Purdue symposium shines spotlight on expressing cancer's impact through film, the arts

October 23, 2012  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Several activities on the Purdue University campus and in the community are planned for the 2012 Cancer Culture & Community Colloquium beginning this weekend to highlight how the arts and literature provide an outlet of expression to those struggling with cancer.

A Look Good-Feel Good Community Health Fair, a part of the Cancer Culture & Community Creating Hope program, is scheduled at 1:30-4:30 p.m., followed by a variety show from 5-8 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 28) at Lafayette Jefferson High School, 1801 S. 18th St., Lafayette.

The event, organized by Susan McCreery and Kris Swank of the Oncological Sciences Center, will feature booths based on resources for individuals whose lives are touched by cancer.

"The Cancer Culture & Community Colloquium again this year is layered with lectures, exhibits, films, social activities and other special events that demonstrate the powerful influence art and literature can have on how one deals with cancer," said Swank, Creating Hope program director.

More than 40 vendors will be on hand to promote and demonstrate a healthier lifestyle such as makeup, hair, fitness, wellness, cooking and other health-related services. For more information and a complete listing of vendors, performers and artists, go to http://www.purdue.edu/research/ccc/

Local artists will perform, and artwork by Indiana Artists with Cancer and other local and regional artisans will be on display. A bone marrow drive also is planned.

"Booths will provide information, demonstrations and direction for a healthier lifestyle before, during and after life with cancer for yourself, a friend or a loved one," McCreery said. "Artistic expression will be performed through dance, singing, music, improvisation and motivational speakers."

The keynote speaker is award-winning screenwriter Will Reiser, whose 2011 comedy-drama film "50/50" won acclaim for its portrayal of a 24-year-old battling cancer. "An Evening with Will Reiser" is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8 in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall.

The Purdue Student Union Board is sponsoring the free showing of "50/50" at 7 p.m. and again at 9:30 p.m. Nov. 1 in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. Reiser was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at age 24. Today, he's cancer free. His film, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen, comes from the survival odds given to the main character.

The public is invited to "How Do You Talk About What You Don’t Want to Talk About," an exhibition of artwork by Purdue students in response to the film "50/50." The exhibit will run from Monday (Oct. 29) through Nov. 9 at Pao Hall's Rueff East Gallery.

A formal reception is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 8 at the galleries, and students from the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts Division of Dance will perform "Movement Experiment" at 6:15 p.m. that night.

A free performance of "Offering Red," a multimedia performance piece combining spoken word, live jazz, dance and video, is at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 in the Wells Center, 638 North St., Lafayette. A poet, two jazz musicians, a dancer and a videographer from Purdue have assembled a tribute to Mary Hambleton, a visual artist who lived and worked with melanoma for the last seven years of her life and created her art as an extended meditation on the experience of cancer. The performance piece will feature video images from her artwork.

Sponsors for this event are the College of Liberal Arts and Cancer Culture & Community.

All Cancer Culture & Community Colloquium events are free and open to the public. For a complete lineup, see previous news release at: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2012/Q4/5050-screenwriter-will-reiser-to-speak-at-purdue-cancer-culture--community-symposium.html

Primary sponsors are the Oncological Sciences Center, along with the Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and the Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts.

Other sponsors are the Office of the Provost, Office of Engagement, Purdue Center for Cancer Research, College of Pharmacy, School of Nursing, Health and Kinesiology, Department of Chemistry, Department of Bands and Orchestras, Purdue Student Union Board and the Discovery Lecture Series. Community partners include the Tippecanoe Arts Federation, WBAA Radio, the DKMS Bone Marrow Donor Center, Dennis Gerhardt and Michael Shelton. 

In 2007 Discovery Park's Oncological Sciences Center, in partnership with the College of Liberal Arts, launched the annual Cancer Culture & Community initiative to explore how the arts and literature provide an outlet of expression to those struggling with cancer. The effort has impacted well over 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students as well as hundreds of local and regional community members and arts organizations through outreach efforts since its launch.

The Oncological Sciences Center, created through a gift from Lilly Endowment in 2005, is the Discovery Park arm of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research. It builds on existing research areas and is expanding Purdue's thrust into nanotechnology, drug delivery, and cancer care and prevention.

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu           

Sources:  Kris Swank, 765-494-4674, kswank@purdue.edu

Susan McCreery, 765-496-6147, smccreer@purdue.edu

Donald Platt, 765-494-3727, plattd@purdue.edu

Related websites:

50/50 on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/5050Movie

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