Purvi Shah is the Executive Director of Kids & Art. She founded Kids & Art in 2008 after her son Amaey was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2005. To create some order and meaning in her suddenly overturned world, she sought a way to make a difference for her own child and the thousands more like him. Amaey passed away in 2011 after two ALL relapses and a failed bone marrow transplant. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shyamala Balasubramanian is the Volunteer Coordinator for Kids & Art, involving the community of supporters in various events and programs to support the organization. Her passion for creative problem solving and bringing people together helps foster a strong volunteering community. As the main point of contact for volunteers, she provides direction, coordination, and consultation for all volunteer functions. She can be reached at email@example.com
Shiraaz Bhabha is a visual artist and brings her love of art to Kids and Art monthly workshops at Lucille Packard Children's hospital and other events. She attended her first workshop in 2007 and has been actively involved since 2013. She managed the Kids and Art Indigogo fundraising campaign in 2014 that raised over $25,000. Seeing art bring a smile to a child's face during these fragile times is what matters the most to her.
Gabriella Caraccia Spanish Family Liason
Gabriela Caraccia has served as Spanish family liaison for Kids & Art since 2014. Her goal is to bring a little bit of joy to children and their families during difficult times. Gaby has maintained a career as a Spanish teacher for more than 20 years. Teaching both children and adults, she regularly integrates art and games as an aid to learning. For her, art is a great way to learn and is useful as a support for self-expression.
Kiran Chadha serves as the Workshop Coordinator for Kids & Art. She joined the Kids & Art team after seeing the joy on her son’s face during the workshops the family attended. Kids & Art gives Kiran an opportunity to give back, and specifically to help kids with cancer enjoy the present moment. Her talents and experience in program management are put to use managing the logistics of our monthly destination workshops. She can be reached at Workshops@kidsandart.org.
Valerie Greene is the Events Manager at Kids & Art. She helps organize experiences that raise funds and awareness to support the programs and workshops. After volunteering as an artist, she felt compelled to get more involved when she saw the joy Kids & Art brings to families affected by childhood cancer. Because art heals and cancer sucks. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jade Kwan, Catalyst
Jade Kwan is Community Development Manager at Kids & Art, sometimes called the catalyst. She seeks out inspirational opportunities for our children, families, and volunteers creating artful and memorable experiences. With great passions for project-based learning, the arts, and fostering an inclusive - empathetic environment, she enjoys hearing every story and connecting the dots. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Helen Cole Lew Program Director
Helen Cole Lew combines her love of being a teacher and an artist in her role as Program Director for Kids & Art. The strength and courage of the children and families she met during her first workshop in 2009 profoundly touched her. This experience remains an integral reason for her involvement. Helen takes the lead in many of our group projects, such as collaborative paintings, collage works and sculptures. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sibel Mecit Treasurer
Sibel Mecit [need short bio]
Laxmi Natarajan Partnerships Director
Laxmi Natarajan helps creating new partnerships, with the community leaders, local businesses, creating awareness and support in the community and enabling K&A reach a wider audience.
Patty Owyang Artist In Residence
Patty Owyang is an Artist in Residence with Kids & Art. She began volunteering at some of the very first workshops and now helps create and coordinate projects for several programs. One of her main roles is facilitating Art Days at the Family House in San Francisco, which provides short-term housing for families with children going through cancer treatment. She also participates in Kids & Art destination workshops and at other special events
Celina Paul is the Program Manager at Kids & Art. She serves as a liaison between program volunteers and the communities we support. Celina has worked in event planning and art programs throughout the state. As an active painting and printmaking artist, Celina exemplifies her commitment to building healthy communities. She is constantly inspired and humbled by the beautiful interactions and moments facilitated by each workshop. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Tom Pushpathadam, Techguru
Tom Pushpathadam manages Kids & Art’s technology from Los Angeles. He oversees site updates and the integration of software tools and services. His focus is on technology that supports a great experience for workshop participants while generating the data needed for effective fundraising and outreach efforts. Tom is always on the lookout for new partners that will help our small team achieve big results.
Katherine Relf-Canas works on researching and writing grants for us. She has a background in corporate communications, freelance writing and Web publishing. In 2008, she launched a workshop company called Serentripity to provide cultural immersion travel experiences. Covering Kids & Art for her blog on the healing power of art led her to volunteering with us, and she is very honored to be involved with our growth.
