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Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Walking Gallery Year 6

This is the sixth year of the Walking Gallery of Healthcare.  We now number over 300 members walking around the world with patient story paintings on our backs.  We are attending medical conferences where often there isn’t a patient speaker on the dais or in the audience. We are providing a patient voice, and by doing so, are changing the conversation.

An artist or artists interviews medical professionals and lay individuals to form a patient centric narrative. The artist then creates representational imagery and paint that picture story upon the business jacket of the provider of the narrative account. The provider of the patient story aka “Walker” wears the jacket to medical conferences and events in order to disseminate the patient story to a large group of policy minded attendees and to represent the individual patient voice in venues where they are underrepresented. Further, both artist and walker will support the spread of the story and image via social media.


As of July 2016, 396 unique Walkers have joined the Gallery wearing 434 jackets.  The Gallery has representatives on five continents, but the majority of Walkers reside in the US. One artist creates the majority of the art, but new artists are frequently joining the movement.  The Gallery is promoted heavily on twitter, facebook and personal blogs.   Its widening appeal within the health conference community is creating a new space for patients at such events.

The names of the Artists of The Walking Gallery followed by the quantity of jackets they have painted:  
1. Regina Holliday, 376 jackets
2. Isaac Holliday, 1 jacket
3. Becca Price, 1 jacket
4. Miriam Cutelis, 1 jacket
5. Ess Lipczenko, 1 jacket
6. Ben Merrion, 1 jacket
7. Courtney Mazza, 8 jackets
8. Michele Banks, 1 jacket
9. Megan Mitchell,1 jacket
10. Robert J. Filley, 3 jackets
11. Anita Samarth, 1 jacket
12. Mary Welch Higgins, 2 jackets
13. Richard Sachs, 2 jackets
14. Jonah Daniel,  1 jacket
15. Fred Trotter, 1 jacket
16. Leela, 1 jacket
17. Gayle Schrier Smith, 1 jacket
18. Moira Simms, 1 jacket
19. Joan Holliday, 1 jacket
20. Adalyn, 1 jacket
21. Chris Chan, 1 jacket
22. Amy O'Hanlon, 1 jacket
23. Vera Rulon, 1 jacket
24. Jessica Nicula, 2 jackets
25. Nikai, 1 jacket
26. Deonm, 1 jacket
27. Daquane, 1 jacket
28. Olivia Dias, 1 jacket
29. Donnell Bonaparte, 1 jacket
30. Hazel F., 1 jacket
31. Rachel Fields, 1 jacket
32. Zoe Carr, 1 jacket
33. Thomas Richardson, 1 jacket
34. Tamela Mack, 1 jacket
35. Julia Anderson, 1 jacket
36. DJ Hamilton, 1 jacket
37. Jenn Toby, 1 jacket
38. Camala Walling, 1 jacket
39. Jordan Lanham, 1 jacket
40. Josh Miller, 1 jacket
41.  Te'j Matthews, 1 jacket
42.  Tony Zieger, 1 jacket
43.   Shannon Shine, 2 jackets
44.   Melody Smith Jones. 2 jacket
45.  Kay Seurat, 1 jacket 

For more information about joining the movement or to see all 400 plus jackets, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

The Walking members who joined in Year Six:

434."Growth" a jacket for Corinna West 





433. "The Anointed Ones" a jacket for Benjamin Berlin





432. "Boston Heart Mom"  a jacket for Tami Rich





431. "At the End of my Rope" a jacket for Abby Bott



If you are interested in joining the Walking Gallery here is the info:

If you would like to help fund the movement: https://www.gofundme.com/h2dsdwe4 


Here is a short film about the movement: http://vimeo.com/80009527

to understand the origin of the idea.


to understand the sacred nature of this path

To view the jackets in year one 1-162
http://reginaholliday.blogspot.com/2011/06/welcome-to-walking-gallery.html

To view the jackets of year two 163-251
 http://reginaholliday.blogspot.com/2012/06/walking-gallery-walks-on-year-two.html

To view jackets of year three 252-328

To view jackets year four 329-393

To view jackets year five 394-430

Monday, May 2, 2016

Cinderblocks 3: Agenda

(This page is always improving with new information as I have it.  So please check back for updates!)


