“Tompkins Scare Park” Public Festival Supports A Healthy Halloween To Fight Child Obesity and Diabetes

Dr. Oz from the Oprah Winfrey Show and Grandmaster Melle Mel to Participate

NEW YORK—HealthCorps, founded by Oprah Winfrey Show regular and heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Action Arts League announce the launch of “Healthy Halloween,” a new month-long school and community initiative that markets Halloween as a healthy and fun celebration advocating “creativity over candy” in the fight against childhood obesity and diabetes.

On October 1, twenty-eight New York City high schools affiliated with HealthCorps began creating costumes, art, and music to be showcased on October 27 at “Tompkins Scare Park,” a free public Halloween festival held in the East Village’s Tompkins Square Park. Making a special appearance, Hip Hop pioneer Grandmaster Melle Mel will perform an original composition for the event.

From noon until 8 p.m., a stretch of Tompkins Square Park will be transformed into a Halloween extravaganza of lively art, entertainment and healthy treats. Highlights include interactive art displays, costume fashion shows, Halloween caroling, and musical performances to delight nearly 5,000 children and adults expected to attend the festival. At 2 p.m., a press conference will be held with Dr. Oz, elected officials, sponsors and friends, including HealthRock founder, Dr. Mache Seibel, who wrote and will perform the event’s anthem, “Healthy Halloween.”

Lifesize dioramas and costumes created by high-school students, downtown New York City artists and HealthCorps coordinators will include such spooky designs as a haunted mouth of ghoulish cavities, cholesterol and a prematurely-aged heart. A “trick or treat trail” for younger children will be dotted with healthy treat sponsor booths and fun activities.

“HealthCorps’ partnership with Action Arts League represents an important step to giving our students a vehicle for creative and lively hands-on community health activism,” said HealthCorps Executive Director Michelle Bouchard.

According to Action Arts League Executive Director Jim Glaser, “Tompkins Square Park has been the center for many artistic events and activist causes. Launching Healthy Halloween at ‘Tompkins Scare Park’ unites an incredible display of Halloween creativity and an important message that we plan to spread in New York and around the world.”

Sponsors and participants of Healthy Halloween and Tompkins Scare Park include elected officials; Ricky’s; CleanBrands; Cell-nique Drinks; Bare Fruits; The Earth School; The Lower East Side Girl’s Club; Glass Bead Collective; the Kostume Kult arts collective, Gathering of the Tribes; artists Penny Arcade, Dan Green of Collective Unconscious and Zero Boy. Festivities for more grownup kids, including art exhibits, interactive entertainment, and a multi-media “haunting” of the Park, will continue from 4 p.m. through 8 p.m.

Tompkins Square Park is located in New York’s East Village at East 7th Street and Avenue A, between 7th and 10th Streets and Avenues A and B.


Founded by heart surgeon and Oprah Winfrey Show regular Dr. Mehmet Oz, HealthCorps is a school-based educational/mentor program in 35 high schools on the East Coast. With 28 participating schools in New York City, it educates American youth about the workings of their bodies through in-school seminars on diet, nutrition and exercise. By developing educated consumers and nurturing student health activism, HealthCorps is at the forefront of the fight against children's obesity and diabetes. www.healthcorps.org

Action Arts League is a cultural arts and education 501(c)(3) organization that supports participatory art forms and creative community initiatives, including arts festivals, themed events, costuming and installation art, street theater and related media. High profile events include Tompkins Scare Park and the FIGMENT* Arts Festival on Governor’s Island. All activities are creative and fun with socially responsible themes. www.actionartsleague.org

Healthy Halloween is a schools and community based healthy lifestyles/arts program that has launched in all the HealthCorps schools with plans to grow nationally. For more information, please visit www.healthyhalloween.net and www.scarepark.org.