Although there has been improvement in COVID-19 outcomes, racial disparities still persist as it relates to COVID-19 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023a). Compared to their white counterparts, African Americans are still twice as likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 and die of COVID-19 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023a). According to health experts, testing is one of the best ways to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023b).

To reduce COVID-19 disparities and prevent the possibilities of another pandemic, the CREATE (Collaborative Research to facilitate Equity, Action, Trust, and Engagement) Team is sponsoring an open call. Through this open call we hope to identify effective health communication strategies that can be used to reduce COVID-19 disparities and other health outcomes.

Open Call

The CREATE Team seeks innovative and creative visuals/artwork to support pandemic prevention messaging. Specifically, we want visuals to match the following slogans/statements:

  1. "Safeguarding Our Community: Test for Health, Test for Equity!"
  2. Because we need Better
    • Because Exposure to Covid Affects Us Significantly unEqually we need better By Embracing Testing To get Early Results

  3. To know if you need to quarantine, due to COVID-19, it takes a test.
    A Q-tip in the nare. Test. Especially if your skin is brown when bare.
    Brown skin felt the sting of COVID the most, so get tested to be safe.
    You are not a host.
  4. You can create and submit a visual/artwork that reflects a message of your choosing. The message should focus on increasing COVID-19 testing in Black/African American communities or reducing pandemic threats.


Anyone 18 years of age or older can submit visuals and artwork to the CREATE Open call. Entries can be submitted by teams or individuals. Team submissions must provide a team name.

Submission Criteria

We welcome a wide range of visual art mediums, including:

  • Video
  • Illustrations/drawing
  • Graphic design
  • Paintings
  • Photographs
  • Mixed media

Submission Format

All submissions should be in digital format (JPEG or PNG) and have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. Video submissions must be 90 seconds max.

Please submit a short description, either written, in a short video, or an audio recording explaining your visuals/artwork. In your description, please cover the following aspects:

  • Who is this message for?
  • What is the setting for your submission?
  • Who should deliver the message? (i.e. community members, celebrities, local officials, etc.)
  • Be descriptive, tell us age range, characteristics, gender identity, facial expressions, tone of voice.
  • What music should be included?
  • What inspired this artistic expression?
  • How is this message impactful?

How to Submit

Submit your visuals/artwork to the open call online using our online submission form. You can also email your submission to the CREATE Team at or you may mail in your submission to 525 Vine St, Suite 410, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.

Note: You can submit more than one visual/artwork to the open call. Feel free to submit more than once but remember quality over quantity.

Submission Deadline

October 15, 2023


Open call entries will be evaluated by various community members across North Carolina. Only submissions abiding by the eligibility and submission criteria will be accepted for evaluation. All submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria.

  • Clarity: The visuals/artwork is clearly aligned with the statements and slogans presented in the call for entries.
  • Relevance: The visuals/artwork is relevant to the purpose of the open call.
  • Creativity:The proposed visuals/artwork is innovative and original or provides a different perspective to an existing concept.
  • Impact: The proposed artwork/visuals show great promise in encouraging pandemic prevention behavior and has a sustainable and lasting impact on the community.


Open Call finalists could win up to $2,500 in cash prizes.

Frequently Asked Questions and Resources