The New Haven Symphony Orchestra has recognized the Yale School of Public Health with its Excellence in Innovation award for helping arts venues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The honor is one of several given each year as part of the NHSO’s second-annual Quartet Awards, which also recognize local community leaders for their artistic excellence, educational excellence or historic impact. YSPH received the award, NHSO said, because of “clear leadership and a commitment to innovation in core areas of teaching, service, continuous learning, as well as scholarly research.”
“In light of the global health crisis thrust upon the world in early 2020, the Yale School of Public Health has served as a steady and sound source of counsel for individuals as well as organizations. Wasting no time, the school worked collaboratively to provide timely information to society in general while also being a leader and compassionate neighbor to our local community,” the citation reads. “Together, we honor and celebrate the school, faculty and staff for dedicated service to the field of public health in general, as well as the specific dedication to local wellness and youth education.”
Eric Dillner, CEO of the Shoreline Arts Alliance, said that the pandemic has been a particularly challenging time for the arts community (closing most of them down) and the Yale School of Public Health has emerged as a valuable partner in planning for safe reopenings.
Shoreline Arts Alliance and the school created an ongoing webinar series (with number 11 slated to be released shortly) that has attracted more than 11,000 viewers (from as far at Qatar) to address a wide range of topics, including making indoor air systems safer as well as improvements to air filtration. The school also helped in other areas, including consumer confidence (making sure that patrons of the arts will return), as well as making employees, artists and teaching artists comfortable with resuming work.
There have also been a series of on-site visits (including the Mark Twain House in Hartford and the Connecticut Arboretum in New London) to go more in depth with art centers and review their protocols and discuss safety concerns.
“The Yale School of Public Health has opened the door to the arts. It’s been extraordinarily important for the morale and the future,” Dillner said. “Together, we can and will reopen the arts through science-based safety.”
The YSPH team that worked with the Shoreline Arts Alliance included Associate Research Scientist Marie Brault, Ph.D., Dean Sten Vermund, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor Krystal Pollitt, Ph.D., Dan-Dan Li, M.D.-Ph.D. student, and Elizabeth Lin, Ph.D. student.
Vermund accepted the award recently at the NHSO’s yearly gala celebration.
“YSPH is most honored to receive this New Haven Symphony Orchestra Quartet award for Innovation. Our faculty and doctoral-student team has done a raft of site visits and webinars to help arts organizations cope with COVID-19 stresses,” he said. “The goal is to keep the arts alive by keeping performers, students and patrons safe. Connecticut and New Haven are our homes, and our public health mission to further wellness starts here.”