Since 2003, Elsewhere, a museum and artist residency in downtown Greensboro, NC, has supported internationally recognized site-specific programs and public engagement. Elsewhere’s bi-annual Cross-Sectors research Residency, realized by Creative Director Emily Ensminger, embeds artists within non-arts industries to build partnerships through project research and proposals, modeling the potential of interdisciplinary collaboration.

2020’s residency, themed around healthcare, aimed to introduce creative ways of bringing art into the service of human care.  Residents were partnered with Cone Health’s Innovation Team and Union Square Campus. Placing the artist for two weeks in a state-of-the-art education facility that supports nursing programs for three universities and Greensboro’s regional hospital system. Focus areas, based on Cone Health’s understanding of the health and wellness needs in the Triad, included empathy, well-being, and access to care.

The Artists-in-Residence, who were already working at the intersection of such topics as science, technology, and human care, utilized the resources of the campus and regional hospital system to engage with students, faculty, administrators, and stakeholders of Greensboro’s healthcare community. During their two weeks in Greensboro, residents deepened research into health technologies and training.

After the residency period, residents produced proposals for a site-specific, public art project. Now health experts, campus officials, artists, and community organizations are invited to provide feedback and vote on their favorite project(s) for commission.


Ghost of a Dream | Adam Eckstrom

As Ghost of a Dream, we make all of our work about people’s hopes and dreams, using the ephemera people create trying to attain those aspirations. ​When we began working together, our pieces were about common goals of love and money. However, recently we’ve started investigating a more critical human hope, a society with justice and equality for all.

After spending time in Greensboro with the people at Elsewhere Museum, CONE health, Union Square, city council, and the Beloved Community Center, among others – I realized the most positive impact would come through supporting community rather than proposing a static sculpture that beautifies one particular space of a hospital. Ghost of a Dream proposes a project that can improve people’s general health to lower their need for trips to the doctor’s office or Emergency Room. I ask the healthcare system to bring preventative, healthy food to deserts of Greensboro, making healthy eating a more equitable option.

I am proposing to take a used city bus and turn it into a mobile grocery store, which we call Mobile Oasis Market or M.O.M. for short. This idea is not unique; it exists in many other cities and many manifestations. But with the onset of COVID-19, most of these options have had to suspend or severely limit their services, bringing food equity back to a screeching halt. I am proposing a shift in the model, which would make this mobile market successful and safe during the COVID reality.

I want to create an outdoor shopping experience where people can buy affordable produce, dairy, and dry goods while the cashier is safely working at a distance inside the bus. Coolers and shelving units are installed on the exterior. Shoppers will start at the rear of the bus, make their way towards the front under an awning that shields them from the elements, then pay through a COVID safe window drawer at the front. The bus will move to locations within Greensboro where grocery stores are sparse, and the options for getting quality food are limited. I hope M.O.M. will serve many people, providing a low-cost alternative for fresh food, that accepts food stamps/WIC, Etcetera.

M.O.M. will also have a doctor’s office/flex space in the rear portion of the bus. This space could be the office for a general practitioner to serve people who cannot make it easily into a Doctor’s office, ensuring regular care for communities in need. In the future, once we can safely go into enclosed spaces together, the flex space could also house community-led cooking classes that use ingredients sold on the bus. I propose to get the ball rolling, design, fabricate, all while making connections, working with community members, and locating best sites to serve. Then I hope to hand this project over to local partners who I’ve been working with to assume full control over the Mobile Oasis Market.


Justus Harris

As a healthcare design strategist, artist, and educator, my focus in the Cross-Sector residency was to create a sustainable way to empower teaching artists to expand the use of art that incorporates vital and timely health information.  

My proposed project, Sights of Change, will train teaching artists already in Greensboro communities how to use science to communicate critical issues through a sustainable process that I have piloted in projects at the Chicago Public Library and around the world.

Through my own experience living with type 1 diabetes, my time in the Cross-Sectors HealthCare residency, and my involvement with communities in Greensboro, I have proposed a project that uses art to help foster conversation between communities and health systems.  With so much of the data from health research and personal results looking like a stock market chart, the ability of the average person to read this information is not common.  My hope is that Sights of Change will empower artists to step into their urgently needed roles as visionary leaders in conversations around global and local health. 

Learning about Cone’s commitment to “Being there with you”, I reached out to people outside the hospital and talked with Greensboro residents. I learned from the Collaborative Cottage Grove organization during multiple neighborhood meetings that all projects, whether science or art, need to be aligned with local leaders in order to bring about substantive changes. Consistency and showing up is the only way a program can be successful.

Sights of Change will take these insights and focus on empowering local Greensboro artists with technology, computer, and art skills to create radical conversations about the healthcare issues affecting their communities.  Each project will look different depending on the community and the teaching artist; however, keeping research connected would be part of the process through multiple university partners. This would happen over a year, designed to work in a virtual environment with sustainability as the primary goal. 

Summary of Project & Core Goals

  • Select teaching artists from across Greensboro to be trained in-person/virtually at public libraries.
  • Develop curriculum with teaching artists tailored to their community’s health needs and students.
  • Mentor 3-5 teaching artists in production of artworks building on existing techniques.
  • In-person and virtual exhibit of artworks locally within neighborhoods and at health centers.
  • Documenting curriculum and processes so that this project can remain viable for future teaching artists within Greensboro communities after the initial production year. 

Success looks like communities having more resources, where artwork and discussion can become new paths for action. Success looks like providing a format for educational and therapeutic storytelling around health. Success looks like healthcare systems and healthcare workers engaging directly with the issues most important to the communities they serve. 







Talk | Feb 01, 2020: Justus Harris + Ghost of a Dream

Talk | March 21, 2020 : Sareh Imani + Piero Passacantando

Happening | Sept 15, 2020: Proposal reveal + community forum as part of the Artivate Summit



Cross-Sectors: HealthCare is funded in part by:

Downtown Greensboro, Inc.


Realized in partnership with:


With additional guidance and support from: