Helping Denver residents live better, longer and healthier lives is what drives the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE). Now, Lincoln Park neighborhood residents are sharing what healthy living means to their community with a new mural project at La Alma Recreation Center developed with the support of DDPHE, Denver Public Health, Mirror Image Arts, MyDenver and Denver Parks and Recreation.
Working with local artists Tommy Nahulu and Zierra Lyons (pictured above), more than 100 Lincoln Park residents of all ages each painted a 9-inch by 11-inch canvas based on the theme of healthy living. Some participants created images of farming, fruits and vegetables, nature, and animals, while others contributed images of dancing, music, sports and advocacy. Now, Nahulu and Lyons will arrange the individual canvases and add connective elements combining them into one cohesive mural, symbolizing community connection and unity while also highlighting each participant’s diverse perspective.
Interestingly, the mural will not adorn a wall, but instead will be spread across a series of mobile panels, allowing it to be shared and appreciated more broadly. La Alma Recreation Center will serve as the mural’s home base. However, it will also be periodically transported for educational purposes, First Friday events and other community gatherings to encourage and motivate other communities to explore similar projects.
In addition to supporting the mural project, Denver Public Health and DDPHE also helped connect participants to public health resources such as the Healthy Beverage Partnership, the Let’s Talk mental health campaign, the WIC program, the Community Active Living Coalition (CALC) and the Public Health Denver Youth Team.
MiArts also teamed up with Denver Parks and Recreation to create a unique theatrical experience to complement the mural’s debut. Community members can attend the mural unveiling during the premiere of "The Heart, The Soul" — which is based on more than 45 community interviews with Lincoln Park residents — on December 8. This unique, community-inspired production will run December 7-10 at La Alma Recreation Center, located at 1325 W 11th Ave. Tickets are free and available here or by visiting the La Alma Recreation Center front desk.