Artists Support Community Vaccination Efforts: Press Release

Artists across Illinois are contributing their talents to help communities get vaccinated. 

ILLINOIS –  As restrictions are lifted, the arts and culture sector in Illinois recognizes that continuing to get their audiences and communities vaccinated is important for safely getting back to in-person arts activities. Artists in 24 regions across Illinois are creating over 72 pro-vaccination projects this summer as vaccines are now widely available. These projects range from street concerts and video projects to poster campaigns and public arts.

“These works of art will soon brighten every corner of our community and help us all become more comfortable with being creatively social again.” — Jerry Johnson, Executive Director of the Decatur Area Arts Council

One such artist is internationally renowned artist George Berlin who joins three other DuPage County artists. The Glen Ellyn resident called upon his signature art style to create a fun, happy, shiny animated PSA to delight all audiences. “Life can come back- if we all get vaccinated! That means enjoying music shows, summer festivals, and dancing! Streaming concerts are great, but nothing beats connecting with fellow fans and feeling the music in your body at a live show!” says Berlin. 

“This is a terrific opportunity for our BIPOC artists, young and old, to share their abundant talents with our community while creating awareness around vaccination hesitancy,” says Rhys Lovell, curator of the McLean County Arts Center.

Artist Amina Malik in Peoria is creating a series of posters in the Urdu Script, Roman Urdu (which is Urdu written in Latin script), and English, to encourage the Urdu-speaking community within Illinois to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

In East St. Louis, Lang of Art Studio is presenting “The Vaccine Exhibition” featuring vaccine timeline t-shirts, a Healthy Steps brochure, and a vaccine syringe sculpture installation. Founder Andra Lang says they are “encouraging the patients, youth, families in our community to see the importance of getting vaccinated, and increase awareness of the benefits of being vaccinated by first caring about health and community well-being.” 

Participating regions include: Aurora, Bloomington, Carbondale, Centralia, Champaign-Urbana, Decatur, DuPage County, East St. Louis, Elgin, Evanston, Galena, Galesburg, Joliet, Lake County, Mattoon, McHenry County, Oak Park, Peoria, Quad Cities, Quincy, Rockford, South East Suburban Chicago (Dolton, Calumet City, Lansing), South Suburban Chicago and Springfield. 

Vaccination is especially important to the arts and creative sector. Even as the state moved to Phase 5 on June 11, lifting restrictions on restaurants and businesses, many cultural centers and venues remain closed and are still managing capacity-limits and project decreased revenue due to state social-distancing recommendations. Vaccination is important to the arts, so that the industry can return to bringing communities together.

These projects are made possible by a collaboration between Arts Alliance Illinois and regional arts organizations. 

Our generous supporters help make multi-region projects like these happen! Please consider making a gift to Arts Alliance Illinois so we can continue advocating for the arts across the state. 

Do you want to get involved? Check out our #VaxToGetBack social media toolkit to encourage your community to get vaccinated!

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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