Cinderblocks 3: The Partnership with Patients Continues is an art and medical conference that will be held in Grantsville, MD at Penn Alps Resturant and Little Crossings by The Cornucopia Café May 19-21, 2016.   I founded this event with the help of several other epatients and I am happy to see it enter its third year. I am known in healthcare circles as the artist that founded the international patient right’s movement called The Walking Gallery.  I and 43 other artists paint patients stories on the backs of jackets that people wear to medical conferences.  I see Cinderblocks 3 a continuation of the message of The Walking Gallery and as venue that prizes the patient and provider in equal measure.  We will use our days at this conference to focus on improving health care everywhere.


Thank you to our Diamond Cinderblock Level Sponsor:

Pre-Conference Activity

May 18, 2016

Women’s Networking Dinner 6-7pm, Penn Alps
Western Maryland Women's Business Networking meets on the third Wednesday of every month at Penn Alps. Cost: $15.00 for a delicious dinner. This is a group of women who want to expand their networks and work together on projects.
PechaKucha Accident Visits Grantsville! 7-9pm, The Cornucopia Café
Pechakucha is a fun & concise presentation style. PechaKucha nights have 8-12 speakers who follow a 20 slides 20 seconds pattern. We will have 3 Cinderblocks attendees presenting!

Thank you to our Silver Cinderblock level sponsor:







Cinderblocks3: Conference Day 1
On Thursday, May 19 we will meet at 8:00 am at Penn Alps Restaurant and Meeting Center for breakfast in the Alpine Room.
8:15 Opening remarks are by Regina Holliday, conference planner and founder of the Walking Gallery of Healthcare.
8:20-8:40 Ingrid Chenoweth, ELCA Pastor and Rescue squad volunteer, Salisbury, PA, will share her perspective spiritual and physical care.
8:45-9:30 Matt Keener, MD, from BlackBird Health in Pittsburgh,PA,,  will present on his innovative work in pediatric, adolescent, and young adult behavioral health using a therapeutic recreation approach.  He will stress the need social support and a peer moderated approach. 
9:35-10:00 Shelly Argabrite, from the Garrett County Health Dept will talk about her work accessing the needs of patients in our geographic region.
10:05-10:30 Caronne Taylor Bloom, MA Edu., Advocate and Academic Coach at
 Children’s Integrated Center for Success, Allentown, PA, will talk about their amazing approach to whole child wellness in children diagnosed on the autism spectrum, ADHD and anxiety and mood disorders.
10:35-11:00 Heather Hanline, Executive Director of the Dove Center, will present on the correlation between health disparity and trauma/sexual violence.
11:05-11:30
Colin Hung, Co-Founder of Healthcare Leader Chat, Markham, Ontario, Canada, will inspire us with stories of the rapid changes in technology, culture, and policy in healthcare.
11:35-12:00 Geri Lynn Baumblatt will speak about partnering with people/patients to create tools and resources on shared decision making and decision aids.
Lunch is at noon.  
1:00-1:45 Kimberly Hayes, Certified Risk Manager and Certified Insurance Counselor at Affinity Insurance and Financial, Sapulpa, Oklahoma, presenting on Indian Healthcare, insurance and the patient experience.
1:45-2:00 Mary Camp and Casey Quinlan present a skit focusing on patients.
2:00-2:25, Mary Anne Sterling, President of Sterling Health IT will speak about the use of technology to aid transitions, especially focusing on elder care and Alzheimer’s.  
2:30-3:00 Robin Bissel, MD, a practicing physician in Grantsville, MD will talk about the challenges of the EMR and her work in preventative medicine.
3:05-4:00 Tiffany Blackden, a parent from Oakland, MD Holistic Family Healing-A Mom’s Story About Her Experience with her son’s Rare Disease

The daily educational conference session ends.  Feel free to explore the grounds, rest and grab a bite to eat before the evening program begins.

