At Tracy’s Kids 2013 was a really busy year. Here is a sampling of what we’ve been up to:

  • We began and ended the year with work on display at Carroll Square Gallery, 975 F St, NW, Washington, DC. Our current show is up through January 24, so there’s still time to take it in.
  • Our first ever music video “Tracy’s Kids Keep your Head Up!” went up on Youtube. (Still one of the most cheerful videos on Youtube!)
  • Art exhibit at Lombardi Cancer Center
  • Another successful Red Carpet Fundraiser in February
  • an entry in the Washington Post Magazine’s Peeps Diorama Contest that didn’t win, but made the Kids’ Post
  • a great story about us on the Voice of America
  • the launch of our Junior Monet art gift site
  • a summer mosaic mural project led by students at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School
  • creating American flag-themed art for a show with abstract painter Kari Kant
  • inpatient space renovations at Georgetown and Methodist San Antonio
  • two mentions on the news in San Antonio, TX
  • a comprehensive Program Evaluation by participants in all five programs
  • an art show at Life with Cancer Center
  • celebrating holidays with the kids at all the hospitals
  • creating “gingerbread men” decorations for soldiers in Afghanistan
  • leading art activities to support staff  in all our locations
  • creating art about the famous sights of  Washington and San Antonio for our Carroll Square show
  • and in one amazing week in December building and decorating Nationals Stadium out of gingerbread with help from players Ross Detwiler and Denard Span, hosting Santa’s visit to the kids at Georgetown/Lombardi Center, and opening our latest show of work by Tracy’s Kids at Carroll Square!!

Here’s a photo gallery of some of the year’s highlights:

  • Exam table paper transforms the inpatient unit hallway into an art studio.

    Exam table paper transforms the inpatient unit hallway into an art studio.


    Balloon Hat

    Balloon Hat

    TracysKids_2013[1] tape blog photo 4 Maya and Fairies IMG_8224 tape-imals4

    Tracy's Kids at Carroll Square 2012

    Tracy’s Kids at Carroll Square 2012


    Drawing ideas

    Drawing ideas

    image Flag process 5

    Tracy's Kids team with Kari Kant and Sabra Rogers

    Tracy’s Kids team with Kari Kant and Sabra Rogers

    RylieR&Oscar 20130516_120159 art_feb12 Kari Kant front Screen Shot 2013-05-14 at 2.27.58 PM IMG_7993 closeup3 featured image

    David Cohen of Comcast/NBCUniversal, Marcelle Leahy, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congressman Dave Camp and Matt Gerson

    David Cohen of Comcast/NBCUniversal, Marcelle Leahy, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congressman Dave Camp and Matt Gerson

    Big heads on their way to the Red Carpet

    Big heads on their way to the Red Carpet

    alligator in a cage Picture1

We couldn’t do it without support from so many of you, so I want to take one final opportunity to say thank-you:

  •  to the  donors and supporters who make our work possible,
  • the hardworking and dedicated art therapists who bring healing, creativity and laughter to the hospitals every day,
  • the hospitals and healthcare teams who welcome us so warmly, and community partners like Hope for Henry, Growing Hope and Life with Cancer, Hemphill Fine Arts and Carroll Square
  • and most of all our  patients and their families–you bring your hearts, hands and energy to the art tables in all five locations.

Thank-you, thank-you, and Happy 2014 from everyone at Tracy’s Kids!

Sticky Wax!

At last Friday’s art reception and in the Georgetown clinic this week we have been enjoying a beautiful and simple activity–decorating candles with thin sheets of colorful decorating beeswax. It is simple, fun, and beautiful. The wax comes in beautiful thin sheets. It can be cut with scissors and applied to an existing candle, using only the warmth of your hand to make it stick. It seems that the winter holidays from many faith traditions  involve lighting candles–maybe as the nights grow longer and the daylight hours shorter we crave the symbolic warmth and light of candles.  Here are a few examples of the ones we made in the clinic this week. Enjoy!


“Other duties as required. . .”

Santa arrivesSnowman

Cookie decorating

Balloon Hat

Balloon Hat

Yesterday Santa visited Lombardi, and the Tracy’s Kids team was instrumental in hosting a wonderful celebration for about 100 kids! The Open Studio program for the day was focused on cookie decorating, ornament-making, and a big winter-themed mural, and everybody had a great time. Here’s the clip that make the channel 7 news last night. Enjoy!

The Washington Nationals visit Georgetown!

