To provide consistency and legacy in the lives of children with cancer through the collaborative creation of art with professional artists, building a charitable awareness and presence within the artists' community, while making a lasting impact on the children and their families, and in essence, the world.
Creating tolerance and awareness and a sense of consistency at an otherwise scary time can remain overlooked, with hospital bills and mounting treatment lists, BUT we as people through the power of art have the ability to hold time, make it stand still for a moment as we paint, sing, and sculpt it into an eternity.
There once lived a girl named Katie Andryca. Aside from being my very bestest friend, she was a wild, crazy, loving, artistic, and passionate young woman. She loved rain because of the worms, and rainbows. She loved caterpillars because they're fuzzy and they make beautiful butterflies and she loved art because...well, it made her feel like she mattered. Once upon a time we talked about starting a clothing line. She'd design and I'd do the business. We'd call it, A.S.K.
... in that acronym were located both of our initials and a profound demand. Always ask, always question, demand ART! Since she was always the inspiration, Katie's Art Project seemed better suited... and slightly less angsty. (In choosing names for this particular "art project" please note that instead of K.A.P. an on-going art project for kids with terminal cancers, this could have just as easily been called A.S.K. an on-going art project for kids with terminal cancers.
So, it was Katie's dream to be a creator of art. In December of 1999 Katie was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. She was an immediate in-patient spending all the major holidays in that little 7 room ward. Being the artist she was with the help of her family, Walter, Beth, and Michael, and friends from school, she decorated that room within an inch of it's stark white, sterile life.
Truthfully, in that Pediatric Hematology Oncology Ward, each child was his or her own hero; driving the way they spent their days albeit attached to a pic line or IV. Volunteers came and went, and questionably got more from the kids than the kids got from them, little Angels that they were. However, two volunteers in particular stood out, the golden retriever who'd come by every few weeks and spend time with each kid. Stopping for a "woof", a bone, and a hug. And... the pastor, who stopped by virtually every day, rain or shine, good or bad. It wasn't what they did when they came, it was their consistency. Only after did I recognize the importance of consistency in their lives because it gave them something almost impossible when their insides where revolting daily; it gave them comfort.
Katie passed away in late 2001 after a strong fight and a lot of art projects... and it took some time for me to move on enough to see the forest beyond the trees. But with a little inspiration, here we are.
Its nice to meet you and we are glad you're here. See you at an art project soon.
Who we Are
Who we Are
Stephanie Klemons is an award-winning Broadway performer and Choreographer from Central New Jersey.
She is Associate Choreographer and an Original Cast Member of Broadway's smash hit HAMILTON! Along with the company she helped lead the show to it's record-breaking 16 Tony Nominations and 11 wins, including one for Best Choreography. The cast album also broke records, making it to #1 not only on the Musical chart, but also on the Rap chart. It went Platinum shortly thereafter, winning the Grammy Award. As Associate Choreographer, she continues her work with HAMILTON! through casting and maintaining the multiple companies on Broadway (Resident Choreographer), Chicago, the West Coast, and the West End in London.
Stephanie and Choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler have worked together extensively over the last 10 years, beginning as an Original Cast Member and Dance Captain for the Broadway & Off-Broadway productions of In The Heights, Lin Manuel's first Broadway hit. Along with the Original Cast, she sang on the Grammy-winning album, won an AACP Diversity Award, and a Drama Desk Award for "Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical". After performing in the Broadway cast for more than a year, she went on to set the first national tour as Associate Choreographer. With Andy, Stephanie served as Associate Choreographer of Bring It On, The Musical on Broadway. Additionally, she was a member of the Original Broadway Cast of If/Then featuring Idina Menzel & Anthony Rapp, directed by Michael Greif and featured on the Grammy Nominated Cast Album.
In the commercial world, Stephanie recently choreographed for Victoria's Secret and Vogue working with legendary director, Jeff Madoff, filmmaker Gordon Von Steiner, and supermodels Adrianna Lima, Candice Swanepool and Ana Barros. She serves as choreographer for the New Deco Orchestra, a New York based Musical Experience, and has choreographed for CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, as well as danced and set pieces for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and American Dance Machine at The Joyce. For two year Stephanie was commissioned to create pieces for New York's hottest dance team, NBA's BROOKLYNETTES.
In addition to performing and choreographing, Stephanie has taught at Broadway Dance Center, Stella Adler, N.Y.C.D.A., Alvin Ailey and the Joffrey and enjoys providing classes for many non-profits including Sunrise, R.Evolucion Latina, and Broadway Inspirational Voices.
Brandon is excited to join Stephanie on the journey of producing [the art project] and growing Katie's Art Project. He joins KAP with diverse experience as a performer and art administrator. Brandon believes in the impact that visual and performing arts can have on the life of every individual, as his experiences with visual and performing arts have shaped him as a leader and performer. Learn more about Brandon