6:00pm to 8:00pm Dedication of Salt and Pepper Studios
On Thursday, May 19th at 6:00pm a dedication will be held for Salt and Pepper Studios: the new home for the Walking Gallery.  Conference attendees are invited to come to 189 Main Street in Grantsville and see the art center that Regina Holliday is creating.  Refreshments will be provided and the dedication is free and open to the public.  Marsha Goodman-Wood will play “Lean In” created by Regina Holliday, Ross Martin and Marsh Goodman-Wood.  Pastor Ingrid Chenoweth will lead the dedication.

Thank You to our Silver Cinderblock Level Sponsor:




Conference Day 2,
On Friday, May 20th another conference day begins!  At 8:00 am we meet at Penn Alps Restaurant and Meeting Center for breakfast and our general session.  
8:00am breakfast in the Alpine Room Opening remarks Regina Holliday
8:05-8:25 User Experience presentation by Mary Camp. 
8:25-8:55 Paul Edwards, County Commissioner for Garrett County will present on the state of the county and the history of Grantsville.
9:00-9:30 Brian Be, artist and advocate, Denver, Colorado, will talk about Poetry for personal power.
9:35-10:05 Marsha Goodman-Wood, singer, songwriter and neuroscientist, will present “Music as Medicine.”
10:00-12:00 in the Dunbar Room photographer Lisa-Anna Maust and Aaron Maust will photograph attendees.  Digital headshots will be emailed to attendees as a gift of the conference.  Stephanie Diane will be the stylist working with attendees during the photo shoot.
10:05-10:45 Mark Scrimshire and Carly Medosch from Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services in Baltimore will present a discussion on patient empowerment and Blue Button on FHIR.
10:50-11:20 Cancer Care Panel: Erika Brown, from Colontown, Casey Quinlan, author of Cancer for Christmas, Ben Merrion, MLK Library, Washington, DC.  
11:20-12:00 Mark Boucot, President and CEO of Garrett Regional Medical Center, an affiliate of WVU, will present on the hospital’s expansion in the last year and its continued embrace of value based care and the hospital’s plan to embrace cancer care in Western MD.  

12:00-1:00 Our luncheon presentation will be "The Patient Voice Institute” by Diane Stollenwerk via live stream from Baltimore, Maryland.
1:00-1:30 John Magnan, Sculpture and installation artist, will present on his cancer and clinical trials community art concept: A Hero’s Journey.
1:30-1:45 Sunnie Southern from Cincinnati, Ohio will talk about Synergy in healthcare.
1:45-2:00 June McClosky, Swanton, Maryland, will talk about “Samantha Funding the Arts.“
2:00-2:30 Robb Fulks, Reading, PA will be telling the Patient Story
2:30 to 3:00, Joleen Chambers, Dallas, Texas, founder of Failed Implant Device Alliance, will present on Failed Medical Devices and Patient Safety.


The Big Tent in field by the Cornucopia Cafe
3:00-4:00 Facilitated Art Project by the Lilly Clinical Innovation team

4:00-4:30 Lisa Skipper, Terri Weaver and Cheri Garliz with Mountain Laurel Medical Center
4:30-5:00 Sharing Data and The Learning Health System by Joshua Rubin Executive Program Officer for Research & Development of activities of the Learning Health System, Univ. of Michigan School of Information

5:00  is the close of the educational conference sessions.

The Walking Gallery Gathers 6:00-10:00pm 
At 6:00 pm we will gather at the Casselman River Bridge for a group shot of The Walking Gallery and the conference attendees.   We will then walk across the historic bridge to the Little Crossings field by Spruce Artisan Village.   


