What is The ART of Infertility?
The ART of Infertility is a traveling art exhibit and oral history project that documents the experience of infertility. Through storytelling and artwork, The ART of Infertility translates the experiences of infertility patients to medical practitioners, physicians, legislators and the general public. It is hoped that the project displays the human experiences of infertility rather than reinforce the medical discourse of the disease.
What are the goals of The ART of Infertility?
Our goals are several. An overarching goal is to raise infertility awareness and general infertility advocacy. To do this, we gather the stories, art and writing that infertile individuals have created to heal and/or represent their experiences of infertility. An additional aim of the project is to support medical humanities education, educating physicians about the day-to-day realities of patient experiences with infertility. The project also offers a community of support to those with infertility through art and writing workshops that accompany the exhibits.
Who can participate in the project?
The ART of Infertility does not subscribe to a particular ideology about who is infertile. We believe that infertility impacts and affects diverse populations, ranging from infertile wo/men, friends and family of infertile individuals, as well as the healthcare professionals and legislators making fertility decisions. We are interested in sharing the experiences of infertility from all of these perspectives.
When did the project begin?
The project debuted in March of 2014 and subsequent exhibits, presentations, workshops have been held in Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington State, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin, with work created and interviews conducted across the U.S. and the world. We also did our first international exhibit in Switzerland in the fall of 2016.
Why explore the arts and infertility?
Research by Alice Domar, Ph.D., director of the Mind/Body Center for Women’s Health at the Mind/Body Medical Institute and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has found the psychological stress from infertility to be equal of that for patients with cancer and AIDS. Participants in the project find healing through sharing their stories, creating artwork around their experiences, and visiting our exhibits with their support systems.
Is the ART of Infertility a 501(c)(3)?
We are in the process of becoming a 501(c)(3) non-profit and have filed our articles of incorporation making us a non-profit corporation in the State of Michigan.
Does the project receive funding?
We rely on grants and sponsorships for our funding. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how you can become a sponsor of the project.
How do I contact the project?
We’d love to hear from you! To contact Elizabeth, please send an email to email@example.com or call (517) 262-3662. To contact Maria, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (414) 530-1517.
WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
A range of sponsorship opportunities are available.
How can I provide support?
Financial donations and sponsorship are always appreciated. But your support can also be smaller! Some examples are gift cards for travel and exhibit expenses, donating art materials for art workshops, even your professional expertise (i.e. fundraising experience, social media assistance or legal reviews of contracts).
Spread the word
Tell your friends and family about the exhibit. Share information on social media and invite your followers to The ART of Infertility events. Tag us in your posts. We have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account. Ask those who have experienced infertility if they would like to participate by sharing their stories through an interview or artwork.
Share your story
We are interested in hearing from as many people as possible. Whether you are newly diagnosed, in treatment, in the process of adopting, seeking a gestational surrogate, are parenting after infertility, are living childfree after infertility or are trying to decide what to make of all of this, we want to hear your story. We display the stories and photographs of individuals and families in various stages of the journey throughout the exhibit. We understand if you’d prefer to remain anonymous and have means set up to ensure your anonymity.
We want to share ways that those with Infertility have used to express themselves creatively throughout their journeys. You don’t have to be a professional artist to participate. Whether it’s a sculpture or painting, a scarf you knitted to pass the time while waiting at the Reproductive Endocrinologists’ office, a necklace you made to remember a baby lost or a poem or prayer you jotted down in your journal, we’d love to include it in the exhibit.