HEADS UP ALABAMA! PSYCHOLOGY PROMOTES HEALTHY LIVING
Website for the project: www.headsupalabama.org.
The Alabama Psychological Association Foundation worked on this worthwhile educational campaign for over a year. The Heads were produced in Nebraska and returned to Alabama early in May of 2010. There was a call to artists, and the Heads were decorated and returned in July, 2010.
The Kickoff Event was at the Birmingham Public Library, downtown location on July 22, 2010. Afterwards, the Heads moved to Aldridge Botanical Gardens in Hoover. The heads were in Huntsville, travelled to Gadsden in October, and Mobile in November. Tuscaloosa VAMC hosted the project in January, 2011. The final venue, scheduled through May 31, 2011, for the project, was UAB's Lister Hill Library, Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences, third floor. This part of the project is co-sponsored by the UAB School of Public Health. Thanks to all who have participated and hosted our project!
By pairing health education with totally cool art, the project's goals were:
- Reach a broad segment of the population with potentially life-saving information
- Garner significant media attention to generate discussion within the community about psychological components of health
- Enrich the community through the addition of professional art to the daily lives of Alabama's citizens
Heads Up Alabama! is an innovative public education project that uses public art to engage the community in exploration of psychological components of health. Heads Up! addresses various goals, including:
1. Promote Psychology
2. Educate the public about psychology and health
3. Raise the profile of the Alabama Psychological Association
4. Energize aPA members and attract new members
5. Develop new funding sources for public education
6. Create connections with community leaders
Why would a small association with limited resources decide to undertake a major campaign such as Heads Up Alabama? Several years ago, while attending the APA Practice Organization State Leadership Conference, some aPA Executive Committee members learned about an exciting project, Heads Up Kentucky!, which was developed and executed by the Kentucky Psychological Association. Alabama members were so impressed with this campaign that they began thinking about using the idea to increase revenue and improve services. This project is much larger than any public education campaign undertaken previously by the Alabama Psychological Association. It will require support and participation by many aPA members. Heads Up Alabama! will also help to produce funding that can be used for future public education projects.
The Concept. KPA Executive Director, Nancy Gordon Moore, Ph.D., founded the idea to pair public art with public education and promotion of psychology. The concept had percolated in her head for a few years, following a discussion about the Chicago Cows public art project. Approximately 40 fiberglass heads were individually decorated by various artists and displayed in museums and other public places for several months, before being sold at auction. Brochures and posters about emotional and physical wellness were displayed with the heads. Corporate sponsors, KPA member donations, grants, and small marketing materials funded Heads Up Kentucky. Some of the funds raised were used to benefit four non-profit mental health organizations. The uniqueness, popularity, and attraction of the decorated heads can better be understood by seeing pictures on the KPA Heads Up website: www.headsupkentucky.org.