ARTZ in the Neighborhood Mural Workshop

ARTZ Philadelphia intern Natalie shares her perspective on an ARTZ in the Neighborhood event.

A colorful painting that reads "Neighbors United" with flowers, hearts, and stick people
Painting by ARTZ in the Neighborhood participant Lettie

I have been an intern with ARTZ Philly since fall 2021, and I attended my very first in person event this past week at Esperanza Health Center. This past Tuesday we had a neighborhood mural workshop for our ARTZ in the Neighborhood Hunting Park group. This workshop was an opportunity for community members to connect through conversations about art and their neighborhood. Members of Esperanza’s “Young At Heart” program attended, along with Vocatio School students.

A painting of two hands gently clasped around the earth
Painting by AIN participant Juan C.

I had the opportunity to interact with all of these individuals, and I am so glad I did! While speaking with the Vocatio students I had the chance to be an ambassador for ARTZ Philadelphia, which felt great. Explaining ARTZ’s work and mission made me feel really happy to be a part of ARTZ and have this opportunity to interact in person with the people that we work so hard to connect with. ARTZ’s work is aimed at connecting with those living with dementia and their care partners, but we also host intergenerational events like this one, and I am so happy I was able to be a part of this workshop. I am incredibly grateful that I got the chance to meet , speak, and connect with community members from different generations. This experience gave me true insight into the magic ARTZ creates.

During my time at the event, I spoke with a community member who was so full of life, laughter, and stories. I learned about his experiences as a young man and the unwavering love he has for his wife. Even now, writing about this conversation, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed by a multitude of positive emotions thinking about it. I wanted to stay at that event speaking with the community members forever. It means so much to me that I got to be a part of this, see the community, and meet so many wonderful people.

This post was written by ARTZ Intern Natalie Vetter