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NYC Health + Hospitals Unveils New Community Mural at NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter

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

The nine new murals will build on the 26 murals created in the first wave of the project

Dec 07, 2023

NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter CEO Floyd Long, NYC Health + Hospitals Assistant Vice President of Arts in Medicine Larissa Trinder, artist Ji Yong Kim, and others celebrate the new mural

New York, NY 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. Today’s mural, Chromatic Symphony of Greater Harlem at NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter, was developed by artist Ji Yong Kim 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. Chromatic Symphony of Greater Harlem is one of nine new murals that have been created this year, building on the 26 murals created in the first wave of the Community Mural Project, which are featured in a new book, Healing Walls: New York City Health + Hospitals Community Mural Project 2019-2021. This program is made possible through the generous support of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.

Chromatic Symphony of Greater Harlem celebrates the diverse and rich history of Harlem, paying tribute to the neighborhoods surrounding NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter. The mural presents a kaleidoscope of elements representing the area’s cultural heritage. The artist spotlights the dedicated hospital workers, flanked by a Bomba dancer on the left and a tap dancer on the right. Around these central figures, musical instruments, street scenes, historical figures, modes of transportation, and a profusion of plants and flowers collectively reflect the richness of Latin cultures in the neighborhood. Chromatic Symphony of Greater Harlem celebrates the community’s heritage, achievements and struggles, highlighting their profound contributions to various facets of life, including art, music, literature, politics, and social justice.

Chromatic Symphony of Greater Harlem by artist Ji Yong Kim at NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter

“NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter is an anchor in the Harlem community, providing essential inpatient, outpatient and home-based services to all who need them regardless of their circumstances,” said Rick Luftglass, executive director of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. “Ji Yong Kim’s mural showcases and celebrates the diversity and vibrant culture of the neighborhood. It is a powerful example of how NYC Health + Hospitals’ Arts in Medicine department uses the arts to benefit all. Chromatic Symphony of Greater Harlem will bring joy and comfort to everyone who sees it. We are proud to have supported its creation.” 

“NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter serves a special patient population that takes great pride in their community,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Assistant Vice President Larissa Trinder. “Artist Ji Yong Kim’s approach encompassed this pride and the core values of NYC Health + Hospitals. He was able to incorporate staff and patient feedback into a mural that reflects their shared experience and journey. We believe Chromatic Symphony of Greater Harlem will positively impact the health of those that are fortunate enough to be in its presence.”  

“I am appreciative that the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund has partnered with our public health system to recognize the benefits of incorporating arts in healthy living,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter CEO Floyd Long. “I am so proud of the collaborative effort put forth in the development of the Carter mural project. The mural is colorfully vibrant and captures the spirit of East Harlem from its music and art to its historic landmarks. It truly represents the Latin- and African-American influences of our community and pays homage to Carter’s compassionate healthcare services.”

“This mural is a tribute to the amazing vibrancy and rich history of Greater Harlem, a neighborhood that Henry J. Carter Specialty Hospital is proud to serve,” said muralist Ji Yong Kim. “It depicts diverse people and places that make this community so incredible, using uplifting colors and shapes to convey a sense of balance and harmony. Creating this mural was a remarkable collaboration from start to finish. I enjoyed every step of the design process, which involved multiple meetings with the hospital community to gather their input and feedback. As our ideas and focus became more refined with each community meeting, I felt that we began to share a common vision of what the mural could represent and how it could enhance the hospital environment. I am grateful for the incredible support from NYC Health + Hospitals and Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Funds, who made this mural possible. I thank everyone who contributed to this project, and I hope that this mural can bring joy and happiness to the hospital community.”

A view of the new mural from inside of NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter.

Ji Yong Kim (@jiyongkim_art) is an artist and teacher based in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. His art combines Buddhist iconography with pop culture imagery, influenced by his upbringing in Myanmar and South Korea.

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.


MEDIA CONTACT: 212-788-3339; PressOffice@nychhc.org

About the Henry J. Carter Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility
The Henry J. Carter Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility at 1752 Park Avenue and 122nd Street in Manhattan features 365 beds for two distinct types of healthcare services: long-term acute care and skilled nursing care. Carter’s 201-bed Long-Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH) provides specialized clinical support around the clock. This includes physicians on site at all times as well as sub-specialty care that is always accessible, including pulmonologists, infectious disease specialists, cardiologists, and a full complement of clinical support services such as clinical labs, radiology, respiratory care and pharmacy. The long-term acute care hospital serves high acuity, medically fragile patients, many of whom require ventilator support, and patients with multiple chronic medical conditions that significantly impact life functioning, such as respiratory failure, congestive heart failure, uncontrolled diabetes, complex infections and complex wounds. Carter’s 164-bed Skilled Nursing Facility serves residents whose medical needs require management and care that cannot be provided at home. The facility features technologically advanced support equipment and a highly qualified on-site staff that are available 24/7. To learn more about the NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter – Long-term Acute Care Hospital and Nursing Facility, visit https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/locations/carter-nursing-facility/ or to take a virtual tour of NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter, click here.

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 FacebookTwitter, 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.