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

Sarah Bailey from Weathervane Playhouse received a grant for “Imagine That,” 12 therapeutic drama classes for pediatric oncology patients at Akron Children’s Hospital.

Weathervane’s improvisational drama classes are designed to allow these children “to reduce stress, engage in dramatic play as a means of self-expression and use drama as a way to escape the hospital setting for a few moments.”

Sessions like “Superhero Training Camp” and “Pirates and Mermaids” all include games, creative movement and characterization through scripted reading.  After the first year, Weathervane, which has engaged in outreach to the Akron community through the arts for 80 years, hopes to provide similar classes to other area facilities.
Sarah was inspired to apply to Emily’s Fund when Codey, one of Weathervane’s young actors, was diagnosed with sarcoma, as Emily was.   The joy he took in acting “inspired us to develop a program in which we could bring that same joy to others like him.”  The news of Emily’s grant arrived as Codey finished a year of treatment and returned to the theater to star in “The Wizard of Oz.”    

Sarah later reported that her first session was a huge hit with patients and their caregivers.  One young patient could not speak because of a tracheotomy, but he used pantomime and was the first to volunteer for the games. 

“Lots of happy patients and nurses!” Sarah wrote.  “I hope to make Emily proud.”