Artist Theaster Gates to Participate in Lupus Educational Seminar

Artist Theaster Gates to Participate in Lupus Educational Seminar &
Creative Writing Forum for Individuals Living with Chronic Illness

Local artist Theaster Gates will participate in a creative writing forum hosted by the Lupus Foundation of America, Illinois Chapter (LFAI).  The forum will celebrate pieces written by individuals living with lupus who use their writing to cope with the realities of their disease.  The forum will follow an educational seminar featuring Rheumatologist Dr. Meenakshi Jolly who will present on “Coping with Lupus.”

The purpose of the seminar is to provide accurate and current lupus information to attendees.  The Creative Writing Forum will celebrate how lupus patients use creative skills to help them cope with their disease and will include readings of pre-selected writing of individuals living with a chronic illness.  Pieces presented will be chosen by a small committee and submissions are welcome.  Prizes will be awarded to selected writers.

LFAI’s Medical Advisory Board member Dr. Meenakshi Jolly will present a talk on “Coping with Lupus “at the Educational Seminar.  Dr. Jolly is an Assistant Professor of Rheumatology at Rush University Medical Center, where she is the Director of the Rush Lupus Clinic.  She is also the Associate Program Director for the University’s Rheumatology Fellowship program.

Theaster Gates, Director of Arts Programming and Resident Artist at the University of Chicago, will be the Chief Guest at the Educational Seminar and Creative Writing Forum.Theaster is interested in both arts administration and art practice. After spending a few years as project manager for the Chicago Transit Authority, overseeing arts related projects, he began working with many of Chicago’s arts-based community organizations as both artist-teacher and administrator. Now at the University of Chicago, Theaster’s responsibilities include assisting in the development of faculty and student organization collaborations and representing the Division of the Humanities in coordinating campus arts activities.

The educational seminar and creative writing forum is FREE and open to the public however, space is limited. Please RSVP to Sonya at [email protected] or call 312-542-0002. Refreshments will be served.

When: Saturday, June 13, 2009, 10:00am
Where: Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St., Veteran’s Room, 2nd Floor, Oak Park, IL

About Lupus:
Lupus is a chronic (lifelong) autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and tissue damage to virtually every organ system in the body.  Currently, 65,000 Illinois residents are estimated to live with lupus, an unpredictable and potentially fatal autoimmune disease for which there presently is no satisfactory treatment or cure.  Lupus strikes mostly young women; however anyone can develop the disease at any age.  Lupus is more common among minorities – a disparity that remains unexplained. 

For more information on lupus and the Lupus Foundation of America, Illinois Chapter please contact Sonya Loynachan at 312-542-0002 or at [email protected].