Raising Cancer Awareness Through Art
The 2021 girlpARTs project is a unique community education and awareness program focusing on the genetic relationships between breast, ovarian and other cancers. This project pairs local business leaders and community artists to create three-dimensional works of art (torso sculptures) that are strategically placed in public locations with important, life-saving information.
We recognized our participating artists and community leaders at an Artist Reception on Friday, September 10th, 2021. New artists and community leader partners for 2021 are: Carolyn Krueger and Marie Ziegler, Lisa Mahar and Carmen Darland, Marla Andich and Brian Hollenback, Corrine Smith and Paula Sands, Atlanta Fulscher and Decker Ploehn, Gaye Shannon-Burnett and Roma Taylor. They join our 2019 participants Ellie DeMay and Elizabeth Round, Diana Kreider and Michele Dane, Kimberly Kruse and Melissa Sharer, Molly McGuire and Sherry Ristau, Kristin Nguyen and Gwen Tombergs, Rowen Schussheim-Anderson and Angie Normoyle, Susan Wahlmann and Mike Thoms & Amber Williams and Gerry Bustos, whose sculptures will also be on display this year.
Thes torso sculptures were featured at Riverssance Festival of Fine Arts on September 18 & 19 and will placed in various locations throughout the Quad Cities from early October through mid-December. Each work of art will be displayed with critical health information, presented in an easily accessible and engaging way. The girlpARTs project connects our artistic and healthcare communities with information that will create positive health outcomes, especially in underrepresented and vulnerable populations. Take away materials are provided where appropriate. September and October are ovarian and breast cancer awareness months respectively, when heightened conversations around these sister cancers exist.
All people born with ovaries are at risk for this disease and many populations, especially breast cancer survivors (12% of women), may be at higher risk but unaware of their increased risk. The genetic connection between these two cancers is an emerging field, but not well known at the local level. The goal is to educate and engage 50,000 people in our community so they can seek additional information, if necessary. Assessing personal risks and knowing the symptoms are crucial for earlier diagnoses and improved outcomes.
The sculptures are offered for sale, with proceeds supporting future girlpARTs projects and supplementing funding gaps in our community outreach and supportive care services for ovarian cancer survivors. This project is made possible with funds from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Quad City Arts’ Arts Dollar grant, UnityPoint Health and Royal Neighbors of America. Our media sponsors are KWQC-TV6 and B100.
If you or your organization would like to participate, please reach out to us.