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Woonsocket HEZ Teen Health Workgroup Unveils Art Mural at Thundermist

Woonsocket – March 10, 2022 – Youth artists at Riverzedge Arts, a Woonsocket Health Equity Zone Teen Health Workgroup partner, transformed an empty space at Thundermist Health Center into a welcoming community courtyard.

The teen workgroup worked with Riverzedge Arts on the project. The art display features a mural painting and benches engraved with You are safe, you are welcome in English and Spanish. The courtyard is an entrance to Thundermist Health Center and aligns with its mission to care for everyBODY.

“The mural shows the kindness of doctors because a lot of people today are afraid of them,” said Arlyn G., 15 years old, teen workgroup artist. “My favorite part of the project was choosing the colors. We had some trouble organizing the background colors, but we kept them in rainbow order, which was my idea.”

Riverzedge Arts prioritizes the voices of youth in the community. The artists behind the artwork were Woonsocket youth; Kevin G., Arlyn G., Danaysia P., Carlise P., and Chris P.

“I was excited to work with Thundermist because it was a chance to reactivate an unused space and turn it into something that’s beautiful and make it a living part of the community,” said Brad Fesmire, artistic director at Riverzedge Arts. “A key part of our mission is to use art and design to generate economic and cultural sustainability. The combination of the mural and the furniture we installed creates a warm and welcoming environment for patients and other community members who stop by their facilities.”

“My favorite thing about this project was that we had time to focus on the quality of the painting and the details in the artwork,” said Kevin G., 18 years old, teen workgroup artist. “I’m really proud of how everything turned out in the end, and I think it was really worth the energy we put into it.”

“The teen workgroup continues to encourage youth to showcase their talents and thoughts to evoke change in their community,” said Dupe Akinrimisi, Health Equity Zone teen workgroup leader.

The funding for the art was made available through The Fund for Healthy RI and the Woonsocket Health Equity Zone.

Thundermist Health Center

Thundermist Health Center is a full-service primary care provider with dental and behavioral health services. The non-profit community health center aims to improve the health of patients and communities by delivering exceptional health care, removing barriers to that care, and advancing healthy lifestyles. Thundermist has locations in West Warwick, Woonsocket, and South County. The organization cares for patients regardless of insurance and ability to pay. In 2020, Thundermist cared for more than 51,000 patients.

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Woonsocket Health Equity Zone

The Woonsocket Health Equity Zone is a collective impact collaborative that leverages community assets to address health and wellness disparities in Woonsocket by focusing on the social determinants of health. Woonsocket HEZ uses place-based approaches to ensure all residents can succeed and thrive. The mission of the Woonsocket HEZ is to take action to improve the health and quality of life for all people in Woonsocket with the people in Woonsocket.

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