And the Winner Is . . .

Last night’s ninth annual Tracy’s Kids Red Carpet Fundraiser was a grand success. We had a great turnout, and our guests seemed to really enjoy coming together in support of our cause. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, our Courage Award winner, offered touching and impassioned remarks about what it means to be a cancer patient and the power of human connection.

We are proud and humbled at the same time–proud of the good work we do and grateful for the support so many of you offer the kids we serve–and humbled every day as we work with such brave and resilient young people. Here are a handful of photos from last night, courtesy of our event photographer, Carly Glazier, www.carlyglazier.com. We’ll post a more extensive gallery soon, but we hope you’ll get a feel for the what a great night it was!

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Silent Auction Art!

The format for tomorrow night’s Tracy’s Kids Red Carpet Fundraiser will include a silent auction of some very special Washington, DC-themed works of art. Five are by groups of kids working together at the Tracy’s Kids locations, two by artists who are friends of Tracy’s Kids, and the other by Tracy Councill.  For a sneak peek at the items, take a look at the photos and descriptions below. Hope to see you there!Fourth of July Monument

1. Washington Monument on the Fourth of July: 38 inches wide and 60 inches tall, acrylic paint on unstretched canvas. Created by patients at the Lombardi Cancer Center, working collaboratively using syringes and hospital equipment, in addition to conventional art materials, to  pay homage to the Monument in its scaffolding during renovation.
Cherry Blossom Monument
2. Washington Monument at Cherry Blossom Time: 37 inches wide and 60 inches tall, acrylic paint on unstretched canvas. Created by patients at the Lombardi Cancer Center, working collaboratively using Operating Room sponges create the effect of the blocks the Monument is made of, and hospital toothbrushes to make the cherry blossoms, in addition to conventional art materials.
Washington Monument Kite Festival
3.Washington Monument during the Kite Festival: 39 inches wide and 60 inches tall,  acrylic paint on unstretched canvas. Created by patients at the Lombardi Cancer Center, working collaboratively using Operating Room sponges create the effect of the blocks the Monument is made of, in addition to conventional art materials. Each participant designed an origami paper kite to represent him or herself,  flying around the monument grounds.
DC Skyline
4. Washington Skyline Composite Painting: 40 inches wide and 36 inches tall (approximate), assemblage of canvas boards, acrylic and mixed media, mounted on foam core. Painting was created by inpatients and outpatients at Children’s National Medical Center, showing the Washington DC skyline as visible from their hospital windows.
Alamo
5. The Alamo: 38 inches wide and 27 inches tall, assemblage of canvas boards, acrylic and marker, mounted on foam core. Created by patients and families members at the newest Tracy’s Kids program at Methodist Children’s Hospital, San Antonio, TX. Even kids in isolation for Bone Marrow Transplant could participate in this group project because the individual canvases were painted separately and put together after!
Jefferson Memorial
6. The Jefferson Memorial at Cherry Blossom Time: 16×20 inches framed, soft pastels on paper. This pastel painting was created especially for this event by TK Program Director, Tracy Councill. Tracy earned her BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University and her MA in Art Therapy from The George Washington University. In addition to her work with Tracy’s Kids, she continues to create and show her own drawings, paintings and block prints.
Light Square
7. Light Square #2: 30×30 inches, Acrylic and molding paste on canvas, by Kari Kant, www.karikant.com. Kari Kant is a professional artist based in Washington, D.C. with a studio in the Newseum Residences. Influenced by Post-Impressionist artists such as Vincent Van Gogh she has adapted techniques such as the thick application of paint and the distortion of form for expressive effect to create her own unique use of texture and color.
Washington DC at Night
8. Washington DC at Night: 30×40 inches, Acrylic on Canvas,  by Sabra Rodgers, age 11.  Sabra is an evolving artist from McLean, VA who has donated her time and work to Tracy’s Kids. This piece is her latest contribution.

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

http://www.comcastnewsmakers.com/video/tracys-kids/

Enjoy!

In the news. . .

Thought I’d take a minute to post the links to some great coverage of our Red Carpet on Wednesday night, February 13.  Enjoy!

http://www.politico.com/playbook/0213/playbook10033.html?ml=ae_l

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-14/oscar-aids-kids-with-cancer-lawmaker-blues-d-c-scene.html

http://hoh.rollcall.com/camp-gets-tracys-kids-courage-award/

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3036789/ns/msnbc-morning_joe/#50794811

“Keep your head up!”

At last night’s “And the Winner is  Tracy’s Kids”  Red Carpet fundraiser we premiered our music video to Andy Grammer’s song “Keep Your Head Up!” It’s pretty much guaranteed to make you smile– great advice from our wonderful kids. Check it out, it will make your day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I91AVXNsb1c

And here are some pictures of the Big Heads making their way to last night’s event and back to the hospital to be returned to the kids!

Big heads on their way to the Red Carpet

Big heads on their way to the Red Carpet

Kate and the Big Heads in the Main Hallway at Georgetown

Kate and the Big Heads in the Main Hallway at Georgetown

Back in Lombardi Lobby

Back in Lombardi Lobby

Getting Ready for the Red Carpet!

As we may have mentioned once or twice, our big annual “And the winner is. . .Tracy’s Kids,” Red Carpet Fundraiser is coming up on Wednesday, February 13. This will be the eighth event—our one big fundraising event of the year.

For those who have not attended before, it is a fun occasion—a Washington Style Red Carpet—business attire, not evening dress–and our guests are not movie stars, but members of Congress, their staff, and other friends of Tracy’s Kids.
What a crowd!

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The Tracy's Kids Courage AwardAmanda Johnson and Mom

The real expert speaks!

I have been honored to shake hands with the likes of Arlen Specter, Patrick and Marcelle Leahy,  Mike and Karen Pence, Barbara and Tim Johnson, John McCain, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ben Cardin, Sue Myrick, Charles and Barbara Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Chris Matthews and George Stephanopoulos as they expressed their support and appreciation for the work of Tracy’s Kids.

As an artist and art therapist, I am most at home outside the spotlight. Working with kids and families at the hospital is a low-key kind of work. It has value in part because it helps patients and families feel normal in a place that isn’t like home.

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It is both an honor and a little daunting to “say a few words” to an audience full of lawmakers—but these folks are kind, gracious, open and real—and they make it a great event. I am very, very lucky to be “Tracy of Tracy’s Kids!”

Taking the show on the road . . .

As the freezing rain turned to just plain rain this morning,  I rented a U-Haul van and went down to Carroll Square to take down the Tracy’s Kids show. Over the next few days, I will take the display boards apart and return the work to the young artists who created it. The show was such a great accomplishment, it was hard to see it close.

Our art show loaded into the van, ready to be safely returned to the kids!

Our art show loaded into the van, ready to be safely returned to the kids! But be on the lookout–you’ll see George and friends again.

But this year there’s an exciting twist. The Big Heads that were in the show will be featured at the Tracy’s Kids Red Carpet fundraiser on February 13–and our music video to the song “Keep Your Head Up” will make its official world premiere! Make your plans now to attend our Washington-style Red Carpet event–and check back here for the link to the video on February 14!