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Waco arts events provide COVID-19 vaccine boost

Arts organizations have teamed up with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District to provide vaccination opportunities with a lighthearted twist.

WACO, Texas — Editor's Note: The video above is from July 2021

As the highly contagious delta variant surges positive cases in Central Texas amongst the unvaccinated, Creative Waco is teaming up with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District to bring vaccination opportunities to people who enjoy live events but are not yet vaccinated.

This all comes on the heels of a grant won by Creative Waco from the Texas Commission on the Arts to train artists, performers and arts leaders as vaccine ambassadors. Those artists interested in becoming ambassadors through art are asked to come to sessions with their ideas and with any questions they have before making a decision to take part as an ambassador.

“It’s important that these artists genuinely represent our community,” said Creative Waco Executive Director, Fiona Bond. “That means we are training a diverse group of artists who bring the questions and concerns of our population. This means that if they choose to create work that promotes vaccine uptake, it will come from an authentic and trusted perspective.”

As a vaccine ambassador, artists will be able to help share accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine, answer questions from the public and assist with vaccine registration for those that decide they will get the shot.

Creative Waco and the Waco Civic Theatre also announced they will be partnering with the public health district’s mobile vaccination unit to offer the vaccine as part of the "Summer of Downtown" program. The program is held every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on the 7th Street Plaza.

“Live performances and travel are top of people’s list for the things they have missed most during the pandemic,” says Meredith Marcum of Waco Civic Theatre. “We wanted to find a way to celebrate the things we can start to do again, while providing an opportunity for people to get a vaccine if they care about these experiences, but have not yet been vaccinated.”

This Thursday, July 29 will feature singer Holly Tucker along with a diverse cast whose performances will explore the theme of travel through music.

Officials said it will be a chance to get answers to questions, enjoy live music and become vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Even if people have questions about whether to get vaccinated, this is a great opportunity to ask a healthcare professional,” said Stephanie Alvey, Preparedness & MRC Coordinator for public health district. “You can just ask the friendly team your questions before making your decision.”

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