Thursday, December 13, 2012

HEART! aims to improve health of Atlanta creatives

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 11:02 AM

HEART organizer Kemi Bennings
  • HEART organizer Kemi Bennings

It's a fact that many members of Atlanta's creative community are often also members of the city's uninsured population. As a result, a number of local artists don't visit a doctor until they have a medical emergency - and by then, they're probably taking a pricey trip to an emergency room.

Kemi Bennings is well aware of this problem. Not only is she a nurse, she's also a performance artist and event promoter; it was this intimate insight into the plight of her peers that led her to create HEART!, a free health screening and wellness day for artists.

Slated to take place Saturday, Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 595 North, HEART!, according to Bennings, is designed to offer free biometric screenings (including cholesterol, glucose, vision, HIV, and more) to any artist - actors, painters, photographers, sculptors, designers, DJs, tattoo artists, musicians, poets, singers, producers, promoters, songwriters, filmmakers, etc. - who is uninsured or underinsured.

The event (which Bennings organized with the help of volunteers, Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner, and companies like Home Depot, Walmart Vision Center and Trader Joe's) will also feature "pop-up" yoga, cooking demonstrations, music, and more. In addition, artists will be able to get information on their specific test results and learn about ways they can continue to stay healthy in the future.

"Art and music impacts every facet of human existence," said Bennings. "My hope is that ... artists and musicians come out and make a powerful stand for their own health."

Free. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 595 North Event Venue and Lounge, 595 North Ave. For more information and to volunteer, email Bennings at

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