About the Program

Art inspires us. It tells our stories, brings us together and heals us.

The Peoples’ heART (Health Equity x Art) is a project dedicated to exploring health equity and addressing health disparities through art. We seek to reimagine healthcare spaces using art and design. Our mission is to create spaces that better reflect and serve the rich diversity of our patients, staff and community.

The work we do combines art, design, and community health. Research has shown that art in hospitals and clinical settings can have meaningful benefits for patients. But we know that even more than this, art can make a place accepting and even inviting. To this end, the project seeks to promote health equity across healthcare settings. We believe that by better connecting with patients, we can help them feel welcome and accepted in our spaces.

The Peoples’ heART is based at Massachusetts General Hospital. As a hospital-community partnership, we strive to work beyond the walls of the hospital. We partner with community organizations and individuals to bring art installations to our hospital and clinic settings and the communities we serve.

Our inaugural show, Heart + Soul, was presented in partnership with Beyond Walls, a non-profit based in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Meet the Team

Ananda Toulon
Artistic Co-Director

Ananda is an interdisciplinary artist and curator in the Greater Boston Area. Ananda previously attended the Boston Arts Academy, Boston’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts. Ananda has been involved with Artists for Humanity, a nonprofit program focused on providing under-resourced urban youth with education and employment in the arts, first as a student and then as a mentor. As a working artist she has worked on countless public art projects and private commissions, most notable as a designer for Janelle Monae’s Age of Pleasure album. Ananda also represented Boston in the 2023 Art Battle US National Championships after winning the Boston Regional competition. Ananda is interested in bringing more opportunities for working Boston artists and sharing healing and warmth with her community.

Phoebe Warner
Artistic Co-Director

Pheebz is a Boston-based interdisciplinary artist. They graduated from Montserrat College of Art in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary arts. As an artist, Pheebz has worked with artists across the country, and independently, and their public art projects can be seen throughout Massachusetts. As an activist, Pheebz was instrumental in saving the Humphrey Street Studios, an affordable artist workspace in Uphams Corner, Dorchester, MA which provides space for many working Boston-based artists. Along with their business partner, Kristina Sarin, Pheebz operates Crazypants Art LLC, providing painting, public art, design, and illustration services with the goal of amplifying the voices of historically marginalized populations. As an educator, Pheebz has served as a gallery assistant, teaching fellow, and painting mentor at colleges and for non-profits, including Artists for Humanity.

Daniel Chonde, MD, PhD
Executive Director

Dan is a practicing neuroradiologist and health equity researcher. He is the diversity, equity, and inclusion chair of the American Roentgen Ray Society, the first and oldest radiology society in the United States. He has organized and launched a number of innovative diversity initiatives including developing the novel diversityxMESH collaboration with the Medically Engineered Solutions in Health (MESH) Innovation Center, the Mass General innovation group, and subsequently organizing the Mass General Radiology Health Disparities Hackathon as well as RadTranslate, an app to help healthcare workers interact with patients with limited English proficiency.

He also founded a collaboration with the Radiology Departments of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Emory Hospital to create a radiology bootcamp for medical students in collaboration with the National Medical Association, Student National Medical Association, and the Latino Medical Student Association. He has organized events to celebrate the diverse heritage of members of the Radiology Department including a yearly Diversity week and a 2020 Juneteenth celebration, which was a collaboration with the local Boston arts collective, The Front Porch Arts Collective.

Bridget Daggett
Fellow-in-Residence

Bridget is currently finishing her last semester at Suffolk University in the Art and Design program. Her passion for the arts has led her to explore the relationship between the arts and psychology, especially pertaining to health equity and art therapy encouraging healing through art. She is especially interested and skilled in acrylic and oil painting as well as soft sculpture. For her final semester she is focusing on her senior thesis that will conclude her undergraduate career. She plans to continue to work in the arts and dedicate her time to spaces of art that allow people to heal through art therapy sessions, learning empathy through art, and even healing through conversations about different art pieces.

