Throughout the year, the ArtWorks community meets a Young Artist from one of our programs who has used the creative and performing arts to help them cope with their illness.

February 2019 ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Rowan
Age 22


ArtWorks first met Rowan in 2005 at her inaugural Express Yourself performance when she was just 9 years old. Today, we are privileged to welcome her as our Events Intern while she completes her degree in Family Science and Human Development at Montclair State University.
Rowan’s story details her incredible perseverance as a two-time Leukemia survivor, how she used art as a vehicle for healing and how ArtWorks has been right beside her through it all.
“I lost my childhood and teenage years after being diagnosed with Leukemia at 6-years old. I was isolated in rooms where everything that was brought to me needed to be cleaned and new. In this new world of IV’s and hospital gowns, I began to lose touch with friends and everything I knew.”
But very soon, I was introduced to hip-hop dance at Hackensack University Medical Center and this was a game changer. My days in the hospital were filled with learning new routines and getting each step just right; that’s where ArtWorks came in.
They didn’t see me as patient
in a hospital bed receiving chemotherapy,
they saw a regular kid dancing
her heart out.
I started to perform at Express Yourself and used it to showcase my talent to what seemed like the whole world– not just a couple hundred people in an auditorium. It was the connection I made with the audience that brought me back to perform year after year. They didn’t see me as patient in a hospital bed receiving chemotherapy, they saw a regular kid dancing her heart out.” 
Thank you Rowan for sharing your bravery and for joining our team so that you can share your passion and spirit with all of our Young Artists!