Public Art and Community Dialogue Program

Land Acknowledgment

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Duwamish, Puyallup, Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations. 

Intentional Conversations. Transformative Art.

Science goes beyond scientists. At Fred Hutch, we have made it our mission to save lives from cancer and related diseases. We cannot achieve this goal without challenging oppression and embracing inclusive and anti-racist practices.

The Public Art and Community Dialogue program is a new initiative from the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Core that provides an opportunity for artists, employees and the broader community to be in dialogue about solidarity and the pursuit of equity in research and health care.

Fred Hutch is celebrating and showcasing the artwork of diverse artists within our global community across our South Lake Union campus and in programming activities. Artists selected for the program through open calls will engage in dialogue with each other and Hutch employees and create commissioned work informed by these conversations. These art installations serve to engage other underrepresented communities and create broader and connected messages of solidarity.

This program will foster ongoing dialogues with marginalized and oppressed communities to inform our commitment to inclusion, and how we represent that commitment in visual form. Panelists, employees and community members are invited to share their stories and lived experiences during our live, virtual dialogues. These conversations will guide our commitment to inclusion and solidarity and inspire our public artwork. 

Roger Fernandes

Roger Fernandes is a Native American artist and storyteller whose work focuses on the art and legends of the Coast Salish tribes of western Washington. He is an enrolled member of the Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe, has a B.A. in Native American Studies from The Evergreen State College and a Masters Degree in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University.

"As a storyteller I help the audience see the meaning of storytelling in their modern lives and as an artist I strive to have them use this gift to enhance communication and learning."

Photo of Roger Fernandes

Upcoming Events

Public Art Unveiling with Roger Fernandes

Monday, October 10, 12–1 p.m. PT

Join us for a celebration of Indigenous People's Day and the unveiling the artwork by Roger Fernandes as part of the Public Art and Community Dialogue Program at Fred Hutch.

This event is outdoors and free to the public. Light refreshments will be available.


Storytelling Circles

Stories sustain communities, validate experiences, and connect us to one another. We invite you to watch and reflect on these previously recorded Storytelling Circles featuring Indigenous artists Roger Fernandes and Fern Naomi Renville.

Featuring Roger Fernandes

Fred Hutch employees and the broader community are invited to engage in a storytelling circle, led by Public Art and Community Dialogue Artist, Roger Fernandes. In this two-way interaction between the listener and the storyteller, we encourage viewers to use this time for personal reflection and connection.

Featuring Fern Naomi Renville

Telling and retelling play a crucial role in imparting knowledge, history, values, wisdom and life lessons within the Indigenous community. Fern Naomi Renville, a Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota, Omaha, and Seneca-Cayuga storyteller, engages listeners in this communal activity and opportunity to learn through the passing on of stories. 

Meet the Artists

Photo of Mark Modimola

Mark Modimola

Photo of Roger Fernandes

Roger Fernandes

Mark Modimola

I am an African Visual Artist, born in South Africa. Originally a graphic designer, I consider myself a versatile creator, with a portfolio that explores the cadences of African identity and spirituality, often through the cultural aesthetics of portraiture and surrealism. I aim to emphasize the experience of blackness through my work. 

I believe in sharing positive representation to and for the black community while translating the complexity we bring to the world through vivid imagery. I am highly inspired by nature, it’s authenticity, unending originality and innovation. As such, my passions are tied in with Africa; its land and its people, this can be seen in my work.

Read more about Mark's artwork

ARTEMISIA i. The Healer

Artwork by Mark Modimola

Commissioned by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center's Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

Cultivating a Beloved Community

In this series of virtual dialogues, Dr. Paul Buckley leads Fred Hutch employees and community members in conversation centered around health care and healing in the Black community across the African diaspora. Sharing stories and lived experiences, these dialogues guide our commitment to inclusion and solidarity and inspire our public artwork. 

Healing has to happen in community, it's not an act that happens individually. I could not have created this work on my own. As you look at [the artwork], I hope it creates conversation and inspires many of you and that the Black community feels represented and acknowledged. Africa is here with you and here in Seattle.

Mark Modimola, Public Art and Community Dialogue Artist

Solidarity Statements

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Black Community Solidarity

In 2020, Fred Hutch raised our banners and flags in support of the social movement that affirms the value of Black life and resists violence and terror against them. Our commitment is expressed in our Statement in Affirmation of Black Lives. This guiding statement is also a call to action and accountability for us, as we stand and work in solidarity with our Black identifying employees and neighbors.

Racism is a public health crisis that we do not ignore in our mission to find cures. We recognize the impact of white supremacy on Black people from the foundation of our country and health systems to the present moment in which the struggle for freedom and dignity remains the paramount concern for the Black community. We desire to be in solidarity with the Black community to resist oppression, anti-Black racism in all its forms, and to honor the humanity of Black people in our scientific excellence as a central feature of our anti-racist efforts.

Indigenous Community Solidarity

In response to the guidance of the Duwamish, Fred Hutch practices the use of a Land Acknowledgment at the start of all our important meetings. This is not a rote practice, but an opportunity for us to honor the first people of this land and recognize the historical context in which we find ourselves.

The history of colonization has not ended. Further, we see the consequences of colonization on land, people, and in science. Indigenous people are underrepresented in clinical trials and other research, and in the community of scientists and care providers in the healthcare system. Indigenous people are disproportionately impacted by most of society’s ills, including institutional violence and COVID-19. We want to pursue relationship and solidarity with the land and people that resists colonial impacts and repositions us as conscientious guests and neighbors.

Statement in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community

In March of 2021, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center released a statement in solidarity with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in response to rising acts of anti-Asian hate, harassment, murder and terror. We stand firmly against racial oppression in all its forms, including all acts of violence, and we resist the psychosocial violence of denying the reality of racist-motivated crime.

The Hutch calls on our community to support one another; report hate incidents at; offer support and encouragement to one another, especially our colleagues and friends in the Asian American Pacific Islander community; and continue our own learning about anti-Asian hate.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Campus


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New artwork from Mark Modimola a channel for communication, healing South African’s work is installed on Fred Hutch campus via Public Art and Community Dialogue Program June 21, 2022
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Indigenous health equity focus of Pathways Symposium Storytellers, scientists and public health leaders share strategies to decolonize, improve cancer research and care May 24, 2022
Last Modified, September 21, 2022