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February 2016
Cultural Affairs Division Goes Red for Women in February

By Brenda Brown, Director of Cultural Affairs
More than 10,000 Arizona women die of heart disease every year. Ten thousand women. In our state. In our communities.

The staff in the Chandler Cultural Affairs Division found this statistic startling. It was 10,000 too many. Especially when we learned from the American Heart Association that 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. We wanted to do something.

Our division is filled with experts on literacy, arts, education and history. We provide cultural arts experiences for residents at the Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler Museum, Chandler Public Library and Vision Gallery. We decided to use our art talents and promotional abilities to increase awareness of heart disease among residents during the month of February.

The Chandler Center for the Arts staff quickly came up with the slogan, “You can’t spell Heart without Art.” We know that the arts feed the soul, but why not also the heart and our health? Research has shown that art, music, dance, and cultural experiences can relieve stress and have a soothing effect on participants. Look at the hot trend centered on adult coloring books as stress relief therapy, for one example of that soothing effect.

Following the Mayor Jay Tibshraeny has proclaimed February as Go Red for Women month, and we are following his lead. Each of our locations feature a prominent display of red, offer programs intended to provide stress relief, and are promoting greater awareness of the healthy changes a person can make for heart health.

All four Chandler Library locations will have red book displays and highlight the healthy lifestyle resources we have available to patrons. The Chandler Museum will have a new exhibit on display, filled with red artifacts from the collection. The 3D-printed red sculptures from artist Kevin Caron will be a highlight at the Vision Gallery. The Center for the Arts will let their patrons know about their support with the Red Dress logo displayed on stage before performances.

All Cultural Affairs staff, as well as the ushers at the Center for the Arts will be wearing red dress pins, and, all locations will have health tips from the American Heart Association to share with visiting patrons.

If we can affect one woman’s life, and in turn the lives of her family and others who care about her, we have made a difference. You can’t spell heart without art – indeed. I am fortunate to work with colleagues who have a whole lot of heart for this community.

For more information on City of Chandler Cultural Affairs, visit