And the Movies Are…

Thanks to our friends at the studios, we have once again lined up a fantastic slate of movies for this year’s “And the Winner Is….”
On Tuesday evening, February 25, 2014, please join us in walking the red carpet before eating, drinking and then watching one of the six nominated and award-winning films that Tracy’s Kids is showing right in the heart of Hollywood’s award season.  David Cohen and Matt Gerson wanted to let you know that our guests will be able to choose to see either:
  •  Gravity — Winner of the DGA’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film [Courtesy of Time Warner]
  • 12 Years a Slave — Winner of the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Picture [Courtesy of 21st Century Fox]
  • American Hustle — Winner of three Golden Globes including Best Motion Picture [Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment]
  • Dallas Buyers Club — Winner of two SAG awards recognizing both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto [Courtesy of Comcast NBCU]
  • Nebraska — Winner of Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival, and from the National Board of Review and LA Film Critics — all recognizing Bruce Dern [Courtesy of Viacom]
  • Philomena — nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actress recognizing Dame Judi Dench [Courtesy of The Weinstein Company]

That night we will recognize North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp with our Courage Award. Her determined advocacy for breast cancer detection and prevention made her an easy choice. Each year we present a Courage Award to a public person who exemplifies the strength, dignity and perseverance necessary to face the daily challenges imposed by cancer and its treatment. Past recipients of the award are the late Arlen Specter, Marcelle Leahy, Barbara and Tim Johnson, John McCain, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Sue Myrick, Barbara Grassley and Dave Camp.

If you would like to purchase tickets to the event you may do so online or by contacting Susan O’Neill and Associates at

We hope to see you there!


Spread the Love!



This past week the kids were busy making colorful Valentine’s for family members, classmates and their favorite nurses and doctors. They even shared a little love with the  Tracy’s Kids art therapists!


We were the lucky recipients of a box of chocolates decorated by the siblings of one of our patients!


Patients and their families used collage materials to create beautiful Valentine’s for their loved ones

Valentine cards made by the Georgetown students for out patients

Valentine cards made by the Georgetown students for out patients

The Georgetown Hematology/Oncology staff  created a Valentine garland with “get- well- soon” notes to one of our patients who had to spend Valentine’s weekend in the hospital.

Garland of Valentines

Garland of Valentines


And the Winner Is. . .

As we get ready for the Tracy’s Kids Red Carpet Fundraiser on February 25, we wanted to share with you the video our friends at Comcast made about last year’s event. It’s pretty awesome, including lots of behind-the-scenes video of the kids making their “Big Heads” for the music video.

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



I can’t help taking this opportunity to brag on one of the artists who was featured in our recent show at Carroll Square. If you visited the show, you saw a lot of really nice work, and one of the most outstanding pieces had also been entered in the Scholastic Art Awards competition. Congratulations, Amanda Johnson, for the well-deserved recognition for your Zentangled Zebra! See the official award notification email below:
CONGRATULATIONS! On behalf of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, we would like to announce that you are a Regional Scholastic Art Awards Winner! The following work/s received recognition:
Amanda Johnson, Age:15
Dominion High School, Grade:9
Zentangled Zebra, Art
Honorable Mention, Drawing
Natasha Chahin, Educator

World Cancer Day

According to the “Purple Your Profile” campaign on Facebook, today, February 4, is World Cancer Day. The “purple” thing is a campaign by Chevrolet to support the American Cancer Society:, but it got me thinking about what we at Tracy’s Kids can add to the conversation.

We work with pediatric cancer patients and their families–but until I began working at Lombardi over twenty years ago I, like most people, really didn’t understand that kids could get cancer. Yet it is estimated that in 2007 one in every 1,000 young adults in the US was a childhood cancer survivor (Shrag, N. M., McKeown, R. E., Jackson, K. L.,  Cuffe, S. P.,  Neuberg, R. W. (2008).Stress-related mental disorders in childhood cancer survivors. Pediatric Blood Cancer,50, 98-103.)  Advances in medicine have made many childhood cancers treatable chronic illnesses, and research is making these treatments better all the time.

What we do at Tracy’s Kids isn’t cancer treatment, but it helps kids and families manage the treatment better. Despite advances, cancer treatment, especially for children, is long and intense–requiring many hours in the clinic or hospital–and time away from school and friends. Through art and play we help kids and families process all the new information and changes in their routine that a cancer diagnosis brings. And we also help them rebuild their sense of who they are. A serious medical condition has a way of taking over a person’s identity–you go from “I’m a fourth-grader who likes to play Angry Birds” to “I’m a Cancer Patient–and my parents are really worried.” But working creatively in the treatment center changes how kids experience themselves–with our support they can relax, feel more normal, forget about the treatment and focus on what makes them unique. We’ve had kids who never really cared for art find gifts they never knew they had and continue to express themselves through art long after their cancer treatment is over.

Visual language is a powerful tool for expression and connection–a bridge from one person to another–and a bridge that you can walk over time and again, even from a distance, by understanding and appreciating the images that people create. So, from the kids in the hospitals we work with, here are some visual messages on World Cancer Day.


