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Arts in Medicine: Visible Ink Hosts 11th Year of Live Patient Performances


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ON MARCH 18, 2019, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) hosted another set of successful live performances of works by patients with cancer as part of its Visible Ink writing program. Held at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, Visible Ink celebrates its 11th year of the ongoing one-on-one writing program for patients undergoing cancer treatment and afterwards throughout survivorship. This incredible writing program welcomes writers of all ages, encouraging them to explore any topic using any form of writing, including stories, essays, poems, drama, and beyond.

This year’s Visible Ink program featured a plethora of performance types, including reverse poetry in the case of “All I Want” by Sarah A. Porwoll, dancing performances like “The Dancer Inside Me” by Lori Magnotti, and inspirational monologues like “My Second Act” by Valerie David. Ranging from comical to emotional, all of these performances were earnest and instilled a feeling of community in all who had the privilege to participate.

Growing Program

STARTING WITH a handful of patients grown from an idea over a decade ago, Visible Ink has transformed into a program to include hundreds of people who contribute to this incredible work not only including participants, but mentors as well. Visible Ink started with MSK and its regional alliances, but the program has also expanded to various other cancer centers in the New York city area, including Coler Hospital, Kings County Hospital Center, and Queens County Cancer Center, where Visible Ink piloted their first expansion last year. A Visible Ink Film Festival is also in development to showcase in film the work of Visible Ink participants.

To learn more about the Visible Ink writing program, please visit www.mskcc.org/experience/patient-support/activities/writing-visible-ink.

“This is Why We’re in Business” by Steven Kerner, featuring Via, at the 2019 MSK Visible Ink performance.

“Time” by Karl Merchant is performed by David Hyde Pierce at the 2019 MSK Visible Ink performance.

“The Dancer Inside Me” by Lori Magnotti at the 2019 MSK Visible Ink performance.


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