Wall murals of happy mermaids and dolphins frolicking in an underworld sea party of blue greet young cancer patients and their families when they arrive at Stony Brook University Medical Center’s pediatric oncology unit, thanks to dozens of volunteer artists from Long Island nonprofit ‘Splashes of Hope,’ where alumnae Kym Mirabella ’88 is a Board Member.
‘Splashes of Hope’ volunteer artists, explained Kym, help transform the bare walls of medical institutions, social services offices, and nonprofit facilities, giving patients and visitors a soothing visual focus to stimulate the healing process.
“I just loved the idea of working for a charity that helps children experience the healing power of art,” said Kym, who initially worked on the organization’s marketing committee before she agreed to serve on their Board.
The unveiling of the Stony Brook University Medical Center ‘Splashes of Hope’ installation was completed just in time for the winter holidays in 2008 thanks to State Sen. John Flanagan, who worked along with the Laurence W. Levine Foundation to secure funding for the project, as well as Heather Buggee, Founder and Artistic Director for ‘Splashes of Hope.’
Dr. Devina Prakash of the Pediatric Oncology Unit thanked Sen. Flanagan and ‘Splashes of Hope’ for transforming the department into an “underwater wonderland.”
Kym, now living in Ft. Salonga and working as a technology and art consultant, experienced the transformative power of art first hand.
She lost her job in the Twin Towers and was blocked for months from returning to her apartment after the 9-11 attack, inspiring her to write, direct and produce her first documentary film. “I wanted to do an upbeat piece about New York instead of focusing on the tragedy.”
“The Oldest Gig in Town,” was about a 40-year-long run of the band The Grove Street Stompers at Arthur’s Tavern, who Kym says “Kept the heart beat of New York City going strong.” The film sold out every night at the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival.
“It was a great New York moment for me,” she remembers.