November 8, 2021

Applications for the 2021 Pabst Steinmetz Foundation Arts and Wellness Innovation Awards are now being accepted. The two $25,000 awards, which seek to build sustainable models for arts and wellness innovation across the Central Florida community and UCF campus, are given annually to projects that are focused on interdisciplinary collaboration in the area of arts and wellness. Applications for 2021 are open through December 3.

This year’s theme is strength, resolve and resilience. Although 2020 was a year rife with challenges — a global pandemic, divisive political rhetoric, questions of social and racial equity — it was also a year that demonstrated the strength and resolve of individuals to persist. As such, proposals should focus on helping organizations and individuals identify their strengths and maximize resiliency. The healing powers of the arts are well-documented, and there has been no better time to harness these powers for the good of our community.

In order to qualify, research teams must consist of at least one person from the UCF College of Arts and Humanities, at least one person from another unit at the university and an external community organization. Priority is given to projects that are interdisciplinary, sustainable and include a quantitative or qualitative framework for evaluation.

“Most societal issues can’t be resolved with a single idea. In order to accomplish this, we need collaboration between disciplines, and between scholars and community,” says Margery Pabst Steinmetz, co-founder of the foundation and a member of the College of Arts and Humanities Dean’s Advisory Council. “When we work together, it’s a secret sauce for success.”

Last year’s winners of the Pabst Steinmetz Foundation Arts and Wellness Innovation Awards exemplified the intersection of the arts and public health. Advocating for Aphasia: Using the Performing Arts to Create a Conscious Community empowered people with aphasia — a condition characterized by a reduced ability to speak, understand, read and write — to develop self-advocacy through sharing their stories. Fables versus Urban Legends: Storytelling about Vaccines at the Intersection of Ethnography and Epidemiology involved the creation of multilingual, animated fables to educate new parents about the importance of timely infant vaccinations.

Preview the application and see news about past award winners here.