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Julie Sokolow

Julie Sokolow is a musician, writer, and filmmaker based in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the creator of the Healthy Artists documentary series, in which young creatives discuss their struggles with the American health care system.

January 18th, 2013 9:04 PM

“Healthy Artists” Film Series Captures the Heart of Single-Payer

In January 2012, I started filming my friends in the Pittsburgh arts scene for a grassroots documentary series called Healthy Artists. I visited the apartments and art studios of local painters, musicians, writers, adjunct professors, and beyond, to get a sense of their lifestyles, creative passions, and health care stories. Many artists, freelancers, and creative entrepreneurs can’t find affordable health insurance, and thus, have a strong stance on single-payer health care. It is now January 2013, and we just debuted an exhibition of movie-style posters, judged by a panel from the Criterion Collection, Carnegie Museum of Art, and Warhol Museum. In one year, Healthy Artists has expanded beyond my wildest imaginings.

Before starting Healthy Artists, Michael Moore’s SiCKO and T.R. Reid’s The Healing of America inspired me to volunteer with single-payer organizations in Pittsburgh. I noticed that the single-payer movement had yet to connect with young people, who fueled Obama’s 2008 campaign. Obama won over young people with the help of posters by street artist, Shepard Fairey, and the resounding optimism of “Hope” and “Change.”

The Healthy Artists documentary series tells the stories of ambitious and inspiring people who would flourish if there was an American single-payer system. The U.S spends more on health care than any other country in the world, yet we are the only industrialized nation that doesn’t cover everybody. So many young people and artists are posed to address this absurdity, because they are directly affected by it. To us, single-payer is about a true investment in the talented, intelligent, and hard-working people of America.

The Healthy Artists documentary series is free to watch at www.healthyartists.org.

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