In late 2011, I began my own cancer battle. Once I was strong enough to do so, I left town for a change of scenery. As I sat alone in my friend’s lake house, I thought about how I could give back to the tremendous community that supports survivors throughout their journey. I felt compelled to give back to the cancer organizations that helped me. And I understood that whatever life-altering disease, ailment or challenge one faced, it demanded courage.
One of my majors in college was art. For over 20 years, I’ve held strategic creative positions in marketing and advertising. I battled cancer. It was a no-brainer: these three factors of my life would help create The Arts of Courage Project, ACP. My desire to give back would now begin.
The Arts of Courage Project’s mission is to create an empowering opportunity for cancer survivors to express themselves artistically. We believe: art creates dialogue, dialogue instigates ideas, ideas produce knowledge, knowledge is power, and power breeds courage. The courage that it takes to continue living, adapting and fighting through a life-changing and life-threatening moment, and the physical and emotional challenges and acceptance that piggyback such experiences. Possessing and openly sharing one’s courage and strength through artistic exploration is a crucial and therapeutic release. It deserves to be recognized, honored and celebrated.
Our first event entailed an evening art auction and celebration, where we showcased and auctioned art themed in courage. The artists consisted of others whom were forced to find courage above and beyond daily life. Their work was accompanied by an autobiography that contextualized their piece. I ended up raising nearly three times my goal that evening, donating all proceeds to LIVESTRONG.
Since this first event, we have added two additional channels to help extend our reach - Yoga and our Cards of Courage.
Today, five and half cancer-free years later, I am focusing our attention on metastatic breast cancer, where continued research and awareness is greatly needed. We are currently in talks to donate to Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, DSLRF. Additional information on metastatic breast cancer awareness, support, and research, also may be found at Metavivor.org.
I am grateful you found us and welcome you. Thank you!