Mary Tsui is the Events Coordinator for Kids & Art. Prior to volunteering with this organization, Mary has her Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and worked with young children for 8 years. She hopes to combine her experience working with children and event planning into successful and fun functions for Kids & Art.
Brenna Connolly, 16
I grew up in Burlingame, California, on a tree-lined street surrounded with kids. I went to the Nueva School. During breaks, I worked in a UCSF Bioengineering and Tissue Regeneration lab, assisting in a study on tissue inflammation that was presented at a noted breast cancer research convention. When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, my immediate fascination for learning about cancer and medicine emerged. Now, at a college preparatory high school in New York, I participate in the Junior Breast Cancer Awareness Club. This summer, I will intern at Stanford's Cardio-thoracic Surgery program, as I am pursuing a career in medicine.
Holly Payne is an award-winning, internationally published author, writing coach and founder of Skywriter Books, an independent press. A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers author, she has written four novels. Her latest work of historical fiction, DAMASCENA: The Tale of Roses and Rumi, is a mystical thriller about the wisdom of the heart. She loves helping people reclaim their voice through storytelling and coaches around the world. She received her MFA from USC, serves on the board of advisors for Litquake and writes stories of inspiration at www.hollypayne.com and also at The Huffington Post.
Aime Card is a writer and editor for lifeSV.com, an information resource for families in Silicon Valley. She recently completed her memoir, And Beneath it All was Love, due out this Fall. The book chronicles her experience navigating family life in super-charged Silicon Valley while coping with treatment for breast cancer. Aime currently lives in Woodside, California with her husband and two young children.
Sri T.K. Sribhashyam
Sri T.K. Sribhashyam was born in Mysore (India) in 1940. According to the family tradition, Sri T.K.Sribhashyam has studied Indian Philosophy, Ayurveda and Yoga under the transmission of his father and Master T.Krishnamacharya. He has been teaching Yoga since 1956, and teaching in Europe since 1970. He is the founder of Yogakshemam Teachers' Training School in France and Switzerland. He was one of the main participants in the recent documentary "Breath of the Gods" produced by Jan Schmidt-Garre. He has published recently "Emergence of Yoga", "Moksha Mārga", and "Bhakti : Quintessence in Indian Philosophy" and "From Devotion to Total Surrender, Śaraṇāgati Yoga".
I grew up in India and now live in northern California. I have always been a visual person. As a child I would spend hours with a sketchbook and a box of paints. It followed naturally that I pursued a career in the visual arts. I currently work at Pixar Animation Studios as a lighting artist. Though my day job entails the use of a computer more than a paintbrush, of all technical fields related to computer graphics, Lighting feels the most akin to painting in the real world. That said, the thrill of a paintbrush in my hands is something I cannot live without.
Family and friends, California, India, great stories, great films, food, mythology – my life is full of Muses. I love to paint and be around people who like to make things.
Tiffany Birch was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She enjoyed early childhood living in La Rochelle, France then settled into the rolling countryside of Maryland. Followed by making a home in the Northern Virginia area, she decided to explore art through the Art League in Olde Town, Alexandria, Virginia. Her exploration produced 60 paintings in 45 days and representation through Marin-Price Galleries in Chevy Chase, Maryland. After many years living on the east coast, she has made the San Francisco Bay Area my new home.
Hannah Doty is the founder of V.I.P. Hospital Productions, an organization that helps kids and teens interact in fun ways with medical staff. She has written two specialty activity books for kids and teens that are currently being used in several hospitals across the country. She is also the Executive Director of the organization's non-profit branch that makes customized films for hospitalized kids based on their ideas and interests. She currently lives in the Los Angeles area and enjoys using her creative background to help others.
Jory Des Jardins
Jory Des Jardins is one of the three co-founders of BlogHer, Inc., along with Lisa Stone and Elisa Camahort Page. As President of Strategic Alliances, Jory leads the company's relationships with some of the world's largest brands, working with them to create high-impact presence within the BlogHer community, which reaches more than 100 Million internet influencers via its network of 3,000 blogs and their readers.
Arjun Shah is a junior in high school who loves Lego, playing his tabla, making products, and Magic The Gathering. He has been part of the Kids & Art family from the very beginning and started volunteering in Middle School. Kids & Art means a lot to him as it was his brother, Amaey, who was the reason behind why it was created. When Amaey passed away in 2011 from ALL, Arjun took a greater role in the organization with the hope to help kids like his brother feel better through art and wellness workshops.
