Trust Transfer Project

Engaging artists in public health messaging about COVID

The Trust Transfer Project (TTP) invites local artists and organizations to develop positive messaging on current public health issues—building trust through the eyes of those most impacted by Covid-19 and transforming the health of local communities one artistic message at a time.

Springfield, MA | trusttransferproject

"We felt like we found somebody who was completely aligned with the values of the project.

Out of the gate, Jessica and her team were flexible to see where we were going and helped guide us before we even got there. They showed us, 'If you go here and do this, you'll save yourself a lot of time, or resources, or whatever.’ Having somebody with so much expertise was invaluable. They were on our team — almost like a GPS." 

Eileen McGaffery, Executive Director, Community Music School of Springfield and Co-Founder, Trust Transfer Project

Task: Establish systems and an evidence base for tracking Trust Transfer Project impact.

Solution: Measure participant outcomes and the influence of public health messaging on individual and community-wide knowledge, confidence and vaccination rates.

Process: Refine core goals, co-develop research process, and facilitate focus groups and surveys with artists, organizational leaders, and residents.

Outcome: An accessible online Report of 2021 Evaluation Findings distilled and disseminated project results locally, statewide, and nationally through a TTP website, conference presentations and solicitation by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The project and its evaluation prompted the CDC to put a  national spotlight on the Trust Transfer Project as an outstanding public health model. The CDC then funded the second year of the project in full.

Our 2022 evaluation study, Trust Transfer Project: Art and Community Healing in Springfield, Massachusetts measured community members' responses to original artwork developed by Springfield artists of color, created to convey public health messages about vaccination. The study found that the Trust Transfer Project increased available information, knowledge, and confidence in the COVID vaccine and supported increases in the rate at which Springfield residents received COVID vaccinations in 2021 and 2022.

We were especially gratified to indicate through our data analysis that "the proportion of Black individuals in Springfield who got their first COVID vaccination was 113.7% higher than White individuals during TTP 2021" and that "a notable 139.9% higher than the White individuals getting vaccinated during TTP 2022." In other words, during TTP's active period in 2022, Black residents in Springfield got vaccinated at by far the highest rate among all racial and ethnic groups in the city. While the evaluation did not set out to establish a causal link between TTP and vaccination rates, results were suggestive that the project played a contributing role in increasing COVID vaccination rates in Springfield, especially among Black residents. We hope that findings like these will support the efforts of TTP leaders to sustain this powerful, groundbreaking work.

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