The Vanderbilt Curb Scholars collaborated with best-selling author Alice Randall to tackle one of the greatest public health issues affecting our country. 1 out of 4 African-American women are caught in the battle against obesity and diabetes. Many of them are required to undergo dialysis, at a cost of $77,000, per person, per year. And yet, a 10% reduction in body weight could reduce their diabetes risk by 50%. Alice Randall’s latest novel, Ada’s Rules, is the fictional story of one woman’s effort to reimagine her life story as she works towards losing 10% of her body weight and reducing her risk of diabetes by 50%.
Using the creative project funding platform, Kickstarter, the Scholars successfully raised funds to support a dual public art and health project that engages African-American women throughout what the CDC labels our nation’s “diabetes belt.” The project invites women to add their stories, wisdom, and artistry to the text of Alice’s latest novel, Ada’s Rules, as they work toward losing that 10%. The project culminated in a public art performance at the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma, Alabama, on 3/3/2013.
See the e-postcards that were sent to all Kickstarter Backers: I am Ada Kickstarter e-postcards
E-postcard of original art inspired by the Ada’s Artist Project, “To the Beat of my own Drum,” by Dayo Leonard.
With $174 billion a year spent on diabetes-related illness in America, novel, creative approaches to tackling this public health issue are needed.“For scholars of creative enterprise and public leadership, learning how to design, launch, and implement a Kickstarter campaign and a collective public art project is an essential educational experience. Our collective public art/public health project is also an exciting opportunity in higher education to bring together students from across the arts and sciences to foster meaningful change in people’s lives and communities,” said Elizabeth Long Lingo, Faculty Director of the Curb Scholars Program.
See our Kickstarter campaign here: I am Ada Kickstarter