One in 4 children who live in the Bronx has asthma. Why are there such high asthma rates in the Bronx? Is it something in the air? What triggers asthma? What is the cost of living with asthma?

In 2014 and 2015, CUP collaborated with The Bronx Museum of the Arts and three groups of high school students to examine the high asthma rates in the Bronx.

To investigate, students interviewed medical professionals, community health workers, environmental justice advocates, and Bronx residents. Students broke down complex information visually through collage, paper cutting, drawing, painting, marbling, sculpture, and mixed media artwork. The students enhanced their graphics with videos and audio recorded sound effects. They created three seperate zines, zine 1 What’s in the Air that Causes Asthma in the Bronx?, zine 2 Our Neighbor Asthma, and zine 3 Catch Up with Asthma with interactive digital elements to share what they discovered. The series of zines was then packaged together as the set Air Fair? 

Air Fair? debuted at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, where students presented the zines, discussed their creative process, and explained how to access the interactive digital elements through the app Aurasma.

Get your own set of zines here!

What People are Saying

“Working on this project, everyone was equal, our opinions were all voiced, and ideas contemplated on. I felt like I was part of a team, where we were all working towards the same goal to find out what was causing asthma, rather than just being in a class.” – Anthony Lizardo, Student from “What’s in the Air that Causes Asthma in the Bronx?”

“Now I notice more asthma triggers around me and I also see how unfair it is that the Bronx is lacking the right kind of attention it needs to avoid having these triggers.” – Gabrielle Bowen, Student from “Our Neighbor Asthma”

“This project involved a lot of collaboration. We learned a lot about creativity and how to make our ideas real. It was very hands on and we were challenged to think in new ways.” – Ashley Vargas, Student from “Catch Up with Asthma”

Resources & Links

The Bronx Museum of the Arts is a contemporary art museum that connects diverse audiences to the urban experience. The Bronx Museum’s Education Programs embody their commitment to increase access to the arts, provide a safe and flexible environment for transformational experiences, and help youth develop visual, communication, and leadership skills.

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust, the Bay and Paul Foundations, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special Thanks

Daouda Diarrassouba, Oniel Padilla Escalera, Sara Imperial, Mychal Johnson, Fatima Kourouma, Ray Lopez, Kevin Park, Katy Patil, Jazlyn Patricio-Archer, Dr. Hal Strelnick, Sarah Wilkinson, and Stephanie Yee

Participants

  • CUP
  • Teaching Artists
  • Zine 1 Lindsay 
  • Catherine Harris   
  • Zine 2/3 Jenn Anne Williams 

  • Project Leads
  • Zine 1 Pema 
  • Domingo-Barker 
  • Zine 2/3 Jenn Anne Williams 
    • Project Support
    • Zine 1 Valeria Mogilevich 
    • Zine 2/3 Christy Herbes 
  • The Bronx Museum of the Arts
  • Students
  • Adam Abdullah
  • Rene Aceituno
  • Wabu Blackhall
  • Gabrielle Bowen
  • Emmanuel Castillo
  • Sofia Crouch
  • Jose Flores
  • Bertha Guerrero
  • Michelle Lin
  • Anthony Lizardo
  • Andrew Maldonado
  • Justin Medina
  • Giselle Meza
  • Alyssa Otero
  • Kaya Poppick
  • Giselle Ramirez
  • Nikolas Rivera
  • Christina Robles
  • Taina Rodrigez
  • Raldenys Tolentino
  • Jalin Torres
  • Ashley Vargas
  • William Yang
  • Teaching Artist Assistant
  • Denise Pascal

  • Interactive Media Specialist
  • Kamau Patton
  • Curator of Education
  • Hatuey Ramos-Fermín
  • Packaging Designer
  • James Dunphy