There we will have our evening event under the big tent; this portion of the conference event is open to the public and does not require tickets. 
6:15-6:45 The local band Mercy Reigns will play a few songs starting at
6:45-7:15 Marsha Goodman-Wood will play
7:15-7:40 Ross Martin, MD will sing several of his songs focused on healthcare. 
7:40 Jazzercise of Garrett County will perform and energizing number.
8:00 country and western singer, Wade Hayes will perform both old and new songs and he will explain his cancer journey. 
At 9:00 the final performers will be fire dancers Christopher Closson and physical therapy student and fire dancer Aaron Smith.

                                                             

Thank you to our Silver Cinderblock Level Sponsor: The Joseph H. Kanter Family Foundation
       


  
Conference Day 3
Saturday, May 21st at 7:00 am meet at Penn Alps Restaurant and Meeting Center for breakfast and our general session upstairs in the Livingood Room.  
7:00am-10:30am Dave DeBronkart , ePatient and advocate will be speaking in the morning and content will be live streamed to Switzerland.
10:30-11:00 Bev Spiker will present on her cancer experience.
11:05-12:00 The Power of Art in the Community:
Shannon Shine, Christopher Closson, Regina Holliday, Angie Sincell, Courtney Mazza
Boxed lunch is at 12:00
12:30-3:00 Open Meeting Format: In the afternoon, we will break into small groups to work on mentoring and individual coaching sessions.  There will also be artists displaying their work at an Art in the Park event at Casselman Bridge State Park. We highly encourage attendees to walk through the park and see all the art on display.  Little Crossings will also host juried artists and local food venders for an Artisan and Epicurean Faire.  Shuttle service will be available from town to the Penn Alps Campus.  




Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Cinderblocks 3 is coming!!!

Cinderblocks 3: The Partnership with Patients Continues is an art and medical conference that will be held in Grantsville, MD at Penn Alps Resturant and Little Crossings by The Cornucopia Café May 19-21, 2016.   I founded this event with the help of several other epatients and I am happy to see it enter its third year. I am known in healthcare circles as the artist that founded the international patient right’s movement called The Walking Gallery.  I and 43 other artists paint patients stories on the backs of jackets that people wear to medical conferences.  I see Cinderblocks 3 a continuation of the message of The Walking Gallery and as venue that prizes the patient and provider in equal measure.  We will use our days at this conference to focus on improving health care everywhere.

Presenters during the regular conference sessions include Dave deBronkart, an internationally renowned patient rights advocate and cancer survivor and Mary Camp, a patient experience strategist at Memotext, presenting on the user experience in healthcare and Ontario's Colin Hung co-founder of Healthcare leader chat will present also.  Local speakers include Garrett Regional Medical Center, President and CEO, Mark Boucot as well as Garrett County Commissioner Paul Edwards. I will post a full conference agenda soon.

Conference tickets are available online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cinderblocks3-the-partnership-with-patients-continues-tickets-19821171658 for any individual wanting to attend the event.  There are a variety of ticket levels for all who want to take part.  The conference sessions will run from 8:00 am to 3:00pm each day. 


On Thursday, May 19th at 6:00pm a dedication will be held for Salt and Pepper Studios: the new home for the Walking Gallery.  Conference attendees are invited to come to 189 Main Street in Grantsville and see the art center that I am creating.  Refreshments will be provided and the dedication is free and open to the public.  



On Friday, May 20th the conference will host a free concert at Little Crossings field behind the Cassleman Bridge. The Walking Gallery will gather at 6:00 at the Casselman Bridge.  Several local acts will perform starting at 6:30 pm.  At 8:00 pm country and western singer, Wade Hayes will perform both old and new songs and he will explain his cancer journey.  The final performer will be fire dancer and physical therapy student Aaron Smith.





