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Rockford initiative is continuing to use art to help spread health literacy

Anqunette Parham
The City of Rockford
Anqunette Parham

A Rockford health literacy initiative that uses art to help spread its message is once again taking part in this year’s Spring ArtScene. This biannual art walk takes place April 19 and 20.

This is the third year that Rockford Ready has participated in the art walk. Anqunette Parham is the executive director of the City of Rockford’s Health and Human Services. That department leads the health initiative.

“We were glad to really kind of be able to bring our flavor back to that event and showcase diverse artists and talents,” Parham said, “as we talk about the issues of health literacy and bring that back to the forefront and use art to do that.”

Parham said the community will have a chance to meet muralists and the newest youth poet laureate, Trinity Rucker.

“We are in the process of working on a Rockford Ready mural," Parham said, "that is being designed by local artists here in Rockford, the Fatherless [Print] Posse."

Trinity will perform a poem written specifically for the event. Health organizations like Crusader Health will also be on site.

People will also have the option to take part in Narcan training.

“It's the administration of the drug Naloxone that is used to prevent opiate overdoses,” she explained. “And so, the health department provides that training in the community as just really a first line of defense against opiate overdose.”

SouthSideScene will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday April 20 at Guysie Jenkins Community Resource Center, 911 Michigan Ave, Rockford.


Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.