Center for Arts in Medicine

Creating Healthy Communities: Arts + Public Health in America

Engaging Arts to Build Vaccine Confidence on UF's Main Campus

The UF College of the Arts and the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions collaborated on a multi-modal, arts-based vaccine confidence initiative to build confidence in and increase demand for COVID-19 vaccination on UF's main campus. Seven projects were selected for funding and will feature art installations and events that encourage students to get vaccinated.  Events will run throughout the Spring 2022 semester. 

In an inspiring demonstration of cross-sector collaboration, the initiative fosters partnerships with community artists, students, faculty, staff and colleges across UF's main campus. Various forms of artistic expression are represented including public mural art, AI-based art, dance, music, photography and design-based art. Artists and culture-bearers from the Digital Worlds Institute, School of Music, College of Journalism, UF Health Science Center, One Health Center of Excellence at UF, and many more are included among the participating affiliates. The initiative is also partnering with Our Community. Our Health.whose mobile health vehicles will offer COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations, vaccine education, and other health resources at all events. 

Project and Event Listing

Covid Reflections 

This project is an art installation consisting of a large, high definition display that students can interact with using AR technology. This Innovative AR Experience lets users see how COVID-19 impacts their body, and how vaccines work to protect them. 

Covid Reflections will display from 9am to 3pm April 11 at the North Lawn and on April 12 at the Plaza of the Americas. at the North Lawn, again April 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Plaza of the Americas, and later at Digital Worlds Institute…. 

Check out their website:

Get Your Shot! Take Your Shot!

In collaboration with UF graduate students and a UF Health physician, this two-phased project will include a professional photoshoot for students who are already vaccinated or intend to do so during the event followed by an outdoor public art event with a pop-up gallery to display the photographs. In the first event, photographed students will receive high-quality digital files of their portraits via email, and will choose if they’d like  to be part of the public campaign. Students who choose to share their photos in the public art campaign will share testimonials about why they chose to vaccinate. There will be a mobile vaccination van at each event. Students will also have an opportunity to participate in iincludenteractive art-based activities, food and fun! 

The initiative launched on March 21 at the North Lawn, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will continue 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the North Lawn April 13. 

Work Covid Silly, Gators! 

This project involved the construction of two large murals which are displayed at Plaza of the Americas and Springs Residential Complex. The murals depict themes of resilience in community and Gator pride, all of which aim to increase vaccine confidence among the most vaccine hesitant individuals at UF. Dr. Ashleigh Wright, UF assistant professor of medicine, was on scene to educate participants about COVID-19 and the benefits of vaccination!

Students had the opportunity to meet the artists and view their work during two events: 

  • March 29 at the Plaza of the Americas from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • April 1 at the Springs Complex from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

We Share! We Care! We Do! 

We Share! We Care! We Do! Is a multi-faceted project sharing the stories of real people and their understandings of COVID-19 and vaccination  The project includes evocative music and artistic performance, cultural event, spiritual practice, craft and graphic design, and digital art circulated and implemented through both live, in-person interactions and digital platforms on social media. 

The initiative took place March 24 at the UF Reitz Union Entrance and North Lawn from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Vaccine ConfiDANCE 

This project brought together two local dance communities: Latin dances (e.g., Salsa, Bachata, Rueda) and Swing dances (Lindy hop, Jazz) to celebrate COVID-19 vaccines and our bodies’ resiliency  to continue dancing in the midst of an ongoing pandemic thanks to the power of the vaccine.

Ziynet Boz and Salil Bavdekar led the dance party March 26 from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. in the Gainesville Flow Space. The event took place after dance workshops at the Reitz Union throughout the day, where students had the opportunity to practice and learn ahead of the party. Learn more here.

Step Up, Vax Up, Boost Up: Achieving Vaccine Confidence 

This project will feature uniquely-designed, colorful, and eye-catching t-shirts that will be distributed at an event in the Plaza of the Americas. Pick up an “Step Up, Vax Up, Boost Up” tshirt and get a COVID-19 vaccination with the mobile vaccination bus!

Message in a Button 

This project askes, “How can we inspire UF students and the Gainesville community to get vaccinated and become COVID-19 vaccine ambassadors? Let’s send them a ‘message in a button’!”

Customized, pin-back, COVID-19 vaccine buttonswill be distributed in many different locations on/off campuswith a special launch event on April 18th at the Plaza of the Americas from 10am to 2pm. While you’re there, enter their t-shirt giveaway and get your COVID-19 vaccination or booster shot!

The initiative is led by University of Florida’s Center for Arts in Medicine Communications Specialist, Natalie Rella, and Project Associate, Brendan Martin. For more information or inquiries contact Natalie Rella at

Engaging Arts for Vaccine Confidence Resources

CDC Field Guides for Engaging Arts and Culture for COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence

These CDC field guides aim to prepare Public Health professionals to establish partnerships and develop programming to improve COVID-19 confidence and uptake using arts and culture-based partnerships and strategies.

Field Guide #1: Quick Start Guide for Building Sustainable Partnerships

This evidence-based guide encourages public health professionals to recognize arts and culture as valuable and available resources in communities and to engage them as critical partners in promoting vaccine confidence and uptake. understand the value of partnering with arts and culture organizations to promote health behaviors, develop effective and durable partnerships for advancing vaccine confidence, implement more accessible, equitable, and responsive programs that reduce barriers to vaccine confidence and uptake.

Field Guide #2: Short Guide for Building Programs & Creative Campaigns

This evidence-based guide is designed to help public health professionals partner with local artists and culture-bearers to create culturally responsive and sustaining vaccine education materials and programs. Public health professionals have long utilized principles of communication, marketing, and entertainment in health communication programs. This guide adds arts and culture as key ingredients to power-up vaccine confidence campaigns.


Vaccine Confidence Arts Response Repository

This is an open-access repository of recent or current projects, organizations and professionals using arts and culture-based approaches to promote COVID-19 vaccine confidence and demand. Designed for public health professionals, explore this repository to find promising practice examples and professional contacts for engaging arts and culture in public health vaccination efforts.

  • EXPLORE the repository: Search this repository to find recent or current public health practice examples that use arts and culture-based approaches to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence.
  • ADD YOUR WORK to the repository: If you or your organization are using arts and culture-based approaches to promote COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake, we invite you to add your work to this open-access repository.
WEBINAR | Trusted Messengers, Trusted Spaces:  Engaging Arts and Culture for COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence in Your Community

In this 1-hour webinar, panelists collaborating on vaccine confidence and demand from the public health and arts and cultural sectors shared practice examples, strategies, and resources for building partnerships and programs that engage artists and culture-bearers. They discussed on how to create synergistic, equitable, culturally responsive, and sustainable partnerships and programs that engage artists as critical partners and trusted messengers in promoting vaccine confidence—for COVID-19 and beyond.

By the end of this webinar, attendees will be able to:
- Identify strategies and resources for engaging arts and culture to increase vaccine confidence.
- Identify strategies for overcoming common challenges to vaccine confidence through arts and culture-based health communication programs.
- Recognize partnerships and initiate programs for advancing vaccine confidence through more engaging, tailored, equitable, and culturally responsive and sustainable programming in their communities.
- Articulate the value of partnership among public health and local artists, culture-bearers, and arts and culture organizations to promote vaccine confidence.

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