The Healthy Visions Project (previously The Food and Health Poster Contest) began in 2009. It is run during September which is Food Desert Awareness Month; posters are usually due in early October.
The project is a collaboration of the Institute on Urban Health Research (Northeastern University), the Interdisciplinary Consortium on Urban Planning and Public Health (ICUPPH), and the National Center for Public Research.
The project is widely advertised across Greater Boston. Entrants have participated as part of a class assignment, as part of an afterschool program, and “on-their-own”. The Project is open to youth who are 18-years-old and younger. In 2010, workshops were held in collaboration with public libraries and community health centers around Greater Boston.
These workshops provide an opportunity for young artists to discuss health issues of importance to them and their community as well as a space for creating art, with guidance and supplies. However, attending a workshop is not necessary to enter a poster to the Healthy Visions Project. Entrants participate in three different age categories: 8 and under, 9-13, and 14-18.
Prizes are awarded in each category by a wonderful volunteer panel. In the past, this has included an art professional, an arts education student, a public health professional (who is also a photographer), and a public health student.
To celebrate all the young artists who participate, and to honor the public health concepts brought forth in their art, the Institute on Urban Health Research hosts a reception in their offices at Northeastern University. All entrants are invited to attend, and we have welcomed many young artists and their families as well as Northeastern faculty/staff and community organization/school staff.