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This event was part of Reimagine Events

Out of Illness Comes Art

Four artists used their chronic illness diagnosis to create art. They were shaken but not deterred.

Follow the stories of four artists who create art to express their pain and health struggles as well as a level of hope. Join Elizabeth Coplan, Emma Goldman-Sherman, Kathryn Keats, and Sal Marx as they explore ways to move past the limiting concepts of a diagnosis and into the expanded realm of creative possibilities. Each artist will describe their “diagnosis” story as well as how and why they create.

Is illness a burning source of creativity or does it dampen the artistic spirit? Does it spark ideas or require nerves of steel to bring forth a truly exceptional piece of art? The answer: all of the above.

Their artwork is a manifestation of illness that helps themselves and others understand what is happening invisibly in their own bodies. Whether it’s the written word or a painting, a dance movement or a musical note, art can be the conduit to coping. These artists will show you how.

It all starts with a story … including your own.

ELIZABETH COPLAN is a marketing and public relations veteran who turned her personal loss and grief into the groundbreaking play, Grief Dialogues. She is also an award-winning playwright and screenwriter whose latest film Honoring Choices will be released September 2022 through Reimagine. This summer Elizabeth launches a new podcast, Out of Grief Comes Art, to share the work of artists using their own grief stories as inspiration.

EMMA GOLDMAN-SHERMAN's plays have been produced on 4 continents and published by Brooklyn Publishers, Next Stage, Applause, and Smith & Kraus. Their poetry has appeared in American Athenaeum, Oberon, NonBinary Review, and Chaotic Merge among others. MFA: University of Iowa. Podcasts available at and Member: Dramatists Guild, LMDA, ICWP and Honor Roll! More at the Emma runs to support women+ writers.

KATHRYN KEATS is an award-winning performance artist, playwright, teaching artist and survivor using story and music to create space for healing and to inspire strength in people who have experienced seemingly insurmountable struggles. Her current work, The Hummingbird, was awarded Best Solo Musical 2021 at The MarshStream International Theatre Festival.

SAL MARX is a non-binary artist and patient advocate, who lives with AS (ankylosing spondylitis) among other chronic illnesses. Sal utilizes storytelling and visual expression to help patients reclaim once-silenced narratives. Sal received their bachelor’s degree from Pomona College and master's degree in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University.

Talk, Panel, & Conversation Visual Art Storytelling Writing & Literature Theater


Wellness Arts & Entertainment Healthcare Living Fully Physical Health