Saturday, May 21st, is the last day of Cinderblocks3 and on this day the content will be live-streamed to Switzerland.   There will also be artists displaying their work at an Art in the Park event at Casselman Bridge State Park. We highly encourage attendees to walk through the park and see all the art on display.  Little Crossings will also host juried artists and local food venders for an Artisan and Epicurean Faire.  Shuttle service will be available from town to the Penn Alps Campus Friday night and Saturday during the day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

HIMSS 2016 hosted by Xerox HealthCare

In the spring of 2009, I was helping students at four different schools in Washington, DC complete class projects for their respective school auctions.  One of the most popular class creations was a Warhol inspired painting.  For this project I would copy pictures of the children onto rice paper using a Xerox copier.  They would then paint self-portraits using bright and whimsical colors.  I could not print the photos with an ink jet printer because the colors would run.  I could not print the photos with a laser printer, as the laser image would not take paint.   I would copy face after face and dry toner was my friend.



In the spring of 2009, husband Fred was hospitalized with stage four cancer.  I still had to finish the class creations while I cared for a very sick husband.  The night I finished the last Warhol project, I cried and cried above so many copied faces.  I had been researching my husband’s condition; I knew there was a great chance he would die soon.  Late into the night I worked on that project, my tears mixed with the gel medium as I adhered each little face.  The colors did not run, as my mind raced and dry toner was my friend.

A few weeks ago Jim Mignano reached out to me, he works with Xerox Healthcare.  He was very impressed with The Walking Gallery and my focus on the patient perspective in healthcare.  He asked if I would be willing to come to Las Vegas for HIMSS 2016 and be their guest.  Would I be willing to paint in the Xerox booth?    

I said yes.

Soon after Tamara StClaire, Chief Innovation Officer at Xerox Healthcare, reached out to me about joining The Walking Gallery.  She is passionate in her belief that we are on the cusp of great change in medicine.  At the intersection of Genomics, HIT and mobile devices a swirl of creation is advancing.  Tamara is determined that technology advance in a way that is patient centric.

So, I titled her jacket painting “Determination.”


Soon Jim and the Xerox Healthcare team were asking if they could host a gathering of The Walking Gallery at HIMSS. On Tuesday March 1, 2016, I painted all day in the booth and created the painting “Behind the Scenes at Xerox Health.”  When the day began the entire team had a planning huddle.  They invited me to explain my work and explain why I would be painting among them throughout the day.  During the huddle, I was informed that all the lanyards we wore were color-coded based on the individual’s product knowledge and expertise.  This was a great system, as I would often need to guide booth guests to the correct person.  I liked the idea so much I used those colors into the painting.  The title of the painting and the visual theme was inspired by a phrase I often heard from passersby, “Hmm, Xerox.  I didn’t know they worked in health.” 



At 1:30 The Walking Gallery gathered and it was exciting to see so many friends in the Xerox booth. So many members were present that we flowed into the booths beside Xerox. (Photos below taken by Xerox Healthcare Photographer)





On Wednesday the 2nd, I created another HIMSS painting entitled,  “Value Based Care vs. Fee For Service.”  This painting was based in great part on the results of a survey Xerox Health recentlycommissioned.  This painting was representing the adoption rate for doctors and practices for the new value based care payment model.



Later that evening, I would finish my last painting.  This canvas would be painted whilst I took part in a round table discussion about the landscape of care in the US.  In the prior two paintings, I plenty of time to paint and hours of overheard discussions to build on.  The evening painting had to be completed within three hours.  I opened my mind’s eye and looked for a vision.  I saw a flying saucer with the Xerox emblem.  So although that was a very odd thing to paint, I began my brushwork, connecting the ship above to the buildings below.  Then I titled the painting, “Investigating the Idea.”  I finished the painting and handed it to the great folks sitting at the tables.  An employee asked me, “How did you know we call Xerox the mother ship?”  I looked at her and quietly laughed.  I didn’t know, but I guess my brush did.




Then I gathered up my supplies and left Las Vegas.  I left happy and a bit tired.  Much had been accomplished in two days.  The Xerox Healthcare team was incredibly kind and I am very glad they invited me to the table.


Friday, March 4, 2016

How do you join The Walking Gallery?


If you are interested in joining the Walking Gallery here is the info:

Here is a short film about the meaning of the movement:

The Walking Gallery of Healthcare from Eidolon Films on Vimeo.

