July 24, 2024
NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Unveils New Community Mural

NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Unveils New Community Mural


The Community Mural Project is believed to be the country’s largest public hospital mural program since the 1930s

Seven new murals will be created this year across the health system


Jun 24, 2024

NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Unveils New Community Mural
NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan CEO Cristina Contreras, artist Cindy Lozito, Metropolitan Hospital Chair of Pediatrics Dr. Mahrukh Bamji and others celebrate the new mural.

NYC Health + Hospitals today unveiled a new mural as part of the Community Mural Project run by the health system’s Arts in Medicine department. The mural, Seasons of Reciprocity at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan, was developed by artist Cindy Lozito through a series of focus groups with community members, staff and patients and brought to life at a paint party where the community was invited to paint the mural together. Seasons of Reciprocity is one of 7 new murals that will be created this year, adding to 37 murals created at NYC Health + Hospitals since 2019. The first wave of the Community Mural Project is featured in a new book, Healing Walls: New York City Health + Hospitals Community Mural Project 2019-2021. A video of the artist and members of the community speaking about the mural is available here. This and other murals at NYC Health + Hospitals can be viewed on the free Bloomberg Connects app. The Community Mural Project is made possible through the support of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.

Seasons of Reciprocity is a three-panel mural using a mix of vibrant and muted colors to convey both hope and calm for the patients and families of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and inpatient pediatric unit and the staff who provide them with comfort and care each day. The themes of care, home, and intergenerational community are central to this mural. In the largest panel, a child and young adult are held in the warm embrace of an elder within a home-like structure – reflecting the sense of safety and comfort the staff has lovingly created for generations of the East Harlem community. At the entrance of the NICU is a nurse with a serene expression lovingly holding an infant. They are encircled by hands illustrating the many individuals who come together to give care and provide love and support for the families and loved ones within the unit. The final panel invites the viewer into a lush green park to commune alongside other community members to experience joy, calm, and connection.  

Part of Seasons of Reciprocity, the new mural by Cindy Lozito at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan

“NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan is a vital health anchor in upper Manhattan,” said Laurie Tisch, founder and president of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. “Cindy Lozito’s Seasons of Reciprocity is a beautiful addition to the pediatric unit where it will benefit mothers, families and the hospital staff who are committed to helping their patients at a pivotal moment in their lives. There are decades of research showing that engaging in the arts has a positive impact on health. This was certainly evident last week at the paint party which I attended. Community members, patients, and staff from many different departments in the hospitals came together to paint and enjoy the music of Sing for Hope, taking a respite from their work and recharging their energy. This mural will be a source of pride and a fitting testament to the love and care patients receive at Metropolitan, and we are proud to have helped make it possible.”

“The pediatric inpatient unit at Metropolitan Hospital takes care of our littlest New Yorkers,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Assistant Vice President of Arts in Medicine Larissa Trinder. “With this in mind, artist Cindy Lozito created Seasons of Reciprocity through a highly collaborative process that is the foundational element of Arts in Medicine’s Community Mural Program. The warm and positive imagery in this mural will most certainly bring joy and engagement to our staff and new parents that experience the space.”

“We are excited to unveil this beautiful new mural which will inspire our patients and staff,” said Cristina Contreras, LMSW, MPA, FABC, Chief Executive Officer, NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan. “Thank you to the Arts in Medicine department and our wonderful mural artist Cindy Lozito for working with our staff to ensure that the mural is a true reflection of the communal Metropolitan spirit, incorporating our patients and those who care for them.”

“I wanted to create a warm, friendly mural that reflected the hospital’s population and spoke to the way Metropolitan has been a cornerstone of the East Harlem community for so many generations,” said artist Cindy Lozito. “Nurses and family members symbiotically care for one another in the mural through joy, touch, and reciprocity.”

Part of Seasons of Reciprocity, the new mural by Cindy Lozito at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan

Cindy Lozito (@acleartrace) is a Queens native and currently resides in Philadelphia. She dedicates herself to refining her community engagement strategies in public art. Currently, she has a work on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and will be their forthcoming Latinx Heritage Month 2024 Artist Collaborator. She recently completed a mural at 3 World Trade Center drawing from summers spent awaiting the Q23 to Flushing Meadows Park. 

The Community Mural Project is believed to be the country’s largest public hospital mural program since the 1930s, when the depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) commissioned murals in public buildings, including virtually every hospital in New York City’s public healthcare system. The WPA murals were the start of NYC Health + Hospitals art collection, which now is the city’s largest public art collection and includes more than 7,000 pieces of art of multiple disciplines. The art collection is used to enhance the healthcare environment, inspire creativity, promote wellness, increase access to the arts, and engage staff.

The Community Mural Project creates opportunities for hospital staff to collaborate with each other and with neighbors, relieve stress, and enhance the physical environment of the facilities. Healthcare worker burnout is a national health crisis, and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic has created mental health challenges across New York City, especially in low-income, immigrant and historically excluded communities, which are significant patient populations for NYC Health + Hospitals.

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About NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan
NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan is the community hospital of choice for residents of East Harlem, northern Manhattan and neighboring communities. The hospital provides culturally-sensitive care in a welcoming and hospitable setting, emphasizing primary care medicine and utilizing the latest advances in medical science. It is part of NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest municipal hospital and health care system in the country. For more information, please visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org/metropolitan and follow us on facebook.com/MetropolitanHosp.

About NYC Health + Hospitals’ Arts in Medicine Department
The Arts in Medicine department at NYC Health + Hospitals seeks to foster the emotional well-being and promote healing and wellness for all patients and their families, employees, and the greater community by utilizing the arts, including literary, visual, and performing arts throughout the health care system. In addition to managing the system’s significant visual arts collection, the Arts in Medicine department encourages evidenced based practices and provides technical assistance to all of the system’s health care facilities and clinics. This is accomplished by combining artistic innovation and education into a comprehensive health care continuum that supports the healing benefits of the arts. For more information, visit https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/artsinmedicine/.

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund
The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund is a New York City-based foundation that aims to improve access and opportunity for all New Yorkers and foster healthy and vibrant communities. In 2018, the Illumination Fund launched Arts in Health, a multi-year initiative to support organizations utilizing the arts as a tool for healing and building understanding in communities across New York City. The initiative’s areas of focus are stigma, trauma and aging-related diseases as well as supporting organizations addressing mental health in communities disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019 the Illumination Fund supported the creation of NYC Health + Hospitals Arts in Medicine department, expanding programs serving health care staff, patients, and communities in sites across the City. For more information, visit www.lmtif.org or follow @LMTischFund on Twitter.

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