For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Oxarart
775.328.2414 or 775.276.1021
RENO, NEV, April 30, 2018 – With the help of neighborhood youth, the Washoe County Health District, the Housing Authority of the City of Reno (RHA) and artist Erik T. Burke have collaborated to create a healthy living-themed mural on a retaining wall on East 10th Street in Reno. The mural highlights smoke-free housing, healthy eating and physical activity.
Youth, artists, and other community members involved in the project will celebrate the mural completion with an official unveiling ceremony. Several county and city dignitaries and housing officials are expected to attend. The event is open to the public.
Date/Time: Thursday, May 3rd at Noon
Location: Reno Housing Authority offices, 1525 E. 9th Street, Reno, just south of the completed mural
Tobacco use, breathing second hand smoke, poor diet, and physical inactivity are key risk factors to the leading causes of death in Nevada. “Creating a healthy living mural with the community is just another way we can reach individuals with important preventive health messaging,” says Washoe County Commissioner and District Board of Health Chair Kitty Jung. “Using art and education to involve neighborhood residents in a larger conversation about preventive health and chronic diseases is powerful.” Research suggests art can help define a neighborhood’s image, shape community, entice business, and inspire creativity.
Students from Glenn Duncan STEM Academy, Traner Middle School, and residents from RHA helped create the silhouettes for the mural. “This is a neighborhood mural and we wanted it to portray the individuals that live here since they are the community’s future,” says artist Erik T. Burke. Additionally, several art students from Traner Middle School were provided artist mentorship and helped paint the mural. “The students that had the opportunity to help with the project say it has been inspiring. The parents have been excited to see their child’s work out in the neighborhood as well. It is great to see them involved in their community,” says Traner Middle School Art Educator Kristen Smith.
The Reno Housing Authority provided the canvas for the artwork – a quarter-mile stretch of retaining wall bordering RHA housing. “We wanted to promote the same healthy principles among children that we encourage in our smoke-free public housing,” says RHA Executive Director Amy Jones. Reno Councilman and Washoe County District Board of Health Member Oscar Delgado added, “Erik has transformed a neglected, often graffiti-tagged space, into a point of neighborhood pride.”
Decreasing tobacco use and exposure, and increasing healthy eating and physical activity are important preventive measures to decrease the leading causes of death in Nevada. The Washoe County Health District works with local businesses, housing professionals, and community partners to encourage smoke-free initiatives, increase access to healthy foods, and create opportunities for physical activity in our community.
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