Here is an artist instructional video explaining how we paint the jackets:





to understand the origin of the idea.

http://reginaholliday.blogspot.com/2011/06/walkers-oath.html to understand the sacred nature of this path

To view the jackets in year one 1-162

To view the jackets of year two 163-251

To view jackets of year three 252-328

To view jackets year four 329 - 393

To view jackets of year five 394 +


The Rules of The Walking Gallery:  What you need to do to be a member: 

1.  Promise that you will wear this jacket to conferences and public events at least 2-3 times per year in order to spread awareness of the power of the patient voice. Signifying you understand that a Walking Gallery jacket is to be worn. It should not to be placed upon the wall as a static canvas nor sold to another.  This gift is freely given between artist and walker.  The Walking Gallery is a movement open to all and you will proudly walk this path to help others.


2.  Send a business jacket. Please do not send jackets made of seersucker, corduroy, knit, denim, leather or stretch fabric, as they are hard to paint on. Absolutely do not send stretch fabric.  We cannot paint on stretch fabric, as the painting will shred.  You can check to see if a jacket is stretch by trying to pull at the fiber on the horizontal. Fabrics that usually work well are poly-blends, linen, cotton and wool. Also you might want to buy a jacket a size larger than you usually wear as the painting will stiffen the back and make it harder to close the buttons. Black is the preferred color as it does not show wear, but any color is welcome.

Also this is a business jacket on purpose, we are painting on the “uniform” of the conference attendee.  We have painted on a handful of lab coats, usually for staff that are willing to wear them to work.  If we paint on your lab coat, you must be willing to wear it to a conference or public event. Please ship the jacket to 189 Main Street, Grantsville, MD 21536.

3.  Tell me your life/patient story, your patient-centered concept that is the center of why you work in health and medicine. Please include personal details of your life so I can more fully realize your image.  You can tell me which story elements you do not wish to publicly disclose in text, but it does help to know the underlying experiences and conditions that are the source of your mission. Please send via email with some pictures if possible of yourself or the people in your story to reggieart123@yahoo.com.  If you don't want to provide a picture, that’s okay, I have a vivid imagination.  Also please print it out and send with jacket so I can keep track of jackets and their stories.

4.  Artists can participate by painting their own jacket or another's or both.

5.  This movement is spread and organized through social media.  You will need to use twitter, Facebook, etc. to support the mission.  I am using Twitter hashtag to link us all together so please tweet about your jacket appearances under #TheWalkingGallery

6.  You are free to use the image in your own advocacy mission; I also retain the right to reproduce the image for advocacy purposes and write about your mission in areas you are comfortable with disclosing. 

7.  Donations are welcome to offset the cost of paint and shipping, but are not required and you cannot buy a jacket painting. (Donations are welcome but never required  https://www.gofundme.com/h2dsdwe4

You are joining a movement and this is a sacred oath to walk the walk and spread the word. 



Welcome to the Gallery.


Any questions?

Friday, January 29, 2016

Top 10 Reasons we need a physical home for The Walking Gallery

Update: For the past year, I have been trying to find a property that would be a good physical home for The Walking Gallery of Healthcare. There we could host art classes for all ages, artists could paint jackets, and patients from around the world could visit us in peaceful Grantsville, Maryland. The red brick house (red brick is great for mural painting) next to mine became available and I put in an offer. The contract was accepted!!!



We need to close by February 19, 2016.  Then I must begin needed repairs to the furnace and plumbing.  I hope to have the space ready to have a public dedication on Thursday, May 19, 2016 at Cinderblocks3. 

My son Isaac thinks we should call the art center Salt and Pepper Studios, since salt is used in medicine and a little pepper is what makes health activists great. 

Thank you CANCER101 and so many others for supporting this project so far! I will keep you posted as we go forward. Some folks have had a few questions about the new art center. Though I do not do list posts very often, I thought this would be the easiest way to explain why we need to create this center.  

10. People need space to create. 

I have worked with the students in every class in Grantsville Elementary School as they created art for the Grantsville Art Walk.  That is 220 some children working on art.