Work by Tracy’s Kids on Display in San Antonio

cancer-sucks-300x217Work by participants in the newest Tracy’s Kids program at Methodist Hospital, San Antonio, Texas is currently on display at the Briscoe Library of the UT Health Science Center. We are very excited for the opportunity to help the San Antonio community learn about the great work the Tracy’s Kids Art Therapy team is doing for young cancer patients in Texas!

Felting- A Universal Language

As the snow fell outside the hospital today our patients were busy creating colorful, snuggly felted scarves.



One little boy from Afghanistan particularly enjoyed the felting process. As he lay the bright red wool onto the table he smiled and called to his mom to come look at what he was creating. As his mom watched, he pulled little tufts of the soft material apart and carefully laid them on top of one another. His mom enjoyed watching the process, she shared that back home, in Afghanistan, they use the same felting process to make beautiful carpets.



afghan rug


This is the wonderful nature of art- the creation process and the materials are often a bridge between so many different cultures. Art, in this case, brought a little reminder of home to the clinic for this family.

Gallery Talk January 19: Children’s Art, How to Appreciate, Enjoy and Display It





Join Tracy Councill, Tracy’s Kids founder and art therapist, Kathryn Horn Coneway, art therapist and art educator, and Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey, Interior Designer, for an informal gallery talk about the significance of children’s art. Parents, grandparents, and kids’ art afficionados will enjoy an in-depth discussion of the developmental, emotional and aesthetic dimensions of children’s art.

Seating is limited and available on a first-come first-served basis.
Refreshments courtesy of Geppetto Catering. 
For information on making a donation to Tracys Kids, go to

Tracy Councill started an art therapy program in 1991 for patients and families in pediatric hematology-oncology at Georgetown University Hospital’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, with a grant from the Prevent Cancer Foundation. That highly successful program evolved into Tracy’s Kids (, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and sustaining art therapy programs for pediatric hematology-oncology patients and their families, with programs in four locations. Councill earned her MA in Art Therapy from The George Washington University in 1988. She serves as lead art therapist in the Tracy’s Kids program at Lombardi and as Program Director for Tracy’s Kids, in addition to teaching Medical Art Therapy at the George Washington University.

Kathryn Horn Coneway is the co-founder and director of Art at the Center (, a studio lab for children and families in Alexandria, Virginia. Kathryn released two new picture books in 2013. Oops Paint, aimed at toddlers and preschool children, introduces stamping with everyday objects through a fun story of a family accidentally dropping things in paint. COLLETTE A Collage Adventure, tells the story of a bottle of glue who wants to get in on the artistic action in a painter’s studio. A visit from a young girl leads the two to discover the expressive possibilities of collage. Kathryn earned her MA in Art Therapy from George Washington University in 2003 and interned at Lombardi Cancer Center while a student. She will be selling and signing books at the talk, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Tracy’s Kids program.

Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey, owner and lead designer of SCW Interiors (, has had a lifelong passion for design with nearly 20 years of professional experience in the industry. A native of the Southwest, Shazalynn studied at the University of Texas, the Culinary Institute of America and Parsons School of Design. SCW Interiors is a full-service design firm specializing in innovative and distinctive spaces that incorporate signature elements for each client. Located in the Washington, DC area, SCW services a wide geographic area and works with both residential and commercial clients.

This event is concurrent with Artwork by Tracy’s Kids, on view at the Carroll Square Gallery through January 24, 2014.

Carroll Square Gallery
975 F Street NW, Washington DC 20004

Gallery Open During Business Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00am – 6:00pm

Image: Artwork by Tracy’s Kids, Carroll Square Gallery, 2014 (Installation View)

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And here is a link to a recent article on Kathryn Horn Coneway and her two new books.

Wrapping up 2013

“The funds provided by Tracy’s Kids have made a significant difference in the lives of so many of the families who have a child or teen with cancer and within the cancer community as a whole.”

-James Zabora, Director, Life with Cancer


2013 was another successful year for Tracy’s Kids and we celebrated with our annual art show at the Carroll Square Gallery in downtown Washington, DC, which runs through January 24.

Below are some examples of the art being showcased, as well as information about the gallery. If you have the opportunity to stop by, we promise you won’t be disappointed.


This year we were inspired by our friend and fellow artist Kari Kant and her use of the American Flag in her pieces. We took this idea and created our own American flags earlier in the year that were showcased at her June art opening. The kids continued this idea and expanded to creating more art based around the Washington, DC landscape, and created a number of pieces with this theme. These will also be shown at our ninth annual And the Winner Is fundraiser on February 25, 2014.

CS13-CNMC DCCS13-Pentagon









The DC artwork is not the only feature of our 2013 Carroll Square show. Below you will find some additional examples of the amazing artwork done by Tracy’s Kids artists over the last year. Remember, this is just a small taste of all that is on display, so be sure to stop by the gallery. You don’t want to miss it!



Carroll Square Gallery

975 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


Monday-Friday, 8:00AM-6:00PM



CS13-Self Portrait

CS13-Feet CS13-Wall of Art


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!