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NLC Selects Edinburg to Participate in One Nation/One Project, A National Arts and Wellness Initiative


Calendar emojiMay 6, 2022  
Tags emojiNews  

The National League of Cities (NLC) Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (IYEF) has competitively selected the City of Edinburg and eight additional sites to participate in a pilot peer learning cohort for its newly launched initiative, Improving Community Health and Resilience through the Arts.

The Arts & Health pilot cohort includes the City of Edinburg, Texas; the City of Gainesville, Florida; the City of Chicago, Illinois; the Town of Utica, Mississippi; the City of Winston-Salem, North Carolina in partnership with Forsyth County; the City of Providence, Rhode Island; the City of Rhinelander, Wisconsin; Harlan County, Kentucky; and Phillips County, Arkansas.

The initiative will be carried out in partnership with One Nation / One Project (ONOP), a national arts and wellness project with the goal to amplify the proven benefits that arts engagement has in fostering holistic recovery, well-being, and social cohesion in communities. This social impact venture is inspired by the work of the 1936 Federal Theatre Project that worked to reinvigorate America after the Great Depression.

“The One Nation/One Project initiative is an opportunity for local leaders to spotlight the critical role that arts play in bringing residents together and improving our communities’ overall health, well-being and resilience.”, said Clarence Anthony, NLC’s CEO and Executive Director

A key facet of the effort supports cities in leveraging American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) resources to improve community conditions related to impacts of COVID-19. The pilot cohort of nine cities will work to build partnerships between municipal leadership, Community Health Centers and safety net providers, local artists, and the communities hit hardest by the pandemic, with particular attention to working with and investing in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. While building sustainable partnerships between the health and arts sectors and implementing ongoing local participatory arts activities, each city will work to develop an artistic project in response to the prompt “There’s no place like home” towards simultaneous presentations in 2024.

 “Edinburg is not only leading the way in terms of economic growth nationwide, but it is also incredible to be recognized as a culturally vibrant community with a unique appreciation for the arts-supporting local artists enriches the quality of life, health, and wellness for all our residents.” stated, Mayor Ramiro Garza, Jr. 

“The arts play an integral part in the health of our communities,” said Dr. Robert Blaine III, Senior Executive and Director of the Institute for Youth, Education, and Families at NLC. “The National League of Cities is proud to work with these nine cities through the One Nation / One Project Arts & Health initiative to build innovative local partnerships and harness the arts to drive recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Creative practice in the context of deep partnerships and community leads to striking improvements in physical and mental health for individual people, and for our society at large,” said Clyde Valentin and Lear deBessonet, Co-Artistic Directors of One Nation/One Project.  “We are honored to partner with the National League of Cities on this historic collaboration between artists, municipal leaders, and health workers.”

With support from NLC, cross-sector teams involving mayors, city staff, arts councils, Community Health Centers, community-based organizations, county-level leadership, and independent artists will work to build effective cross-sector relationships and carry out community-led projects. The participating partners will work to create economic opportunities and holistically improve community wellbeing through their arts investments. The NLC is excited to build out this area of work that will help cities, towns, and villages address public health and wellness by investing in the arts.

For more information about NLC’s Improving Community Health and Resilience through the Arts initiative , contact media@nlc.org. For more information about the Edinburg Site, contact arts@cityofedinburg.com and for media information, please contact acuster@cityofedinburg.com