We had a blast painting and the children did excellent work. Then I took 9 canvases and hundreds of painted rice paper sheets home and assembled the art into ten class creations.  This year I am very thankful I was able to do the assembly in the gallery space in my house.  (We gave up having a living room to have a gallery instead.) 

The last time I assembled this many class creations, I lived in a small apartment in Washington, DC. I can tell you from experience that doing large quantities of art in small spaces is very stressful on the artist and their family.  
 
We need space to create. We need rooms that can get messy and we can just shut the door.  We need a place to put our tools.  We need to be able to share those tools, because art can get very expensive and out of the economic reach if you have to buy everything for personal use. 

9. Painting can be very lonely.

You might have seen me painting at medical conferences around the world.  I am usually set up off to the side.  During every break the wonderful attendees come over to my easel.  We talk about their personal health stories and the power of art to heal.  The most important thing is: we talk.  Some people have noticed I do not paint Walking Gallery jackets as quickly when I am at home. There is a very good reason for that. 


At home, I paint alone.  I trudge down to my basement studio and paint for hours. Some artists may like this solitude, but I do not.  If I didn’t have the ability to listen to WAMU/NPR out of Washington or WFRB broadcasting from Finzel, I am not sure could complete my work.  I look forward with glee to the point when the painting is finished and I can get on Facebook and Twitter to post the pictures and “talk” with people again! Then I look over at the next jacket.  I pin it to its painting form.  I begin the process of priming it and painting alone.  

When my loving husband Fred was dying he worried.  He told me, “Reggie, you are going to be alone.  We both know you are not good at being alone.”  He is right.  Fred and I met 22 years ago in a painting class.  We were both sad and lost and we found each other.  We were never alone surrounded by stories, paint and each other.  Now he is gone and our sons remain.  Each day I work very hard at painting our family ever larger.  That family is The Walking Gallery and that family needs a home.

We need a place that artists from all over America can come and paint together.  A place where we can support and inspire each other.  If we want this movement to grow from hundreds to thousands of jackets, we need a place where we can paint and grow this movement. 

8. Children need to see the arts as highly valued in our society. 


The children are watching.  They are amazing information sponges.  They see that in school they have math and reading everyday but may only get art once a week.  Or perhaps they must choose.  They can take an art class or a music class or band, but not all three.  They can see that a town or a county will spend thousands on a soccer field, tennis courts and baseball diamonds, but not invest in outdoor easels and public art.

I know that art is the driving force that helped me through a very hard childhood.  I know having the opportunity to draw a picture and act in a play made all the difference in my life.  I know that I attended school and stayed in school because I loved my art class and my debate class.  We need places like this art center, shining like a beacon of hope and creativity because people will see it and the children are watching.

7. We need a culture of healing in healthcare and not just a sickness model.

When I begin to explain what I do, people often interrupt with the question, “So are you an art therapist?”  I explain no.  Art therapy is great and art has so much power to heal.  But I use art in a way that goes beyond the therapeutic goal. I use art to share stories. I use art to create public policies that are patient centric and I focus my art on the world of healthcare. 

Right now there are many activists and advocates like myself focused on flipping the sickness model of care into a new culture of healing.  We talk with hospital executives and hear their concerns about a future of empty beds and lost revenue.  We counter with a different vision.  What if the hospital of tomorrow is an art-filled community hub, a fitness center and a play area for children, as well as a place that can provide needed emergent care?  Some CEOs scoff at this vision of tomorrow, but it is already happening throughout the country.  For example look to Eskenazi Health, a public city hospital, in Indianapolis; they have a public garden, a water feature to play in and dozens of commissioned pieces of art throughout the grounds of their facility.   Just read the words of CEO Lisa E. Harris, MD:
    


So this really edgy concept of hospitals embracing the arts is becoming mainstream.  Now let’s do something really innovative; let’s build an art center that embraces medicine.

