The Franklin County Project
The Franklin County Project was an annual spring break service-learning program for UF students and faculty, as well as health professionals from Shands Hospital. The project engaged the arts to address the needs of Franklin County community members, particularly seafood industry workers. Each year over spring break, an interdisciplinary team of faculty, students, and healthcare professionals from the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine spend one week in Franklin County addressing healthcare needs, working on community development projects, and conducting health screenings.
Previous projects included the development of community gardens and nutrition education programs at the Apalachicola Bay Charter School and the Franklin Count Senior Center, an oral history and mural project designed to support preservation of the Apalachicola Bay seafood industry and estuaries by preserving the health images and stories of its workers, a health education program at the Franklin County Consolidated School using theatre for STD, intimate partner violence, and self-esteem education, and ongoing health screenings that connect residents to local health services.
The Franklin County Project was developed as an extension of Arts in Healthcare for Rural Communities project, a multi-year project begun n 2008 and supported by the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Krege Foundation. The project was designed to create a working model for arts n healthcare programs in rural communities, and resulted in the implementation of the Weems Arts in Medicine program in Franklin County, as well as programs in ten other rural communities in Florida.
Previous Franklin County Trip Reports