Over 300 people gathered on October 8 for the opening reception of Everyone Matters . . . Wellness as a Way of Life, an art exhibit showcasing the artwork, crafts and oral stories by over 100 local community residents sharing personal messages of resilience and positive life choices.
Curated by Jorge Felix, the exhibit reflects personal journeys towards healing where art becomes a tool for personal empowerment and healing. The Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (IPRAC), provided a fitting backdrop for the event. A poetry performance, several speakers — including three youth who shared affirming stories of seeking counseling — and a short production from Erasing the Distance, a theatrical troupe working to increase understanding of mental health, rounded out the reception.
Everyone Matters is presented by the Behavioral Health Task Force of the Greater Humboldt Park Community of Wellness and is a collaboration between Association House of Chicago, Casa Central, La Casa Norte, Community Counseling Centers of Chicago, Erie Family Health Center, Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, and Norwegian American Hospital. Everyone Matters also counts with the collaboration of Vocalo 89.5FM and WBEZ Radio West Side Bureau.
The Community of Wellness is very grateful for the support from LISC Chicago/NCP and the Centennial Medical Management Corporation at Norwegian American Hospital who helped make this important exhibit possible.
by Juana Ballestero