AU Press Releases

Art Force 5 group has a shot at the title if YOU vote

With the help of your vote, Alfred University’s Art Force 5 program hopes to expand as part of USA Today’s “A Community Thrives” competition. The contest seeks to fund nine initiatives in three categories: education, wellness, and arts & culture. The Art Force 5 program has been entered in the arts & culture category.

"Art Force 5 touts the power of 'creativity over conflict as they use artistic means to address issues of violence, poverty, and inequity," notes Alfred University President Mark Zupan. "The program serves dozens of Alfred University students by providing transformational experiences and applied learning through service-minded internships.

"If everyone ... could take five minutes to vote for our Art Force 5 program, we can help propel them into the next round of this USA TODAY nationwide competition," Zupan wrote in an email to the Alfred University community.

Voting began April 12 and runs until May 12 with top-voted ideas moving forward to a judges panel. The Art Force 5 submission can be viewed at The public can vote once per day until May 12.

 Alfred’s superhero-themed team recently submitted a three-minute video highlighting ways in which they have previously served communities through their interactive art projects and non-violence workshops. The team would use this grant to establish both a 2018 NYC residency and a travel team available to aide communities in distress. The submission may also be viewed at

The students are no strangers to on-line competitions and media attention, as their program won the 2016 “Unite Rochester” competition sponsored by the Democrat & Chronicle Newspaper (part of the Gannett media family which also includes USA Today). In January 2017, AU student and Art Force member Mawia Elawad was featured in USA Today’s “I AM AN AMERICAN” series.

Inquiries regarding their services may be directed to AU’s director of student activities Dan Napolitano at D2D