6. Communities need a place to congregate that is not centered on eating.

For many years my family lived in a small apartment and it would often get very claustrophobic.  On nice days we could go to the park, but in winter the options were few and far between.  We could go to stores and spend money that we could scarce afford or we could go out to eat.  The problem with frequently going out to eat is that the caloric load is very high, especially in the types of food establishments a poor family can afford.  As a person who is very plump, I try to find public events and venues that allow congregation, but are not centered on food.

Art classes, health workshops and family game nights are all wonderful ways to utilize our future center without adding to the national obesity crisis. 

5. We can do great things by crowdfunding in healthcare. 

I go into way too many meetings where people tell me the good ideas they envision to help others cannot be realized.   They do not have the funding.  I reply, have you tried crowdfunding?  At this point with the help of the crowd, we have created patient travel scholarships, a video on how to join the Walking Gallery and help pay for our first Partnership with Patients conference: #Cinderblocks.

This project is part of a current crowdfund campaign on gofundme: The Walking Gallery   We already have raised money towards the down payment on this building on Medstartr and now are gathering the funds to make needed repairs after closing, insurance for the building and any offsite events, and this fund helps pay for the paint and shipping cost associated with the Walking Gallery.


4. Creative Placemaking is really happening, check it out! 

Around the nation a movement is building called Creative Placemaking:

In September 2014, I was able to attend a Creative Placemaking Summit in Cumberland, Maryland hosted by the Allegany Arts Council. Across the nation hacker spaces, maker spaces and art bars are cropping up.  In Garret County we already have a business incubator hub in McHenry and a maker space in Accident.  It just makes economic and geographic sense to have an Arts Center in Grantsville.

In July 2015, Grantsville became the site of the first Arts and Entertainment District in Garrett County.  My work with the students of the local school, hosting #Cinderblocks2 here and creating pieces of neighborhood art, helped ensure this designation. 

3. You can’t build an international movement without wifi.

If you are familiar with Grantsville, you will know it is very accessible.  Our town is right off Interstate 68 and is intersected by the National Pike/Route 40. The community is bookended by Route 669 and Route 219 and bisected by Route 495

The town is also wired for high-speed internet through Comcast cables.  Now for many of my readers who live in big cities that may not seem very important, but in this mostly rural area it is a very big deal indeed.  Many of our geographically close neighbors have to deal with the frequent outages of satellite internet.  We can provide the community a space that is so very needed in this day and age. 

This space can also be the command center as we plan #Cinderblocks3The Partnership with Patients Continues. (You can register here!)  #Cinderblocks3 will bring 170 people to Grantsville in late May of 2016. We hope to make it an annual tradition, a sort of Burning Man meets Healthcare. 

2. Some of us need a safe place to go. 


For many years I suffered abuse as a child.  I would not often talk about it, but I wrote about it and I drew about it. I hoped my teachers would act, but they never did in an obvious way.  That was another time and another place.  Today we are supposed help those who are in abusive situations.  Sometimes you can even prevent some abuse through better use of space and free time.  It is very hard for a family to be stuck in a small space in a long winter.  It helps if there is a safe place that you can go and play.



In addition, throughout this past year many patients and artists have reached me. They have asked for help.  They need a place to stay; they need a place to heal.  They need the mentorship of a strong advocate and the embrace of a loving community. That place can be this center.

1.  I am rooted here.


I have lived in so many places in my long and winding life.  We always rented; we always moved.  The Uhaul truck became a familiar friend.  In 2009, my husband Fred died and was buried here in Grantsville. Our children place toys upon his grave.  He lies two blocks from our home, three blocks from our Church and four blocks from his parent’s house.  He walks with us in spirit. 



People ask me, “Why  create a home for the Walking Gallery in Grantsville, Maryland?" I say because this place is quiet, kind and peaceful.  This town can help others as visitors can help Grantsville continue to thrive. But most of all because I founded The Walking Gallery of Healthcare.  The Gallery must grow, must walk; but I am its roots, and I am rooted here.



Thank you all and God bless.