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Campus & Community - Arts & Entertainment - Health

Drexel's 11th Street Family Health Services Takes Health and Wellness Outside

April 30, 2013

Painting a mural at 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University, with the Porch Light Program
Patients and community members at Drexel's 11th Street Family Health Services have been painting a mural for their neighborhood through the Porch Light Program.

The 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University (11th Street) is partnering with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services (DBHIDS) in an event called Painting a Healthy City, part of a series that aims to promote health and well-being across Philadelphia by bringing together the powerful forces of public art, community engagement and health resources.

The first of the Painting a Healthy City events will occur on May 11, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside on Parrish Street between 11th and 12th Streets in North Philadelphia, rain or shine. 

Participants on this day can help paint a series of public murals to be installed near the 11th Street Family Health Services clinic.

Women, men and children of all ages are welcome to attend, help paint the murals and learn more about healthy living by receiving free health screenings, attending seminars and participating in yoga and other fitness activities

Attendees can participate in a wide variety of health-related activities, including:

  • Helping to paint a mural and become part of the enduring history of the neighborhood, as part of the Porch Light Program from Mural Arts and DBHIDS. The murals were co-designed by Mural Arts artist Ben Volta and participants of the Porch Light Program, who include community members and patients at 11th Street.
  • Joining the Teens 4 Good garden and taking home a mini-pot of herbs.
  • Tasting healthy foods, watching cooking demonstrations and learning how to cook these foods at home. Farm Truck, a provider of food from local farms, will have healthy foods for purchase. 
Painting a Healthy City event: Photo from 2012, courtesy of Mural Arts Program. Credit: Steve Weinik

Painting a Healthy City photo by Steve Weinik

“The month of May includes National Women’s Health Week and Mental Health Awareness Month,” said Jennifer Ford, health promotion and outreach associate at 11th Street.  “Our Painting a Healthy City and these observances draw attention to the proven methods that can help change lives for the better.”

Painting a Healthy City is an annual community event series of The Porch Light Program. The Porch Light Program is a collaboration between the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services and health service providers across the city. Drexel’s 11th Street was chosen to be part of this initiative that situates art and human connection at the heart of recovery and healing.

Additional Painting a Healthy City events will be held on May 18 and May 25 at other Mural Arts Porch Light partner sites – please see the Mural Arts website for further information.

“As partners, Mural Arts, the Department of Behavioral Health and 11th Street Family Health Services are committed to improving individual and community-wide behavioral health issues in Philadelphia neighborhoods,” said Lindsay Meeks, director of the Creative Arts Therapies Department at 11th Street.  “We encourage holistic health care with which one equally gives attention to behavioral, physical and emotional health.  This event offers education and access to ways for us to attend to our holistic well-being.”

Paintings of medicinal plants, along with meaningful objects representing the idea of home, are combined in artist Ben Volta's design for the murals at 11th Street.

Artist Ben Volta worked with patients at 11th Street to develop mural designs incorporating their paintings of medicinal plants with images of meaningful objects that represent the idea of home.

For more information about Painting a Healthy City at 11th Street contact Jennifer Ford at or 215-769-2156. For more information about the Porch Light Program contact Program Director Sara Ansell at or 215-685-0739.

The 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University is a comprehensive nurse-managed health care center targeting a medically underserved population, many of whom live in four public housing developments in north Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This center serves as a health care home as it strives to reduce the burden of illness in this vulnerable population. 

Media Contact:

Rachel Ewing