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Art and Healing explores cancer survival

There was a strong turnout February 8 for the one-day Art and Healing event at Emerson’s Cabaret, which featured photographic exhibits honoring people afflicted with cancer, inspirational musical performances, and personal stories from cancer survivors.

Mirta Tocci, artist-in-residence at Emerson’s Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, organized the event, which she described as “very moving and joyful.”

The afternoon featured a video exhibit, Faces of Faith, by Ryan Catalani ’15, a Visual and Media Arts major, which showed footage from his documentary-in-the-making that focuses on the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

A packed crowd arrived for a concert in the evening featuring gospel music from Marshall Hughes, founder and musical director of Opera unMet and director of Roxbury Community College’s Media Arts Center. The concert featured inspirational music from Boston-area singers celebrating triumph of spirit over adversity.

Also in the evening, a program of inspirational stories of cancer survival was shared from select participants of the earlier Faces of Faith exhibit. Karen Burns White, deputy associate director of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Initiative to Eliminate Cancer Disparities, described various approaches to reducing health disparities that affect communities of color.

Art and Healing was one of several events held this month as part of Emerson’s celebration of African American Heritage Month. The event was sponsored by the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, Communication Sciences and Disorders Department, Visual and Media Arts Department, Center for Spiritual Life, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Office of Multicultural Affairs.

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