Cindy Diggs
Director of Cultural Engagement

Cindy Diggs aka Mother Hip Hop aka The Patron Saint of Roxbury is a life long community advocate and peace-driven visionary. Born and raised in Roxbury, MA, Cindy started out as a club promoter in the Golden age of hip hop. Music and community activism collided when Cindy founded the antiviolence organization Us Making Moves Forever in 1995 and later Peace Boston in 2005. She pioneered innovative music conferences dubbed “Can We Talk 2U?” which afforded first-hand advice via panels that featured iconic hip hop veterans such as the late Jam Master Jay of the legendary group Run DMC and Wendy Day, Founder of the Rap Coalition. By 2000, Cindy’s focus was directed to creating the Hip Hop 4 Health campaign which encouraged inner-city youth to utilize Boston’s school health centers. That groundbreaking project won the American Public Health Association Award, a high honor in the Health Industry.

First and foremost, the People’s heART is about creating a new healthcare culture paradigm, one centered in community wellness and empowers patients and staff regardless of race, religion, country of origin, level of education, or title. As Director of Community, Cindy helps forge lasting relationships and ensure that we stay true to our vision and mission.

Esteban Gershanik, MD, MPH, MSc
Research Director

Esteban is an Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Hospitalist currently serving as Medical Director of Quality, Safety, and Equity for Brigham Health where he leads several initiatives evaluating disparities in healthcare access, delivery, and the digital divide. Outside of Brigham, he consults and advises on value-based care (medical director at Prometheus Analytica/Change Healthcare), start-ups, clinical informatics, public health and health disparities which includes his role as a HIMSS Global Health Equity Network Advisory Task Force Ambassador. Prior positions include as Chief Information Officer, Health Informatics Director, and Quality Lead for the Louisiana Department of Health where he led efforts around Medicaid expansion, the opioid epidemic, and regional disaster management and as the eCare Process Care and Redesign Clinician for Partners Healthcare. His passion for health equity and art stems from his deep connection to his mother and hometown of New Orleans who both nurtured his appreciation in the arts and social justice.

Hyewon Hyun, MD
Education Director

Hyewon Hyun is the founding Chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. Trained as both a radiologist and a nuclear medicine physician, she is the Program Director for Joint Program in Nuclear Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She has developed and launched novel educational curricula in collaboration with art educators at the Harvard Art Museums for radiology and nuclear medicine residents as well as for under-represented high school, college and first-year medical school students who seek to pursue STEM careers.

Kristina Sarin
Operations Coordinator

Kristina is a Jill-of-all-trades with skills ranging from sales and customer service to book keeping, food preparation, and warehouse management. If there is a task that needs doing it, odds are Kristina has done it before. Kristina previously attended Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, MA. Her previous volunteer experience has included work with the Worcester county food bank and Worcester art museum. Having been a former caregiver, Kristina is very familiar with hospitals and the lack of pleasantries associated with being in one. Through her work with The People’s heART she hopes to help transform corporate exclusionary spaces to ones that invoke inclusivity and where patients feel seen and heard.

Alexander Burns
Operations Manager

Alexander is a recent graduate of Bentley University. After studying for over 6 months in Spain and working in technology during his college education, he developed a huge passion for the arts and their intersection with everyday life coupled with virtual application. Specifically, he is interested in creating equity for diverse groups in the medical space in order to connect with his heritage and understand more about the medical field. Currently, Alexander is working with Brigham and Women’s Hospital on designing a study around using Virtual Reality to treat patients with delirium.

Meg Carleton, LMHC, ATR-BC
Consulting Art Therapist

Megan Carleton is a board certified art therapist and licensed mental health counselor who believes in the power of art to tell stories, create connections, and influence change. From her own arts experience painting murals on the walls of medical and residential treatment facilities, to facilitating community-wide mural painting in response to hateful graffiti, Megan has made creativity the guiding force in her personal and professional life.

Megan incorporates a trauma-informed expressive arts approach in her work to promote connection and activate change within communities and individuals. For ten years she managed the rotating art exhibit at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, a program designed to improve patient experience and provide inspiration to the Cancer Center community through innovative and original environmental art and art experiences. She also has a private practice of art therapy, mental health counseling and consultation, where she uses evidenced-based approaches to treatment, including EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), to help people identify and process internal feelings about adverse life experiences and move towards a sense of growth and integration. By using these mind-body approaches, a path to healing emerges in a way that is not available through words or thoughts alone.

