At the time of this project, Black & Latinx communities continued to be impacted by COVID-19 at significantly higher rates, and to have lower vaccination rates, compared to state and national averages. Since March 2020, with the closure of arts venues and cancellation of in-person events, artists have lost both significant income and the opportunity to showcase their artistic work.
In 2021, the Community Music School of Springfield (CMSS) and the Springfield Cultural Partnership (SCP) established the Trust Transfer Project (TTP) to address these patterns. TTP appointed Vanessa Ford, a trusted member of the faith community, a recognized civic leader, and prolific artist to serve as Project Manager. The TTP team used their established relations with people throughout the city to invite Springfield’s leaders, influencers, and community organizations to serve as TTP Sponsors, who invited local Black and Latinx artists to create new artwork in variety of languages and artistic mediums, and to include evidence-based messaging around COVID vaccines and stopping the spread. READ THE FULL TTP IMPACT STUDY
IMPACT STUDY FINDINGS
75 artists aged 10-65—90%
of whom self-identified as Black, Latinx, or BIPOC—produced 100 works of art that include digital, pencil, ink, crayon, marker, acrylic and watercolor on paper; chalk and spray-painted sidewalk murals; poetry and spoken word; music videos; and puppetry. They received a total of $35,000 in stipends for their work and this was the first time many of the artists had shared their artwork publicly
ENGAGE AND COMPENSATE: TTP organizational partners engaged, empowered, and economically compensated Black and Latinx artists of all ages in Springfield to produce culturally relevant artwork with public health messages regarding community safety during the COVID-19 pandemic
SCALE AND SUSTAIN: TTP established and is now set up to scale sustained grassroots communication structures that increase access for Springfield residents to accurate, culturally relevant public health information.
PARTNER ACROSS SECTORS: TTP activated a diverse network of sustainable, cross-sector partnerships among Springfield organizations to serve as TTP Sponsors for projects that focus on use of the arts to improve community health and wellbeing.