Art From Your Heart

Show Us How COVID-19 Affects Communities of Color

Photos from left to right by Alina Rosanova, kataylorg, damircudic and Alex Liew / Getty Images

Photos from left to right by Alina Rosanova, kataylorg, damircudic and Alex Liew / Getty Images

With school and events often canceled because of COVID-19, it became harder for people to connect in meaningful ways. But some communities found ways to come together instead of growing apart—and this project collected their stories.

Art From Your Heart called on high school artists and photographers from across America to tell stories from communities of color for a nationwide art project. The goal was to share with other communities their experiences with COVID-19 and how that has influenced a sense of inclusion and belonging. In other words, how you have made a difference! The competition was open to students in Grades 9–12 in selected communities.

Entry Categories

Art From Your Heart sought submissions in two categories—belonging and inclusion. Belonging means feeling like you are a part of something. That you matter. Inclusion is taking steps to make others feel like they belong. Feeling like you matter and belong can make you stronger, braver, and more likely to help others. Taking steps in your community to include others can make your whole community stronger and more just.

A Sample of Artwork Entries


These artworks show us how COVID-19 has made young people feel more or less like they belong in the community, whether COVID-19 provided new opportunities to be part of the community, made them feel more or less respected and accepted, and why.


These artworks aim to show how COVID-19 has changed the way people of different races in the community come together, what relationships in the community looked like before COVID, and how they have changed.

Selection Process

A panel of reviewers, drawn from the participating communities and project partners (RAND; University of California, Berkeley’s Othering & Belonging Institute) evaluated entries for creativity and responsiveness to the prompt.

The competition was open to students from Albuquerque, New Mexico; Anchorage, Alaska; Birmingham, Alabama; Detroit, Michigan; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Rochester, New York; and San Bernardino, California. These sites were selected with consideration of other components of a larger project. Winners and other selected submissions are displayed in the gallery.

About the Contest

This nationwide art exhibit is sponsored by the Wal-Mart Foundation [PDF], which is working to help people live better every day, and conducted by RAND, a nonprofit research and policy organization based in Santa Monica, CA with U.S. offices in the Washington D.C. region, Pittsburgh, and Boston, and University of California, Berkeley’s Othering & Belonging Institute. Read the Institute's report on phases 1 and 2 of this project.

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