Rap producer Swizz Beatz has been appointed the global ambassador for New York's public hospitals to raise awareness and boost funds for its medical centres.
The On To the Next One hitmaker, real name Kasseem Dean, was introduced as the new spokesman for the Big Apple's Health and Hospitals Corporation on Thursday (27Sep12), when he joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Representative Charles B. Rangel to unveil the new-look Harlem Hospital, which had undergone a $325 million (£203 million) renovation.
The venue also includes an art-filled Mural Pavilion, where locals can admire a collection of preserved paintings by African-American artists originally commissioned by officials of the government's Works Progress Administration in 1936, and Beatz hopes the historic pieces will be appreciated by younger generations.
He told the crowd at the hospital opening, "(It's) like, 'Wow, let's introduce them to something that's right in the neighborhood that they can come and get inspired.'"
Digital images of the artwork are also beamed onto the outside facade of the building and the hip-hop star, who will curate the artwork on display in the medical centre's lobby, is planning to stage art programmes in the new Pavilion to inspire youths to get creative.
Taking to Twitter.com to celebrate the occasion on Thursday night, the proud New York native wrote, "Today history was made in Harlem! It's a honor to be the global ambassador for NYC Health and Hospitals Corp (sic)."