with patients and families.
Center Stage called upon local artists to develop the multicultural coloring pages. Immersive art projects like these harness the power of creativity and help users reflect on cultural diversity.
“Art has the potential to spread messages of inclusion in ways that sometimes are even more meaningful than statements or policy,” said Claire de Boer, Center Stage director. “These coloring pages, created by diverse professional artists in our Penn State Health-served communities, remind colorers of all ages and backgrounds that we care about the health and well-being of everyone.”
Center Stage created numerous art kits during the pandemic to encourage patients and employees to use different mediums as wellness activities. In the latest pages, the artists created images that reflect the patient and employee populations at Penn State Health and teach an aspect of their culture.
Lancaster-based artist Abner Gonzalez designed urban-themed pages that illustrate an integral part of his youth. One, called “The Original Street Ball,” shows how basketball has been embraced and cherished as one of the first sports children in an urban setting learn to play. He describes his art as “serving as a window allowing you to see some of the joys of another’s life,” with the hope that, by adding colors, users will experience a piece of that same joy.
Artist Amie Bantz focused on bibimbap, a Korean dish that includes vegetables, marinated meat, fried egg and a spicy fermented sauce. While generally a popular dish, Bantz notes that it was considered foreign and uncommon in the rural New England area where she grew up. Her mother introduced the dish to many of Bantz’s friends, who have since made bibimbap a go-to meal in their own households. To further normalize the dish and present it in a fun manner, Bantz says she created an illustration of the meal with its Korean and phonetic English spelling.
Ophelia Chambliss chose to represent the African diaspora – meaning “to scatter about” – which shows the migration of the African people all over the world. The people of a diaspora bring their diverse culture, language and traditions, spreading them as they travel and come together.
“Our health system’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is most effective and contributes to patient quality when it is addressed holistically, to include all aspects of the patient experience,” says Lynette Chappell-Williams, vice president and chief diversity officer at Penn State Health. “Providing patients with an opportunity to express themselves through art can contribute to their healing, and providing these artistic opportunities through a diversity lens creates a greater sense of connection for our diverse patients and provides an opportunity to learn more about other cultures.”
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