When I was a young girl I struggled to read. In fourth grade I had a teacher that helped me beyond measure. She taught me how to read well. She cast me in the play Oklahoma. She encouraged me to write and draw. By 5th grade I was reading chapter books all by myself. My favorite books were all of the Little House books, A Little Princess, Pollyanna and Heidi.
The pint-sized heroines inspired me with their ability to overcome adversity. I loved the idea of imagining and then creating a beautiful world within a cold dark attic. I could envision a rainbow of color hidden in chandelier glass and play the game of always thinking of something to be glad about. I could understand the allure of returning to healthy mountain air over the coal dust vapors of a Victorian city.
I have never forgotten these lessons of my youth. I know the power of hope and friendship can heal so many wounds of the spirit. Now I am an adult with a responsibility to spread goodness in a world that is often filled with sorrow.
I live in a small town teaming with young children and adults yearning to create. They want to draw and dance and paint, but in the winter opportunities to do such things are few and far between.
I work with patient advocates and medical providers from around the nation who cry out to me. They tell me their sorrow and I paint it on their back; but sometimes they need more. Sometimes they need a place to rest and reignite their fiery passion.
I created a movement called The Walking Gallery and I need others who will paint with me and help to spread the patient voice. We need the space and time to turn hundreds of jackets into thousands.
So I ask you to help me build a vision into a reality.
In the healthy mountain air of Grantsville, Maryland I want to create The Walking Gallery Center for Arts and Healing. There are rooms that will be galleries and rooms that will fill with laughter and dance. There are bedrooms that will refresh the weary patient and inspire the striving artist.
All this will come to be if we work together and turn a vision into reality.
We have 40 days to raise enough money to begin the process of securing this building. I think we can do it, but not without your help. Cancer 101 has agreed once again to act as our grant partner in this crowdfund, so all donations will be tax deductible.
To quote the words of Pollyanna, “It’ll be just lovely for you to play…It’ll be so hard. And there’s so much more fun when it is hard.”