Two Nonprofits Will Partner on Art-based Support Programs Thanks to New LIVESTRONG Foundation Grant

PCFLVLocal pediatric cancer patients and their families will have access to new support services and art-based programs designed to facilitate wellness thanks to a new partnership between the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley Inc. (PCFLV) and ArtsQuest. The partnership will be supported by a $15,000 LIVESTRONG Foundation grant ArtsQuest has been awarded to further develop its new heART Series, which provides art-based wellness workshops for residents of the Lehigh Valley.

A nonprofit organization that assists local families who are battling pediatric cancer, the PCFLV has been making a difference in the lives of children and their families since 2003.

The partnership between PCFLV and ArtsQuest will allow the two nonprofits to explore and offer new wellness through the arts workshops to supplement the existing programs and activities already offered by PCFLV. By hosting organized events, workshops, family activities and sibling programs, PCFLV encourages participation and involvement, allowing families to discover nurturing support within the cancer community. Examples of PCFLV programs include Chemo Circus, which provides a fun, circus-like atmosphere designed to reduce the anxiety, stress and pain a child undergoes during cancer treatment. The organization also hosts Date Nights, Mom’s Days and Dad’s Days to provide a supportive, caring environment to parents and caregivers of children with cancer.

PCFLV Executive Director Carrie Gofberg Tamutus says having the PCFLV offices at the Banana Factory will allow the organization to reach out in Bethlehem and surrounding communities to help spread awareness about pediatric cancer and PCFLV’s services, as well as offer new programs such as Art Soup, a monthly art-based program that will bring pediatric cancer patients and their siblings together to explore a variety of art forms and art activities.

“We are elated to partner with ArtsQuest in order to provide our families with additional opportunities for therapeutic healing and enrichment in a location extremely well suited for our thoughtful programming,” Tamutus says. “The Banana Factory is also a wonderful destination where children will be immersed in local arts and culture as well as a community, ready to support them, in their time of need.”

ArtsQuest Director of Visual Arts Janice Lipzin says the LIVESTRONG Foundation grant will provide important funding to make the heART Series a year-round program, resulting in a number of new, art-based outpatient workshops for cancer patients over the next two years.  The series was launched in Spring 2013 with workshops by artists from Nigeria, Norway and the United States. Alison Bessesdotter, a Banana Factory resident artist and a Macungie resident,will be the lead artist for the program, which will also include workshops by other artists who specialize in various creative mediums including movement.

“ArtsQuest is pleased to welcome the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley to the Banana Factory. This is an amazing organization that is doing some incredible things for families who are in some very challenging and difficult situations,” Lipzin says. “This partnership with the PCFLV will provide them with a new home, while the LIVESTRONG Foundation grant will provide dedicated funding for some important and impactful programs for children battling cancer. We thank the LIVESTRONG Foundation, as well as The Creative Center at University Settlement which recommended us for this grant, for their support of this and all wellness through the arts initiatives.”

For more information on the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley, visit