Vax to the Future: Using Arts to Help Vaccinate the King County Community

What’s art got to do with vaccinations? Why should we care about people’s experiences with getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

Since the first COVID-19 vaccines were delivered in December 2020, we’ve learned a lot about what moves people to get vaccinated. Evidence has shown that a prosocial approach, people sharing positive, personal experiences, is an effective way to encourage others to get vaccinated.

To that effort, Public Health—Seattle & King County is partnering with 4Culture to launch a new pilot program at vaccination sites: Vax to the Future.

Vax to the Future brings art to COVID-19 vaccination sites throughout the county to further enhance the experience of getting vaccinated. At these events, the focus will be on performance arts, like music, and also includes giveaways of buttons created by artists in King County.

Patients who visit Public Health’s vaccination sites already report that it’s an easy and pleasant experience. Vax to the Future will add a community vibe to encourage people to share their vaccination experience with their social networks, a key strategy for motivating others to get vaccinated.

With more people accompanying their loved ones to get vaccinated—including families, after the recent emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for people 12 to 15 years of ageVax to the Future also provides an enjoyable experience while they wait for people to get vaccinated.

We begin with steel drums

This program will launch with two events at Public Health’s vaccination sites at Kent’s ShoWare Center and Auburn Outlet Collection Mall. The events will include live music performances, “I got vaccinated” buttons designed by local artists Blanca Santander and Kelly Froh, and a photobooth for people to take selfies. Future events will feature art from more artists in King County.

The program will be designed to not interfere with the process of getting vaccinated and will follow all site protocols to make the experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.

The first event starts this Saturday, May 15, at Kent’s ShoWare Center, from 11 am to 3 pm, featuring The Seattle Women’s Steel Pan Project, a multi-generational, multi-ethnic women’s Caribbean steel drum band.

Our first event is at Kent ShoWare on Saturday, May 15, from 11 am to 3 pm. We will feature The Seattle Women’s Steel Pan Project.

Join us!

  • Waiting for your vaccine? You can get a vaccine without an appointment or you can register online at:
  • Have you already been vaccinated? We welcome you to bring someone to get vaccinated and enjoy the music while you wait.
  • Have younger family members who need to get vaccinated? Kent’s ShoWare site will be able to vaccinate people 12-15 years of age, using the Pfizer vaccine.
  • Need a ride to the site? Call 425-943-6706.

For more information about getting vaccinated in King County, visit    

Originally published May 14, 2021.