Past co-president of the New England Art Therapy Association, she is currently the Program Manager for Expressive Arts at the Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and Healthy Living, part of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She has professional experience working with individuals and groups ranging from infants through elders in her previously held positions of community based and residential treatment clinician, as well as art therapist in MGH’s Cancer Center and at the Intensive Clinical Program at Home Base: Veteran and Family Care, a program of MGH and the Red Sox Foundation.

In her consulting role with The Peoples’ heART, Megan contributes to our team in our mission of harnessing the power of art, technology and community to challenge established systems, promote representation, address inequity, and spark systemic change in our medical institutions and beyond.

Brooke DiGiovanni Evans
Visual Arts & Curation Advisor

Brooke DiGiovanni Evans is the Director of Visual Arts Education at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and affiliated with Harvard Medical School. In this role she implements and oversees arts based programming for clinicians and staff at BWH and affiliated institutions and will embark on research to document and understand the value of such work for the wider medical community. Ms. DiGiovanni Evans has worked with clinicians locally and nationally for over ten years developing and leading arts-based programs in museums and online that focus on building skills to improve patient care. She holds an Ed.M. degree from Harvard University and has a background in art history and non-profit management with over 20 years’ experience working in museum collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Harvard Art Museums, and the Peabody Essex Museum. Ms. DiGiovanni Evans guest edited and authored an issue of the Journal of Museum Education titled “Health and Wellness in Our Community: The Impact of Museums” and is a published children’s book author. In addition to her work in museums she is an adjunct faculty member at Northeastern University and Boston University.

What We Do

Get Involved

The Peoples’ heART is dedicated to the communities we serve. There are many ways to get involved.

Leave a Comment and Share

We want to hear from you! Leave a comment on your favorite pieces of art on the site and tell us how you connect with this art. Let our artists know what you love about their art! If there’s a piece you love, please share on social media and help us spread the word about The Peoples’ heART.

You can also follow the Peoples’ heART on Twitter @Peoples_heART.

Make a Donation

You can support our work and future art installations by making a donation to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Your support will help create opportunities to partner with a diverse group of local artists and display their work at Mass General. As the program grows, we hope to welcome new artists and rotate curated collections to other Mass General spaces. Over time, we hope to share this work with more patients.

Donate to The Peoples’ heART

Learn More About Health Equity

Equality and equity are commonly considered interchangeably; however, they are very different.

  • Equality, or the state of being equal, is defined as: of the same measure, quantity, amount, or number as another.
  • Equity, or something that is equitable, is defined as: dealing fairly and equally with all concerned.

In an ideal world, equity and equality are the same; however, in the real world there is a history of oppression and discrimination which has been ingrained into society, as such limiting the opportunities of some groups. As such, something that is equitable is not necessarily equal. We have a number of instances in our lives where the difference between equity and equality is highlighted. For instance, it is common for colleges and university to provide need-based financial aid, there by giving those who cannot afford to attend an institution the opportunity to attend. That is equity in higher education. Similarly, our tax structure is based on equity as those who earn less money pay a smaller proportion and absolute amount to the government.

Health equity is a concept related to access and opportunities in health care. Health equity means that everyone in a community has equal access to care and the opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Health equity means understanding that some different groups of people have different needs and putting the work in to meet those needs.

Reaching health equity means removing obstacles to health care. These obstacles include issues such as poverty, discrimination, housing insecurity and safe environments.

In many communities today, there is unequal access to care that results in health disparities. Mass General is committed to eliminating these health disparities in the communities we serve. Through our work, both on our main campus and in our community health centers, we work to bring health equity to all.

Our Collaborators

The work of the Peoples’ heART would not be possible without the contributions of our community collaborators.

Mad*Pow logo
Beyond Walls logo
La Colaborativa logo
MGH logo
Arts at MIT logo
The Front Porch logo