Artists support community vaccination efforts

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

As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the arts and culture sector in the state recognizes that continuing to get audiences and communities vaccinated is important for safely getting back to in-person arts activities.

Artists in 24 regions across Illinois are creating more than 72 pro-vaccination projects this summer as vaccines now are widely available.

“Brushwood Center is pleased to partner with Arts Alliance Illinois to support three talented Lake County artists to promote vaccination in the community.” Catherine Game, executive director of Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods, said in a news release.

Artist Israel Carranza will create a photographic series intended to capture portraits and candid moments with recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine and their reflections on the pandemic.

Muralist Everett Reynolds will paint a mural that symbolizes love and unity in the community and freedom from the restrictions of COVID-19.

Filmmaker Ben Swank will collaborate with actor Ethan Harris and cinematographer Mike Kassin to produce a comedy vlog about two young, aspiring “influencers” and their quest for vaccinations.

Vaccination is important to the arts and creative sector. Even after the state moved to Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan June 11 and lifted restrictions on restaurants and businesses, many cultural centers and venues remain closed or have capacity limits because of state social-distancing recommendations.

The projects are made possible by a collaboration between Arts Alliance Illinois and Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods.

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, the Quad Cities, Quincy, Rockford, South East Suburban Chicago (Dolton, Calumet City, Lansing), South Suburban Chicago and Springfield.