The Importance of Arts and Culture in Building Healthy Communities

NJHI 2016: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action, Round 2 Passaic County Food Policy Council

On May 3 and 4, 2018, several of our coalition members attended the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit at Drew University to learn more about how to integrate creative placemaking strategies into the work of building healthier communities. We learned about strategies to integrate the arts into park activation, utilizing the arts to engage community members in creating sustainable community change, and how the arts are an essential component of building successful communities. View a recap video and slideshow of the New Jersey Summit.

Paterson has a number of artistic community assets including: the Paterson ART Factory, artists, culinary establishments, and community-based non-profits committed to expanding the arts. We also have a rich history of artists, story tellers, musicians, and poets in Paterson. Additionally, we are excited about the revitalization of Paterson’s historic Hinchliffe Stadium and Great Falls National Park and how the arts may be integrated into those initiatives to build on the city’s rich history and community assets. Share your ideas for these efforts with our project director.

Building healthy communities is a creative process that requires innovation, collaboration, and celebration of our rich and diverse cultures. As we move toward our second year of implementing our Blueprint for Action, we will look for opportunities to integrate the arts into our strategies to build a Culture of Health by improving gardens, parks, and green spaces and engaging community residents.

For more information about the Building a Culture of Health: Blueprint for Action in Passaic County please contact Mary Celis, Director of Health Initiatives, United Way of Passaic County: or visit our Facebook page: @PassaicFood.

The Grantee Blog publishes a different NJHI-supported community’s update every week. Bookmark this site to stay up-to-date and share in the work of building healthier communities across New Jersey.
Mary Celis
The United Way of Passaic County