The Creative Center at University Settlement Offers Free Virtual Art Workshops for People Living with, or Survivors of, Cancer and Their Caregivers

The Creative Center, a program of University Settlement, offers daily, free-of-charge, art workshops over Zoom to people living with, or survivors of, cancer and their caregivers as an antidote to the isolation and fear that often accompanies a cancer diagnosis, which has become even more challenging during the pandemic.

“Since 1994, The Creative Center has created a “space away from cancer” for NYC patients and their families and caregivers to discover their own creative resources with a host of in-person workshops in visual, literary and performing arts in our own studio and in other healthcare and community settings,” says Robin Glazer, Director, The Creative Center “However, due to the public health restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we can’t be physically together to create art, so we’ve pivoted to the interactive Zoom platform – and can now reach people who live anywhere in the US!”

“All our workshops, webinars and special events are taught by professional artists who’ve received training in teaching remotely,” says Glazer. “Participants register in advance online, receive a simple materials list that uses basic household materials, and show up! Sophia Heinecke, our Manager of Arts and Wellness, facilitates every workshop and is there to help attendees with any issues so the focus stays on artmaking, not technology.”

Additionally, The Creative Center partners with many of NYC’s best creatives, cultural institutions and museums to offer a wide range of topics and artistic media including painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, fiber arts, jewelry making, poetry, playwriting, photography and art appreciation. Current offerings include a creative writing workshop with the NY Writer’s Coalition, a drawing class with the Frick Collection, a video exploration with artist and filmmaker Viktor Witkowski, a Dartmouth College instructor and a monologue workshop with well-known playwright Sheri Wilner.

“Creative Center participants are a diverse group in every way: age, gender, ethnicity and oncology diagnosis, from newly diagnosed patients to those who are many years post-treatment,” says Heinecke. “Exuberance and curiosity about the artistic process are their common element. And, for caregivers, these classes provide much needed stress relief. It is such a joy to see people (and we DO see each other!) leave their worries behind and discover the world of art – many for the first time!”

To view The Creative Center’s current offerings and register:

Funding for The Creative Center Art Workshop Program is provided by Novartis Oncology, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, private foundations and individual contributions

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