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​This Is Art. This Is Public Health.  2019

flyer for Youth Inspired Art Exhibition, Friday, May 24th at 6pm

A unique partnership between public health sciences and the arts that provides a space for youth to become engaged and empowered in health issues that affect them through artistic expression. 

We know that engagement with creative activities has the potential to contribute toward reducing stress and depression and can also serve as a vehicle for alleviating the burden of chronic disease in both youth and adults. Furthermore, the arts are a valuable tool for education, bringing people together, and healing. The arts can also play a valuable role in preventative care and wellness through public health campaigns carried out by organizations at the county and neighborhood levels.  Clearly, there is a natural and symbiotic, albeit unique, relationship between the arts and wellness. The youth and adult partners, from both the arts and the health sciences arenas, leading this initiative seek to impact the health of youth and ultimately the entire community of Mecklenburg County. 

Our primary goals are to: TIA PH Logo

  1. Increase knowledge about public health issues that affect youth
  2. Create space for youth voices, youth advocacy, and youth engagement in key decisions that affect their health
  3. Strengthen relationships between after school programs and professionals in the arts and health sciences to create an intentional pipeline for prospective students into higher education
  4. Increase the social capital of our students and stakeholders by forging sustainable long-lasting relationships through mentorship, internship, and apprenticeship opportunities

Public Health Issues Addressed in this Initiative: 

  • Tobacco Use: tobacco product point of sale marketing techniques, marketing to youth, racial profiling practiced by tobacco companies
  • Sexual Health: sexually transmitted disease, preventative health behaviors related to sexual health
  • Agency & Minors Rights: empowering strategies for youth to take control of their health and their health care
  • Prescription Drugs & other Substance Abuse: influence of drugs and drug culture
  • Violence & Teen Dating Violence: violence experience by youth, preventative & reporting strategies, and how to cope/heal
  • Food Access: food insecurity, eating healthy, access to healthy foods

Current Activities:

  • ​Real Talk. Real Action. Workshops - educational and creative sessions designed specifically for youth aimed at learning about important health issues affecting youth and creating short- and long-term strategies to address them.

  • Healthy Corner Store Murals - in partnership with Behailu Academy youth, select corner stores that are a part of MCPH's Healthy Corner Store Initiative are receiving murals that raise awareness of the positive and healthy actions the store is taking to impact their surrounding community and to visualize the neighborhood's values and stories. 
Skyline Superette Mural

Behailu Academy student -artists posing in front of the Skyline Superette Mural

  • Annual Showcase - each year the art that every student designed, choreographed, wrote, composed, and developed is showcased at a local arts gallery. Community members, decision makers, and other youth attend the free event to learn from the participating youth about current health issues, how they applied their personal narrative and the health data to their art form, and how individuals and organizations can advocate to make change in the community. Our next showcase will be Friday, May 24th at Camp NorthEnd (1824 Statesville Road, Charlotte, NC) outside Uptown Charlotte. 

Contact Solita Jefferies to learn more or receive information on how to take part in our next showcase!


Mailing Address:

Mecklenburg County Public Health
249 Billingsley Road
Charlotte, NC 28211

Office Location:

Mecklenburg County Public Health
249 Billingsley Road
Charlotte, NC 28211



Hours: Mon-Fri  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.


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Key Initiatives

close alertCounty services are operating at a limited capacity. Questions about COVID-19? Call Public Health Hotline: 980-314-9400