Communities for Immunity awards funding to 51 museums and libraries to advance vaccine confidence

Communities for Immunity awards funding to 51 museums and libraries to advance vaccine confidence

September 22, 2021

Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA—The Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) today announced the recipients of the first round of funding for Communities for Immunity.

Supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Communities for Immunity provides funding awards and support to museums and libraries engaging their communities to boost COVID-19 vaccine confidence. As trusted community partners, museums and libraries play a critical role in building vaccine confidence and fighting the pandemic.

“The public trusts in museums and libraries to provide context and facts that increase understanding and inform decisions,” said Laura Lott, President and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums. “Communities for Immunity was established to financially support these institutions leading us into a brighter future by helping communities with low levels of vaccine confidence make well-informed decisions about COVID-19 and vaccinations.”

“Congratulations to today’s award recipients and for their work to support COVID-19 response within their communities,” said American Library Association President Patty Wong. “Never before has access to information played such a vital role in the lives of library patrons. More than ever, accurate information regarding vaccines and other health information empowers communities to make informed choices. We hope that today’s funding will assist with efforts to save lives by stopping the spread of coronavirus through education and encouraging those most hesitant to receive the vaccine to look to their libraries for trusted information.”

Awards range from $1,500-$10,000 and programs have a broad range of scope. Examples of proposed programs include:

The Peale Museum in Baltimore, Maryland plans to expand existing storytelling programming by leveraging local and national experts on vaccine uptake to create a cohort of local youth to serve as "Ambassadors" who can engage their vaccine-hesitant peers on vaccine confidence and uptake.

The Galesburg (Illinois) Public Library will host Q+A sessions with health professionals, allowing attendees to elect to receive the vaccine at the end of the sessions, and create and staff a vaccine information booth where visitors can seek help to sign up to get a vaccine appointment.

The Virginia Nottoway Indian Circle and Square Foundation (Capron, Virginia) is presenting an informational session on COVID-19 vaccines during their annual pow-wow, held virtually this year due to the pandemic, and support a mobile vaccination van for local community members with raffle prizes for those who get vaccinated.

Awards will be provided to the following fifty-one museums, libraries, and tribal organizations serving urban, suburban, and rural populations across twenty-four states:

  • Meicey Memorial Library, Fairbanks, AK
  • Central Arkansas Library System, Little Rock, AR
  • Campo Band of Mission Indians, Campo, CA
  • Glendale Library, Arts & Culture, Glendale, CA
  • Japanese Friendship Garden Society of San Diego, San Diego, CA
  • Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Jacksonville, FL
  • Orlando Science Center, Orlando, FL 
  • Pensacola MESS Hall, Pensacola, FL
  • Galesburg Public Library, Galesburg, IL
  • Mexican Cultural Center DuPage, West Chicago, IL
  • Rochester Public Library District, Rochester, IL
  • Joseph Moore Museum, Richmond, IN
  • Pike County Public Library, Petersburg, IN
  • Pulaski County Public Library, Winamac, IN
  • The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
  • Exploration Place, Wichita, KS
  • Kentucky Museum, Bowling Green, KY
  • Muhammad Ali Center, Louisville, KY
  • Hull Lifesaving Museum, Inc., Hull, MA
  • Springfield Cultural Partnership, Springfield, MA
  • Maryland Science Center, Baltimore, MD
  • The Peale Museum, Baltimore, MD
  • Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Grand Rapids Children's Museum, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Bell Museum, St. Paul, MN
  • Discovery Center of Springfield, Springfield, MO
  • Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, MO 
  • Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, Gulfport, MS
  • North Dakota's Gateway to Science, Bismarck, ND
  • Alfred Box of Books Library, Alfred, NY
  • Children's Museum of the East End, Bridgehampton, NY
  • Irish American Heritage Museum, Albany, NY
  • Long Island Children's Museum, Garden City, NY
  • Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Lehigh University Art Galleries, Bethlehem, PA
  • The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA 
  • C. Williams Rush Museum of African-American Arts & Culture, Kingstree, SC
  • Ihanktonwan Community College, Marty, SD
  • National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, TN
  • Calaboose African American History Museum, San Marcos, TX
  • Dallas Public Library, Dallas, TX
  • The Health Museum, Houston, TX
  • Witte Museum, San Antonio, TX
  • Nottoway County Public Library System, Crewe, VA
  • Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond, VA
  • Virginia Air & Space Science Center, Hampton, VA
  • Virginia Nottoway Indian Circle and Square Foundation, Capron, VA
  • Imagine Children's Museum, Everett, WA
  • Makah Cultural and Research Center, Neah Bay, WA
  • Spokane County Library District, Spokane Valley, WA
  • Neville Public Museum Foundation, Green Bay, WI

 “We are thrilled by the response to Round One of Communities of Immunity, and we’re excited to support the work of more than 50 institutions across the country as they work to increase vaccine confidence in locally relevant, evidence-based ways,” said Christofer Nelson, President and CEO of the Association of Science and Technology Centers. “This is a critical moment in the fight against the pandemic, and we are excited that so many communities will be hearing from their trusted museums and libraries about the safety, effectiveness, and importance of getting vaccinated.” Applications for the second round of funding from Communities for Immunity will open October 4, 2021, and awards will range from $1,500-$100,000.

Communities for Immunity is an initiative of the Association of Science and Technology CentersInstitute of Museum and Library ServicesAmerican Alliance of Museums, and the Network of the National Library of Medicine, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in collaboration with the American Library Association, the Association of African American Museums, the Association of Children’s Museums, the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, and the Urban Libraries Council.

Communities for Immunity builds on a number of earlier and ongoing efforts to activate engagement in vaccine confidence work, including REopening Archives, Libraries and Museums (REALM), a research partnership between OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle; Vaccines & US, led by the Smithsonian and in collaboration with a range of partner organizations and individuals; Vaccinate with Confidence from the CDC; We Can Do This from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and the It’s Up to You campaign led by the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative.

Learn more about Communities for Immunity.

About the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)

Founded in 1973, ASTC is a network of nearly 700 science and technology centers and museums, and allied organizations, engaging more than 110 million people annually across North America and in almost 50 countries. With its members and partners, ASTC works towards a vision of increased understanding of—and engagement with—science and technology among all people. For more information, visit

About the American Alliance of Museums (AAM)

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. IMLS advances, supports, and empowers America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. IMLS’s vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world. For more information about CDC, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (

About the American Library Association (ALA)

ALA is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, communicating the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit American Library Association .

About the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM)

The mission of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public’s health by providing U.S. researchers, health professionals, public health workforce, educators, and the public with equal access to biomedical and health information resources and data. NNLM’s main goals are to work through libraries and other members to support a highly trained workforce for biomedical and health information resources and data, improve health literacy, and advance health equity through information. NNLM engages meaningfully with current and future audiences to increase information access, with priority for Underrepresented Populations. NNLM members are the “field force” or trusted ambassadors for NLM products and services, providing information services, engagement, and instruction, or funding for projects to do the same, to the public, researchers, health professionals, and public health workforce.