Our friends at Hope for Henry invited the Washington Nationals to visit clinic today, and it was awesome! Ross Detwiler, Denard Span and Screech hung out with the kids, signed autographs, colored  Christmas ornaments and decorated cookies– and most of all helped the kids decorate a gingerbread version of Nationals Park (Tracy and Kate’s contribution to the event) that featured a custom-printed Jumbotron with all our logos on it! Thanks, everybody, for making it such a great time!

photo_1 photo_2 photo_3 photo_4

Holiday Train Time

Bridge Eiffel Tower Fountain Ladybug train Purple track Thomas Group twoThis post is for all our train buddies at the clinics. On Thursday night I went to see the Holday Train at the US Botanic Garden, right near the US Capitol. Every year in the East Gallery they put up a fanciful landscape of mountains, caves, and dramatic vistas adorned with marvelous architecture–all crafted out of natural materials and threaded with train tracks with model trains zooming around. This year the theme is “World’s Fair,” so you can see the Eiffel Tower, the Space Needle, the London Eye, and all kinds of other great stuff  ingeniously crafted out of sticks and pine cones–and some delightful fairy houses crafted in amazing detail–right down to the seashell bathtubs! And did I mention that this year the trains include Thomas, Percy and Gordon? I hope many of our train fans can see the exhibit–it’s free and open daily until January 5–and on Tuesdays and Thursdays in December until 8:00 pm.

Tracy’s Kids at Carroll Square



Make your plans now to attend the Tracy’s Kids exhibit at Carroll Square Gallery, 975 F St in Washington, DC. The opening reception will be December 13 from 4:30-6:30 p.m., and in addition to some great art and refreshments we will have a little art project for you to make and take home!


This year our young artists have made some special group projects interpreting famous sights in Washington and San Antonio, so come check out some new views on famous landmarks! The show will be up until January 24, and we are planning a special gallery talk by a panel of experts on children’s art for a weekend afternoon in January–stay tuned for details!

Gifts by Tracy’s Kids

Since it’s “non-profit Tuesday” we wanted to remind everyone to go to the Tracy’s Kids gallery on the Junior Monet website. We have artwork from many of our kids that can be printed into holiday decorations, aprons, water bottles, magnets, ties–just about anything you can think of! They will make wonderful gifts, so do a little shopping for a great cause!

Here is the link to the gallery

and a couple of photos giving you an idea of the great products you can order–they make great gifts and they benefit Tracy’s Kids.

A selection of Tracy's Kids products on Junior Monet

A selection of Tracy’s Kids products on Junior Monet

Junior Monet has started a great new campaign called “Art for a Cure” and “Art for a Cause.” If you purchase items from these collections, Junior Monet will make an additional donation to Tracy’s Kids! Take a look, happy shopping, and keep checking back for more art from our kids!

Art for a Cause benefits Tracy's Kids

Art for a Cause benefits Tracy’s Kids




Every November at Georgetown we gather in the hospital chapel for an interfaith “Service of Remembrance,” a time to remember the children who have died in our care. Though most  kids with cancer will be cured and go on to do very well, our treatments are not always successful, but all the kids we work with mean a lot to us.Heart pot

At the service we read words of comfort from  many traditions, sing , and light a candle in honor of each child whose family attends. At the reception after the service this year I was talking with the father of a very dear little girl who had died about a month before. I had worked with the patient and her siblings for all the years of her treatment. They are such creative characters–and their work in art therapy helped them express the ups and downs of treatment and get the support they needed along the way.

The patient’s dad asked me what I thought of the service.  I said I thought it was very nice, and asked what he thought. “Grateful,” he replied. “The whole afternoon just made me feel grateful.” This Thanksgiving eve, as I prepare to join family and friends, I am grateful for all the young people and families I work with every day and the many ways they challenge my imagination and enrich my life.

Caption this!

Caption this!

Caption this!

One of our families has a relative serving in the armed forces in Afghanistan. They asked if the kids at the clinic would like to create a garland of “gingerbread men” to send over for the soldiers to decorate their unit. We were delighted to help out.

One day my intern and I took a bunch of blank gingerbread people up for a patient in the hospital to paint. After the patient and her sister and the art therapists were done, we had eight beautiful creations decorated with very wet puff paint. On the way back down to the clinic where our creations could dry in safety, I rounded a corner in the radiation corridor and a gust of wind blew one of our darling little people onto the floor–face down!! When I picked it up, the print it left was really a funny sight! Someone who worked in the area helped us clean it up, and the little guy looked just fine when he dried–fortunately the artist had used plenty of paint!

Gingerbread men

The Nurse’s Song

Today a couple of other staff members and I attended a concert in the Friday music series at Georgetown University. We are lucky to be so close to such wonderful resources. We had been invited by Barbara Hollinshead, the mezzo soprano soloist who was performing. Her son was treated at our clinic last year, but now he is happily off at college.

The concert featured songs by Benjamin Britten. Before she sang two of them, from “A Charm of Lullabies,” she said that she had first learned these songs when she was pregnant with her youngest son–and that the one called “The Nurse’s Song” had taken on a whole new meaning when he was being treated for cancer at Lombardi. She said it meant a lot to her to have folks from her son’s clinic come to hear her sing. Honestly, we were the lucky ones. Music