The Emily List Fund for Performing Arts Therapy has been established by Emily's family to honor her memory as an actor, a dancer, a reviewer and a lover of the performing arts. The Fund will be used to support theater, dance and music projects aimed at helping the sick and disadvantaged in the interest of making their lives better and brighter through the performing arts.

Grant Recipients


WeathervaneSarah Bailey, Director of Education at Weathervane Playhouse, received her third grant to support “Imagine That,” a theater workshop for children in the pediatric oncology unit at Akron Children’s Hospital and their caregivers.

Emily’s grant will be used to expand this interactive theater and movement-based program, which is designed to foster creativity, build self-esteem and relationships and reduce feelings of stress and isolation. 

The workshops, offered through the Emily Cooper Welty Expressive Arts Therapy Center, are an alternative form of entertainment and healing through games, movement and both scripted and improvisational work. 

In addition to expanding the program, the grant also will support individualized sessions with children too ill to come to the Center and working on a means to assess the workshops’ results. 

“Thanks to your continued support,” Sarah said, “patients and their caregivers showed marked improvement in just 45 minutes of structured dramatic play. Children were able to be children—not just ‘sick.’”

Sarah first sought a grant to start “Imagine That” three years ago after one of Weathervane’s young actors was diagnosed with sarcoma and she saw how effective theater was in helping him through his treatment. “I hope to do Emily proud,” Sarah always says.

She does.