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.
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
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. She won a Gold Key for her personal memoir on Kids & Art's bereavement workshop in the Scholastic Writing Contest of 2016
Belinda Chlouber was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and spent her early years in Arizona on the Navajo and Hopi reservations, then returned to Oklahoma and later moved to Nebraska all before the age of eighteen. This early experience of moving influenced her artwork in that it is heavily focused on the acceptance of growth and transformation through change. Both the poetry and writings of her mother and grandfather also influence her artwork, as does her ongoing environmental advocacy work. Belinda received her BFA from Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri and later continued her studies at Parsons School of Design in New York. She now lives and works in San Mateo, California.
Andrea Temkin has worked extensively with teaching artists of all disciplines in a variety of settings –public schools, prisons, hospitals, senior centers, preschools. She was executive director for the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View and Program Administrator for the CA Arts Council. Her private practice, AST Consulting Group, assists organizations to build leadership and manage transitions. AST Consulting Group has helped cultural, educational and civic organizations develop and implement strategies for change. She currently provides support to the San Mateo County Arts Commission, and manages their Local Arts Grants program.
Neil Murphy lives and works in Burlingame, CA. His art reflects an eclectic mix of topics pulled from science, technology and nature. His color sense bespeaks a childhood spent in tropical Hawaii.
Along with the themes mentioned above, another is represented by an ongoing series of'Curious Maps of Impossible Places.' These maps, with paths often partially hidden, lead through abstract terrain that won't be found on any hike you're ever likely to take. Neil often uses maps as a playful approach the creative process when working with adults and children.
Neil's studio is located at Museum Studios, a department of the Peninsula Museum of Art.
Zoe Wilson is a sixteen years old junior at Aragon High School. She lives with her supportive parents, younger sister, and brother in San Mateo. She enjoys playing water polo for her school and club team. Her love for art started when she was diagnosed at the age of two with stage 4 hepatoblastoma. She still loves to do art and her favorite type of art is subtractive sculpting.
Jason DePerro is the experience design lead of the Creative Technology Group at Capital One. He enjoys working with emerging technology such as virtual reality and augmented reality, exploring how these tools might be used as storytelling tools. Jason lives in San Mateo with his wife and two year old daughter. They enjoy going on family hikes and painting together on the weekends.
Suzanne Yau is an art therapist and child life specialist. She started the Art Therapy Program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, working with Child Life Services for eight years to develop and expand its creative arts offerings. During her tenure, Suzanne co-facilitated Medical Art Therapy workshops, initiated an annual Art Day, highlighting artwork by patients and families including a patient-designed, hospital gown, fashion show, and helped to launch a live television broadcast made for kids by kids in the hospital.
Growing up, Goren always created and observed art. Only as an adult she recognized art as her calling. Collage making was a suitable way to convey her values. Starting with acrylics she later discovered encaustic and immediately made the switch. Beeswax turned out to be perfect for layering her work and creating depth and volume.
She is greatly influenced by values such as individual rights, freedom, mindfulness and independent thinking.
Your can find Rinat Goren’s art on her website at rinatart.com
I am the Lead Museum Educator at the Oakland Museum of California. I work closely with my colleagues to plan and teach group activities to field trip groups and families. I'm passionate about informal education, citizen science, art in the classroom, and the myriad ways that museums can support schools.
Jeff Kunkel was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father was a salesman, his mother a nurse. His many relatives included farmers, teachers, preachers, and business owners. Jeff is in his seventh year of ministry at Burlingame United Methodist Church and active in 12 Step Work. He is also an accomplished writer and artist. He teaches a writing course at the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley, has published collections of short stories, childrens' picture books, and nonfiction books. His literary website is JeffKunkel.org.
Caroline Robins organizes special projects for Kids & Art. She also serves as workshop manager at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. She has worked in children’s art education for many years and has witnessed first hand the healing power of art. She feels honored to be part of this incredible organization which makes such a difference to kids and their families who have been touched by cancer. Caroline is also a member of San Francisco Women Artists and earned her BA (Honors) at Chelsea School of Art in London. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Lucy Celano is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across a variety of sectors. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her.
Vinay Sharma is an artist currently based in the Bay Area. He graduated from California College of the Arts with a BFA in Animation. In 2015, Vinay was an animator for the Marine Mammal Center’s video on global warming’s impact on marine wildlife, titled “A Date with Dr. Whizzlepuff.” He is currently freelancing as a painter and animator. He has volunteered with Kids & Art since 2017.
Kenny has had a long-standing passion for tea, and he co-founded Fabula Tea with his business partner Yshel. In addition to tea, he is passionate about art and mindfulness. Fabula Tea, based in the Bay Area, collaborates with various local organizations and takes part in many events in the area.
Isabel Yuriko Stenzel Byrnes
Isabel Yuriko Stenzel Byrnes, LCSW, MPH
Isabel is a licensed clinical social worker and bereavement counselor at Mission Hospice & Home Care, where she counsels children, teens and adults who have lost a loved one. She also leads writing through loss groups for those who are grieving, among other support groups. Isabel has experienced several significant losses of her own and has lived with serious illness all of her life. As an author, documentarian, patient advocate and speaker, Isabel has lectured around the country on topics such as living well with illness, grief and loss, end-of-life issues and organ donation, including a TEDx Stanford talk in 2014.
Will Tottle is a freelance writer & blogger. He believes there is nothing quite like the power of a truly good article to bring across new thinking, a new perspective, and to cause action. Will has a wide array of interests when it comes to providing excellent blog content. If you are interested in more information on music therapy, audio guides and gear reviews , be sure to check out Will’s audio guides here.
Fran Heyman has her dream job as the Program Director for ArtWorks, The Naomi Cohain Foundation. Fran has the privilege of working with the ArtWorks incredibly talented and creative Teaching Artists, the caring, sensitive and fantastic Child Life Specialists, the dedicated and hardworking ArtWorks staff and most importantly, the amazing ArtWorks young artists and their families in our 50 hospital partner facilities throughout New York and New Jersey.
Jessica Santos: Communications Manager, The Painted Turtle
Jessica has worked for the family of SeriousFun camps founded by Paul Newman for almost two decades. She believes camp has the power to not only transform the lives of the children and families, but the people who serve them as well. Jessica’s passion for working with children with special needs began at the University of Florida where she received her degree in theatre, dance, and communications. Using her skills as an artist Jessica started a dance company for children who are hearing impaired, volunteered with a variety of populations through the “Arts in Medicine” program at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Fl and eventually found a career with her first SeriousFun camp, Camp Boggy Creek in Eustis, Florida. Jessica was the first Assistant Camp Director at The Painted Turtle and the creator of the camps hospital outreach program, Outpost. She currently resides on the communications team where her extensive background in programming, graphic design, website management, and video production allow her to share hundreds of camper and family stories that speak to the power of camp.
Jessica attests that working at Camp is a gift. She has learned so much about life, courage, and perseverance from the children and families she has had the privilege of serving.