Opportunities to combine my many passions and interests (education, engineering, community service, making a mess) have always been my favorite projects to execute. Over the past 8 weeks  I’d had a great time developing a traveling art and health exhibit, titled Active ART, with my fellow fellow Poonam Narotam in partnership with Dr. Asha Shajahan of Beaumont Health System. The goal of our project is to expand the conversation around fitness, art, and health in Detroit.

Getting out into the Chandler Park community, we identified three key stakeholders working on ameliorating health disparities such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity on Detroit’s east side. Chandler Park, East Side Community Network, and Healthy Detroit, all play critical roles in this community. Combining my skills as a maker and Poonam’s background in art and health, we decided to design an exhibit where children from the community could help create art installations to inspire fitness. The pieces will then be displayed in all three of these locations.

Part of the fun of Active ART has been the time we’ve had to go through the complete design thinking process. In previous challenges this year, my mechanical engineering brain had a hard time handing over deliverables that we weren’t able to fully prototype and iterate on. The ability to further work done by fellows in Challenge #3 along with the extended timeline of our impact projects enabled Poonam and I to prototype several iterations of our installation. Recently we were able to attend the CHASS 5K and test our or exhibit with over 50 kids (and two Detroit mascots)!

We couldn’t be more excited to attend Chandler Park’s 100 Year Anniversary event this Saturday, where Active ART will be making it’s official debut. Ride a bike, create a cool spin art piece, splatter some paint. It’s all in the name of health and dissolving health disparities. The Active ART instillation will take place at the pavilion across from the football field from 10:00am-2:00pm. Go Art, Go Fit, Go Happy!