Kay's first yoga class was a gentle Hatha yoga class at the downtown Berkeley YMCA during her college days. While she pursued career goals and led a mindless and insanely busy life, her practice went dormant. She rediscovered yoga after leaving that career-driven life. She now leads a more family-oriented suburban existence. She has benefited personally from the healing powers of yoga, and is currently in an 800-hour program to become a Yoga Therapist. She believes in continually manifesting herself through reinvention to find what's more authentic in her heart. That includes blogging. Her blog: www.wagayoga.com.
Shayaan is a graduating senior from UC Davis, majoring in Civil Engineering. In her spare time, she likes to paint and helps to organize UC Davis’ Relay for Life. She relays each year in memory of her sister Ayra, who passed away from Osteo-Sarcoma. She attended her first Kids & Art workshop in 2011 with Ayra, who was also an avid artist, and she has continued to participate in her memory.
Barb Boschetto lives in San Mateo, California. Barb and Kids & Art founder Purvi Shah have known each other since volunteering in their 17 year old sons' kindergarten class together. Barb has three sons and a grand daughter on the way! She travels to New York for relationship consulting . Her first book, Hookers, Whores and Housewives was just published.
Ginger Slonaker has been part of Kids & Art for almost seven years. She started volunteering with Kids & Art when Purvi visited her Art in Action art class at College Park Elementary in San Mateo. Ginger has continued to donate pieces and participate in the workshops, collaborating alongside families and providing guidance and instruction to kids and their care circles.
Cheryl Jones is the host of the radio show Good Grief, as well as a consultant and group leader at the Free Therapy Program of the Women’s Cancer Resource Center, where she developed, manages and teaches in their Continuing Education program. Cheryl also facilitates music workshops for grievers, believing that engaging the body in a song is opening, nourishing and healing, especially through times of loss.
Valerie Rye is a Stay-at-Home Mom to Maya and her 4 year old brother Max. When not shuttling Maya to appointments at LPCH, Valerie is a active Volunteer in her community. She works with the JAM (Just Among Moms) Program at Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church, volunteers at Maya's Elementary School, Fairwood Explorer and will be a leader of Maya's Daisy Girl Scout Patrol this year. She also is an Area Coordinator for MOMS Club International, working with clubs from the Central Valley and is active in her own club, MOMS Club of Sunnyvale.
Apurva Shah is the husband of Purvi Shah, Kids & Art founder, and father of Arjun and Amaey. While he misses Amaey dearly, he cherishes every moment they spent together. He works as head of creative technology at Capital One and is the founder of Whamix Studios. He is a maker and a filmmaker with long stints at Pixar and Dreamworks. He loves running, rock climbing, yoga and vacations with the family.
Robin Modlin, MA is a mosaic artist, SoulCollage® facilitator and mother of a daughter with cystic fibrosis who 6 years ago received a life saving double lung transplant. She is one of four artists who offer the workshop, The Art Of Saying Good Bye sponsored by Mission Hospice. Robin believes the challenge of serious illness in a family can deepen our personal understanding and compassion. She was trained as a hospital chaplain at Stanford and Packard Hospital. Robin is also the creator of Embrace, an annual weekend retreat for mothers of children with cystic fibrosis.
Sheri Sobrato Brisson
Sheri Sobrato Brisson is the founder of Digging Deep, a journal and support community for children, parents and professionals dealing with chronic illness. A brain tumor survivor, Sheri discovered the importance of self-reflection during her recovery. She has started and facilitated support groups for children with illness and their families for over twenty years with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, National Brain Tumor Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, and Packard Children’s Hospital. ]
Rebecca Katz is the author of the award winning Cancer-Fighting Kitchen among her other cookbooks. She is a nutrition detective and health cook, holding Masters of Science in Nutrition. She received her chef's training at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. Recently, she co-created online culinary/nutrition courses that translate nutritional science to the plate, and has founded the non-profit Healing Kitchens Institute.
Meghna Pamula is a teen volunteer at Kids & Art. She enjoys volunteering because it gives her an opportunity to give back, even if by helping a child with cancer simply have a better day. Recently, she entered this piece to the Scholastic Writing Contest, and won a Gold Key for her personal memoir on Kids & Art's bereavement workshop.