The #VaccinateIndy campaign followed 2020's #MaskUpIndy campaign.
Research from by the University of Florida’s Center for Arts in Medicine extolled the use of arts and culture in public health as having a direct influence on the wellness of individuals and communities.
Areas highlighted for evidence-based impact include: increased equity and access to health services, inclusive medical environments and strengthened communication around public health and safety initiatives.
When COVID-19 vaccines were made available, misinformation and earned mistrust in systems made the implementation of the lifesaving shot a challenge. Campaigns like #VaccinateIndy (2021) and #MaskUpIndy (2020), both partnerships between the Arts Council and the City of Indianapolis, helped to advance the cause.
Our team worked with Herd Strategies, an Indianapolis public relations company, to license or commission the works of seven artists to create #VaccinateIndy posters, billboards, stickers, and signage to promote a message to the community about keeping one another safe.
The goal was to not only protect residents but to also help local venues that had dealt with incredible odds due to capacity limits and recurring shutdowns when virus infection rates soared. In addition, the Arts Council teamed up with the Indiana Independent Venue Alliance to launch the Indy Vax Pass program, making it easier for people to attend live arts, culture, and music events where a COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID test was required.
#VaccinateIndy was supported through a $50,000 grant from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, administered through the City and approved by the City-County Council. The materials created by artists in different mediums–photography, printmaking and illustration for example–were made available for free to local businesses, organizations and residents through their Mayor’s Neighborhood Advocate.
Featured artists included Liz Wierzbicki; Gautam Rao; Phillip Lynam; Byron Elliot; Michael Miller; and Maxine Wallace. The #VaccinateIndy campaign won a PRSA Award of Merit in 2022.
- By Ebony Chappel