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Stay Home Save Lives — An Artist Led Community Health Campaign
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Artists Leading:

A Community Health Campaign to Stay Home Save Lives

How the Campaign Started

On March 27, 2020, five days after our Governor issued a stay-at-home order, about 10 neighborhood and civic leaders, and artists, started an email chain about our concern seeing so many people still interacting outside their quarantine/household group.

We wished our Governor had shut it down earlier, but now that he had—we were worried that too many people weren’t taking the health orders seriously.

We didn’t know why. But we had a theory that hearing the health rules from your own family members, neighbors, and network might be more effective than hearing from elected politicians.

We got together by phone two days later and agreed that we’d like to develop a plan to invite artists to create campaigns to share the message: “Stay Home Save Lives.”

A couple of the people on the call agreed to draft a creative brief and call to artists. A quick note from Art on the Streets to our local united arts fund, ArtsWave, resulted in a sponsorship for this quick-turn around arts and health campaign.

On our next call, the group of volunteers reviewed the brief and started to develop an inclusion plan, a list of all of the communities we would love to be able to reach through the artists.

While we’d normally prefer a call for artists, we felt the urgency of the moment required us to identify artists we could ask right away.

We agreed:

Art on the Streets contacted artists and all agreed to participate right away. And we announced the campaign in a press release just two weeks later.

The Campaign

Two artists decided to create coloring pages. We packaged these coloring pages with small boxes of crayons and glue dots, so that people could easily post the pages in windows. We distributed the coloring kits in three neighborhoods through the school meal programs and at community centers.

Soul Palette artist Brandon Hawkins, a muralist who works with multiple community groups, created a new mural design based on crowd-sourced inspiration about how people are moving their creative dreams forward while staying at home. We shared the design as a coloring page and people shared the window art message to #StayHomeSaveLives.


Lindsay Nehls, a local artist and muralist, is creating a coloring page for all ages to illustrate the things people are doing at home. We’ll distribute the page for everyone to create their own window message about staying home to save lives.

Two artists working in partnership created a call and response Instagram campaign.

LOOK, artists Sidney Cherie Hilley and Anh Tran, created an Instagram campaign to create art with residents of multiple neighborhoods. They hosted a digital community of poetry and performance - sharing the message widely: #StayHomeSaveLives #StayInside #LookInside

Another two artists partnered to create a series of videos featuring people talking about disagreement in the time of COVID. The artists hoped this campaign would reach a conservative audience.

Mary Clare Rietz, a local artist with experience in community organizing, partnered with Shawn Braley of Cincy Stories on a participatory project cultivating deep listening between pairs of people with different points of view on the current public health practice of staying home and physical distancing. All of the videos from “Outside the Comfort Zone” are posted here.

Links to Campaign Materials

Creative Brief

Call to Artists

Coloring Instructions

Press Release

For more information, contact Margy Waller, Art on the Streets.