Center for Arts in Medicine

Creating Healthy Communities: Arts + Public Health in America

Performing Public Health: Advisory

The following resource was created by an interdisciplinary team of artists and researchers to support artists and creative communities, ask important cultural questions, and center artists’ knowledges during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21. We encourage the use of these resources as a means of bringing lessons from the pandemic into a new reality. Download key takeaways from the project authors here: Key Takeaways & Coded Conversations.

Performing Public Health (PPH) is an initiative within the UF Center for Arts in Medicine’s COVID-19 Arts Response that considers both the crucial cultural measures needed to slow the spread of COVID-19, and the various ways artists perform culture-making in response. 

How do we collectively Perform Public Health? Three overlapping teams of artists, administrators, health officials, academics, researchers and activists offer tools for safe engagement with the arts, chronicle the adaptive powers of artists, and organize resources emerging from artist communities, in an attempt to answer that question. 

The Advisory team has created a Performing Public Health Advisory Brief, which offers basic suggestions for safe practices, as well as appendices on infection control recommendations, finding reliable information and links to articles and studies  for artists and communities effected by COVID-19.

The efforts include contributions to the Arts + Public Health Response Repository, helping to chronicle the “performance” of public health through the arts during the time of the pandemic.

Within these efforts, Remote Cultures emerge in response to the lack of human contact that a pandemic imposes. In this context, Remote Cultures are the artworks, gatherings, adaptations and connections we create when health measures dictate social distance. They are how we maintain closeness, creativity, expression when the space between us is dictated by a virus or a law, or mediated by a screen or mask. Visit this page for a curated focus on the arts’ adaptive power in the context of a pandemic created by this team. 

Within public health measures, the needs of marginalized artists are not always thoroughly considered. They are uniquely precarious, made vulnerable by systemic racism, disability, poverty, compromised immune systems, age, and a number of other factors. Marginalized artists can also possess experiential expertise directly relevant to a pandemic. The Unique Precarities team curates the work of vulnerable artists and communities and places them alongside institutional research, to serve as an interdisciplinary index of creative support. Please visit this page  for resources from Uniquely Precarious artists and the systems in which they are entangled.

Performing Public Health considers the specialized concerns of artists and public gatherings at a time when gathering for in-person art experiences is constrained by the possible transmission of an infectious disease like COVID-19. Please visit the resources below for more information.

Performing Public Health 

Performing Public Health Webinar

Replay the webinar by clicking on each of these expandable options:

REPLAY | Performing Public Health: Artists and Culture Making in the time of COVID-19

Performing Public Health (PPH) is an initiative within the UF Center for Arts in Medicine’s COVID-19 Arts Response that considers both the crucial cultural measures needed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the various ways artists perform culture-making in response. 

In this webinar you will learn about:
1. The development of the Performing Public Health Advisory
2. Efforts to center marginalized artists and communities with the Unique Precarities project
3. Current initiatives to track adaptations in the arts within Remote Cultures

Credit for Graphics: Edith Williams for the PPH graphics, The artwork on display behind Meghan Moe Beitiks in Zoom is Strata (2014) by Charlie Ensz, The artwork on display behind Kaitlyn Wittig Mengüç in Zoom is a framed Geologic Map of Mount Mazama and Crater Lake, Oregon. By Charles R. Bacon, Scientific Investigations Map 2832. U.S. Department of the Interior. U.S. Geological Survey

This project was created by the following humans: 

  • Meghan Moe Beitiks, Artist, University of Florida 
  • Aaron Colverson, University of Florida
  • Chloe Dean, University of Florida
  • maxpú hiⁿga miⁿga (charlee huffman), MFA, M.Div. (Kansa/Potawatomi)
  • Srinjoyi Lahiri, Young Artivist Alliance
  • Keely Mason, University of Florida 
  • Edith Moore Hubert, Musician, Educator, Arts in Health Practitioner
  • Virginia Pesata, University  of Florida
  • Katrina Pineda, California Representative of the Arts Health Early Career Research Network
  • Natalie Rella, University of Florida
  • Jill Sonke, University of Florida 
  • Marina Tsaplina, Transdisciplinary Artist, Health Humanities Scholar, Disability Advocate
  • Edith Williams, Graphic Designer
  • Kaitlyn Wittig Menguc, Artist & Arts Consultant

We’re also very grateful to our colleagues working in the arts, social work and activism, Arts + Health and Art Place America for their input on the development of this project.  

Project Credits and Citations:

  • Pesata, V., Moore Hubert, E., Wittig Menguc, K., Beitiks, MM.  (2020). Performing Public Health: Advisory. Retrieved from (insert URL). 
  • Colverson, A., Pineda, K. Lahiri, S. (2020).  Performing Public Health: Remote Cultures. Retrieved from (insert URL). 
  • Tsaplina, M., Beitiks, MM., Huffman, C. (2020). Performing Public Health: Unique Precarities. Retrieved from (insert URL).

Connect with the Center for Arts in Medicine

Keep up with the latest news about faculty, alumni, friends and current students.