Calling All Artists: New Funding Opportunity to Help Build Vaccine Confidence

Posted September 10, 2021

how to use art and culture to engage and build vaccine confidence for covid19 prevention

About the CDC Foundation

The CDC Foundation helps the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) save and improve lives by unleashing the power of collaboration between CDC, philanthropies, corporations, organizations and individuals to protect the health, safety and security of America and the world. The CDC Foundation is the go-to nonprofit authorized by Congress to mobilize philanthropic partners and private-sector resources to support CDC’s critical health protection mission. Since 1995, the CDC Foundation has raised over $1.2 billion and launched more than 1,200 programs impacting a variety of health threats from chronic disease conditions including cardiovascular disease and cancer, to infectious diseases like rotavirus and HIV, to emergency responses, including COVID-19 and Ebola. The CDC Foundation managed hundreds of CDC-led programs in the United States and in more than 140 countries last year. Visit to learn more.


Vaccine confidence is the trust that parents, patients, or providers have in recommended vaccines and providers who administer vaccines. Vaccine confidence is important in maintaining vaccination coverage rates and protecting the health of communities. Vaccines prevent disease, illness, and premature death, saving between 2 and 3 million lives each year. The recent resurgence in the spread of myths and misinformation has put some communities at risk. When misleading information circulates, vaccination coverage can fall. The United States is at a critical moment in the COVID-19 response. Cases are once again rising due to the highly contagious Delta variant, with some states currently recording the highest number of daily cases since the pandemic began. Despite this, only 62% of the US population is fully vaccinated and uptake remains much lower in some communities. Building public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines is more critical than ever to improve vaccine uptake and ultimately get this unprecedented pandemic under control. This includes addressing the simultaneous epidemic of myths and misinformation which is undermining vaccination efforts.

CDC’s Building Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines is CDC’s strategic framework to reinforce confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. The Framework advances three key priorities:

build trust objective share messages about covid19 vaccines and take actions to build trust, empower healthcare personnel promote confidence among heathcare workers about covid vaccine, and engage communities and individuals in sustainable ways to increase collaboration

Engaging the arts community is just one of many creative strategies being used by public health to encourage COVID-19 vaccine confidence and increase uptake. CDC and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) collaborated with the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine in the development of an arts response repository and field guides to build public health partnerships with arts and culture programming. The term “arts and culture” refers to the wide range of creative expressions, cultural 3 identities, and traditions that exist in and are unique to communities. It includes art forms such as music, dance, spoken word, photography, street art, storytelling, and theatre, as well as traditional and culinary arts, craft, spiritual practices, and celebrations of places, histories, and cultures within institutions and the public sphere. Artists and culture-bearers have long been translators and trusted messengers of vital information in communities. The CDC Foundation is pleased to join this collaboration and oversee a grants program to provide funding and support to local community-based organizations using arts and culture-based approaches to increase vaccine confidence and uptake.

Funding Opportunity Overview

The goal of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to seek applications from community-based arts and culture organizations interested in improving vaccine confidence and acceptance through their chosen art form(s). The CDC Foundation will partner with organizations that have a proven track record of successfully creating impactful, educational work, in music, dance, video, graphic design, painting, sculpture, installations of all kinds, and more. Significant experience with using art for successful social and behavior change is a plus, as are deep existing connections to communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. While this project’s target population is the general American public, applicants are encouraged to highlight their strategies for reaching young adults, rural communities, and populations disproportionately impacted by COVID. The selected arts organizations will create innovative work in various forms of media that will harness the power of the arts to engage audiences and participants of all ages in improving public health practices such as mask-wearing and receiving COVID-19 and influenza vaccines. These artistic outputs will educate local communities about vaccine safety and inspire them to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families, and communities. Successful proposals may include partnerships and linkages with health care providers, clinics, health departments, and/or pharmacies offering vaccination services. These artistic projects will significantly contribute to on-going efforts to help U.S. communities stay safer and healthier during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. In regard to COVID-19 vaccination, the primary focus of this funding is to reach eligible Americans with their first and second COVID-19 shots and not to create demand for a third booster shot.

Please click here for the complete description of this exciting funding opportunity by the CDC Foundation


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