Kentucky Museum and Kentucky Folklife Program receive Communities for Immunity grant
- Tiffany Isselhardt
- Friday, September 17th, 2021
The Kentucky Museum and Kentucky Folklife Program have received a Communities for Immunity grant from the Association of Science and Technology Centers in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Centers for Disease Control. The grant will support a Zoom talk and Smithsonian Institution poster exhibition, Outbreak, that focus on discussing infectious diseases, folklore, and the role and responsibility of individuals in stopping the spread of diseases such as COVID-19.
WKU Alum to Present "Communicating about COVID" Zoom program
First, on September 30th, 2021, at 4 p.m. Central, the WKU campus and community is invited to attend a special guest talk by Dr. Andrea Kitta, a WKU alum and folklorist studying the role of folklore in the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Kitta's talk, “Communicating about COVID: understanding how folklore affects medical decision making and what to do about it” features her latest research into the role of folk belief in vaccine hesitancy and how to talk with friends and family who remain hesitant about the COVID-19 vaccine.
In this one-hour Zoom program, WKU alum and folklorist Dr. Andrea Kitta will discuss the difference between disinformation and misinformation, how rumor, legend, and conspiracy theories affect our medical decision making, and how to talk to people about all of these considering the COVID-19 pandemic.
Registration is open and can be completed online here.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Outbreak exhibition to debut at Kentucky Museum
In early October, the Kentucky Museum will install the Smithsonian Institution poster exhibition, Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World. The exhibition details the work of epidemiologists, veterinarians, public health workers, and citizens as they rush to identify and respond to infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola virus, influenza, Zika virus, and COVID-19. Utilizing panels from this traveling exhibition, visitors will learn about connections between modern life and disease spread, how pathogens infect people and become pandemics, community and personal behaviors that stop the spread of pathogens, and the role of vaccination.
An additional set of posters will also be made available for hosting at community venues throughout Kentucky, through the Kentucky Folklife Program.
About our Guest Speaker
Dr. Andrea Kitta is a folklorist and professor at East Carolina University, with a specialty in medicine, belief, and the supernatural. She is also interested in Internet folklore, narrative, and contemporary (urban) legend. Her first book, Vaccinations and Public Concern in History: Legend, Rumor, and Risk Perception, won the Brian McConnell Book Award in 2012. Her most recent book, The Kiss of Death: Contagion, Contamination, and Folklore won the Chicago Folklore Prize and Brian McConnell Book Award in 2020. Dr. Kitta received a Teacher/Scholar award from East Carolina University (2015-16) and the Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award (2018-2019). She is a graduate of WKU's Master of Arts program in Folk Studies and received her PhD at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
About the Kentucky Museum
Founded in 1939, the Kentucky Museum is a teaching institution with premier cultural collections that complement, support and challenge the academic experiences of WKU students, faculty and staff. It also provides a gathering place for our campus and community to come to know and celebrate who they are as individuals and as Kentuckians in the 21st century. The Museum serves Kentuckians and visitors from around the world through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications and collections research. As a history and cultural museum concerned with meanings, narratives and associations, its collections offer multiple opportunities to explore and interpret history and culture as well as discover how Kentuckians have shaped and been shaped by local, state, regional, national and global influences over the last two-and-a-half centuries.
About Communities for Immunity
Communities for Immunity is an initiative supporting the work of museums and libraries in engaging their communities in COVID-19 vaccine confidence. The United States is at a critical moment—experiencing both a surge in COVID-19 cases related to dangerous new coronavirus variants and an urgent need to dramatically increase vaccination rates. As trusted community partners and critical education providers, museums and libraries can play a critical role in building vaccine confidence and fighting the pandemic. Communities for Immunity is an initiative of the Association of Science and Technology Centers, Institute of Museum and Library Services, American 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.
This project was funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).