Shands Arts in Medicine program competing for grant


Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 3:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 3:39 p.m.

The Arts in Medicine program at Shands at the University of Florida is in the running for one of 72 grants totalling $1.2 million given by the LIVESTRONG Foundation, which would enable the artists-in-residence to conduct weekly writing and art workshops with cancer patients and survivors.

The workshops would add to Shands' “mobile inspiration station,” in which artist-in-residence Dylan Klempner, a writer and visual artist, does bedside writing and art exercises for cancer patients in all stages of their disease. This is part of the Shands Arts in Medicine program, which facilitates workshops, activities and performances for all patients.

Jill Sonke, director of the Shands Arts in Medicine program, said Shands would use the LIVESTRONG grant for workshops focused on artistic expression and empowerment, also incorporating an initiative called “Seize the Days,” an online archive of cancer survivor narratives started by an oncologist, Dr. Evan Lipson, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Sonke said the focus of the new workshops would be outpatients from the community -- and not just Shands' own patients.

As of Wednesday, Shands was in third place in the regional competition for the grant. Anyone can cast a vote at: http://www.vote.livestrong.org.

Votes must be cast by 6 p.m. Thursday. Winners will be announced April 15.

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