Hip Hop Public Health Receives CDC Foundation Grant to Build Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 cases are on the rise again across much of the United States as the highly contagious Omicron and Delta variants continue to spread. Increasing the rate of vaccination in all communities is critical in order to avoid another prolonged deadly coronavirus surge. Organizations and individuals across the country have helped share this urgent message, building vaccine confidence within their communities. Since the start of the pandemic, artists and cultural organizations have been among these key messengers.

Today, the CDC Foundation is recognizing the critical role of the arts and culture in advancing public health outcomes. With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC Foundation is providing grants to 30 organizations that are engaging the arts to build vaccine confidence throughout the United States, and Hip Hop Public Health is proud to be one of the grant award receipients.

The arts and culture can be crucial tools in public health communication. Because local artists have long served as trusted messengers and translators of vital information in their communities, they can support vaccine education and acceptance in ways that cut through cultural barriers, skepticism and misinformation.

The funded projects, which span 18 states across every region of the country, will engage their communities by staging plays, commissioning posters and murals, sewing quilts, creating new dances, writing songs and much more. Hip Hop Public Health will be utilizing this grant funding to develop a 7th video in our Community Immunity vaccine literacy music video rap anthology, engaging youth artists from HeartSmiles in Baltimore, MD in a “Teen Takeover Remix” to encourage vaccination among 5-17 year olds.

“We are excited to bring the arts and science together in a really powerful way with these partnerships,” said Judy Monroe, MD, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. “Through their chosen art forms, these organizations will be able to create accessible and inspiring work that communicates essential health information about the safety and importance of vaccination in protecting communities from COVID-19 and influenza.”