IWF PEN PALS PROGRAM:
We are also able to mail a special drawing to a child who is dealing with a particularly challenging illness and is not physically able to come to our events. Children are chosen by hospital staff, or if you know of a child who you believe would be appropriate for this program, please let us know.
Our artists have worked on such projects as SpongeBob, The Simpsons, Phineas and Ferb, Ice Age, The Rugrats, and Scooby Doo; comic books such as Batman, The Hulk, Archie and Mad Magazine; as well as illustrations for Rolling Stone, Harpers, The New Yorker, Time, Random House, Simon and Schuster, and many more.
Message from Ink Well Founder, Elizabeth Winter:
“I was diagnosed with cancer as a teenager, but post-surgery, I am grateful to be cancer free. I still remember the long days in the hospital and how having visitors to talk to and make me laugh made all the difference. I’ve gone on to a career in animation and live action where I’ve gotten to meet some of the greatest artists in the field, and together we have created The Ink Well with the hopes of bringing laughter and creativity to brave kids facing illness today.” Elizabeth has worked on animated shows such as “Beavis & Butthead,” “Rugrats,” “The Wild Thornberrys,” and currently “The Venture Brothers.”
Ray Alma, Event Director: St. Mary’s Hospital
Ray is a cartoonist, caricaturist and illustrator. His work has appeared in Mad magazine, DC Comics, NY Daily News, NY Newsday and shows for Nicktoons. He’s a member of the National Cartoonist Society and in 2010, he won the NCS Reuben Award for “Best In Magazine Illustration”. He has taught cartooning at Jamaica Arts Center, Queens College and Nassau Community College. He also draws for the USO at hospitals in Washington DC, Germany, Kuwait and Iraq.
Elana Amity, Event Director: Mount Sinai Hospital
Elana is a full-time fine artist whose work has been exhibited in New York, Ireland and Italy. Most recently, she had a one-woman show in Port Authority’s Artists in Public Spaces. She’s been an Editorial Illustrator for consumer and trade magazines and has also taught illustration and painting at La Guardia High School. She’s on the Board of Directors at the Society of Illustrators, co-chairs their Community Service Committee, and coordinates their Summer Illustration Art Academy for at-risk children.
Jane Archer, Event Director: Bellevue Hospital
Jane is a Brooklyn-based illustrator and graphic designer. Her work includes illustrations for “The Bap Handbook” and Clinton Kelly’s “Freakin Fabulous,” character design for sites like gurlthang.com and her own worldwide stationary line for Clarkson Potter/Random House called p.s. bella by jane archer. Jane is currently illustrating a CD for children called, “Jumping Through Hoops, Songs of Bravery and Courage” as well as teaching children at an afterschool arts and design program at the Brooklyn Design Lab.
Franz Palomares, Event Director: Gilda’s Club NYC
Franz is an animator and cartoon illustrator. He has worked both in traditional cel animation and 3D animation on such projects as “Curious George,” “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” “Dr. Suess’ Sneetches,” “Dora the Explorer,” “X-Men” and more. His animated short, ‘Zombies Vs. Vampires’, won the audience award at the 2010 Miami International Film Festival. Currently he’s working with TED Conferences on their TED-Ed initiatives, bringing together great animators and great educators to create lessons worth spreading.
Thank you to our wonderful artist volunteers:
Ray Alma, IWF Event Director at St. Mary’s Hospital
Elana Amity, IWF Event Director at Mount Sinai Hospital
Jane Archer, IWF Event Director at Bellevue Hospital
John Jay Cabuay
Mike de Seve
Peter de Séve
Rami Efal, Board Member
Heather MacDonald, Board Member
Franz Palomares, IWF Event Director at Gilda’s Club NYC
Elizabeth Winter, Founder, Executive Director, Board Member
Peter de Séve at New Alternatives for Children
We regularly visit children facing illness at the following institutions:
Bellevue Hospital: the oldest public hospital in the United States.
CancerCare: a national nonprofit that provides free, professional support services for anyone affected by cancer.
Children’s Hospital of Minnesota: an independent, non-profit system with more than 12,000 inpatient visits and 200,000 emergency room and other outpatient visits each year.
Children’s Memorial of Chicago: the pediatric teaching facility of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Gilda’s Club: a network of clubhouses supporting people whose lives have been affected by cancer.
Mount Sinai Hospital: one of the oldest and largest teaching hospitals in the United States.
New Alternatives for Children: a center for children with disabilities and chronic illness with a focus on foster and adoptive families.
New York Methodist Hospital: an acute-care teaching hospital affiliated with the Weill Cornell Medical College.
Ronald McDonald House: a charity that works to keep families together while children receive medical treatment by providing housing and other support.
St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children: a non-profit healthcare center for children with special needs and life-limiting conditions.
Sunrise Day Camp: the only dedicated day camp in the nation for children with cancer.
*Photos: In order to protect the children’s privacy, we do not publish minors’ names with any of our photos unless we have written consent from a legal guardian. We are also not permitted to show the children’s faces in our photos at specific events. We make every effort to honor the privacy of the children and families we visit while respectfully sharing their stories for the benefit of others who are experiencing similar challenges. If you are a legal guardian and would like to have your child’s name posted with their photo or if you have any concerns about a photo, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Please Note: in 2009, there was some confusion associating our foundation with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.. Although Mr. Gates once ran a group with a similar name, we have no affiliation or connection with Mr. Gates or any of his endeavors whatsoever.