Brushes with Cancer 2023 Open Program Applications Available Now!
"Brushes With Cancer Provides Psycho-Social Support To Those Touched By Cancer by Providing a Unique Art Experience that helps to Improve The Quality Of Life and Aid in Healing.”
The Program

Creating Unexpected Intersections

Brushes with Cancer strategically matches artists with those touched by cancer to create unique pieces of artwork reflective of their journey. Over a period of 4 months, pairs will connect virtually and their relationships are guided and supported by Twist Out Cancer mentors with the intention of creating a support system for both the artist and inspiration. The program finishes on a high note with our signature celebratory art exhibition, gala and auction where the artwork is revealed for the first time. Due to the nature of the pandemic all Brushes with Cancer programs will be held virtually with the hope of being able to gather in the near future.

The Participants & Our Reach

Artists, Inspirations, and Mentors

Brushes With Cancer Program participants understand and are aware of the personal values brought to the experience—and avoid imposing— values religious/ spiritual beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Participants respect the diversity of other program participants, mentors, TOC staff. Mentor support is to be sought where there is risk of imposing values, especially when values encounter conflict, or are discriminatory in nature.

Brushes with Cancer programs have taken place in Chicago, Ann Arbor, Toronto, Montreal, Tel Aviv, Philadelphia, Detroit and Austin. Since 2011, we have reached over 46,000 individuals through Brushes with Cancer.

Is there a cost to participate in the program?
The program is offered at no cost to artists and inspirations.


Apply to be an Artist!

Apply Now

Apply to be an Inspiration!

Apply Now
Brushes with Cancer Mentor

Mentors play a critical role in supporting our participants and this is a unique way to volunteer with our community. Mentors are responsible for ensuring that the pairs are connecting appropriately, understand the expectations of the program and most importantly provide a supportive connection between the inspiration and artist. 

[read more]

The pairing between the artist and inspiration creates an intersection and connection that may otherwise never have been made. For both artists and inspirations, there is a lot of vulnerability and openness required to tell stories and to actively listen. A Mentor can be there to share in the joy of the program and storytelling but is also there to solve problems, lend clinical support and ensure each match feels supported throughout their experience. 

Mentors are responsible for checking in with their matches 4-6 times over the course of the program. These check-ins can be completed over the phone or in person. The touch points can be brief if the pairs are connecting appropriately or may require additional attention depending on the needs of the participants. The length of the touch points will be based on your clinical judgment. All mentors will be responsible for regularly completing surveys to assess the participants’ experiences throughout the duration of the program.  


3-4-month commitment.

Oversee 3-4 pairs (totaling 6-8 people)

Help to foster connection and trust between artist and inspiration

Connect with matches one to two times per month

Connect with other mentors and Clinical Director on 3 zoom conference calls.

Problem-solve conflict, offer emotional support and foster trusting connections between matches

Minimum License Qualifications: LSW/LCSW, LPC/LCPC or equivalent. Professional experience working with individuals who have been touched by Cancer preferred. 

Compensation: Two VIP tickets to Brushes with Cancer Gala, name in the program book and on website.

If you are interested in participating as a Brushes with Cancer mentor please apply!

Apply to be a Mentor

Apply Now
Frequently Asked Questions about Participating

How is the art sold (at auction) priced?

The participating artist sets the price for the work created.

How much time does the Artist and Inspiration need to spend together?

Matched Artists and Inspirations should “connect” a minimum 6 times over 5 months. This can be in-person, by video chat or phone. We also encourage exchanges by text and email. On average, Brushes participants engage in 5 hours of meaningful interaction.

More Questions?

Email August Spree, Program Director.

The Brushes with Cancer Experience
Featured Artists
Michael Leavy
Read More
Alison Conklin
Read More
Sharon Arffa
Sharon Arffa
Read More
Kathryn Tubbs
Read More
Theresa Bond
Read More
Sheryl Ann Noday
Read More

The Impact

Download The Impact of Brushes With Cancer for print guide here:

Download Now
Support The Community