| | Filed under Behind the scenes, Events, Observations.


You know when someone sees you after they haven’t seen you recently, and they say, It’s good to see you!? I like to respond: It’s good to be seen. I’m currently in my third remission. ‘Cause apparently two just weren’t enough. This 3rd trip around the cancer block has forced an identity shift: I’ve emerged a patient advocate. My next event in that role is a public workshop I’m delivering in March for survivors, caregivers, and anyone else interested in the topic: EMPOWERED PATIENT-DOCTOR COMMUNICATION: Getting What You Need From Your Doctor 6:00-7:30 PM EST Thurs, March 10, 2016 Location: SHARE Main Office NYC You can download the flyer here. And register for the workshop here. Here’s the deal: Our… Read more »

| | Filed under Behind the scenes, Observations.

CC speech01_tn

I’m a four-year cancer survivor. Not only that, I’m currently, as I speak, survivING cancer. Yep: I’m back on chemo. I’m playing whack-a-mole with cancer – or maybe cancer thinks it’s playing whack-a-mole with me. But I keep coming back. Let me tell you who I REALLY am. I’m a native New Yorker. I’ve been with my husband for 25 years. We have a 10-year-old daughter starting middle school in September. I’m a former budget backpacker who’s trekked in Nepal. I’m a business consultant specializing in start-up companies. I co-founded a nonprofit arts project online. I’m a writer and artist. Please note that none of this was in my medical file until very recently. Just a little bit of it… Read more »

| | Filed under Events, Updates.

My favorite part of the conference brochure.

Time for the pseudo-quarterly blog post, just right for my slow summer pace. It’s been awhile. I keep thinking I’ll focus on the blog more, but I’ve been easily distracted. There’s been some identity shifting going on.   My daughter graduated 5th grade and starts middle school in September. Which means she is officially a tween. What that means for me as a mother of one of those, I cannot even fathom, but I’m sure I’ll find out… repeatedly. So far it’s been kind of fascinating. I suspect I’ll have more to say about this identity shift soon, but right now I just need to keep observing it. My cancer came back, again. It’s very clingy and needs a lot… Read more »

| | Filed under Profiles.

Sharon King and Jessica Safran, August 2013. Photo: Julie Hassett Sutton.

I met Sharon King at a cancer support group in 2011. Six months into my time with the group, I shared the idea my friend Julie and I had for a photography-based art project with cancer survivors called The Identity Shift Project. It would be a forum for people to publicly project their identity beyond being a cancer case, no matter where they were in their cancer journey, and share their stories. Then Sharon was away from group for a couple of weeks. The day she returned, when I sat down next to her, she silently pushed a magazine clipping on the couch cushion over to me. I looked at it. Torn out of a magazine called Midwest Living, it… Read more »

| | Filed under Behind the scenes.

nature morte small

Nature Morte, our most recently added photo gallery, is a departure from the portrait series we’ve been doing to date. It is our series of medical objects and devices re-imagined as objects of beauty. While the French nature morte literally translated to English is “dead nature,” it’s meaning in English is “still life.” The idea for Nature Morte actually originated during one of the shoots we did with my friend Sharon and her family and friends. Both she and her husband had been given radiation for their cancers, and they had taken home the immobilization molds used to hold their bodies still in the exact positions required by the radiation treatment machines. The molds appeared as sculptural objects of beauty when we… Read more »

| | Filed under Announcements.

The Identity Shift Project

“I feel a lump.” “Our business was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.” “Your tour of duty is complete.” It can all change in a moment – in the time it takes to utter a sentence. We’ve all had this experience at one time or another in the context of other life narratives; maybe, for example, one of these: “You’re hired.” “Twins?” “I want a divorce.” There are countless identity shifts happening all the time. What’s yours? While we can make an external change in seconds, which could mean a change in status or position, the internal transition within a person takes a lot longer, especially when a new role, skill set, or way of being requires a shift in patterns of… Read more »

| | Filed under Events.


We publicly launched The Identity Shift Project on Friday evening March 22, 2013 at Gilda’s Club NYC, the cancer support community. Given that we held the event on a Friday night, right before the spring break holiday, and Gilda’s Club stayed open just for our event (they close early on Fridays but they were awesome to accommodate us), we had fairly low expectations. Turns out we had a whopping 73% turnout when we expected less than 50% of registered attendees to show up. At our event, there there was great storytelling and conversation – which is one of the reasons we’re doing this to begin with!

| | Filed under Announcements.

Rocket launch photo

Here it is: the launch today of our website with online gallery and blog. When you look at the photo to the left of the amazing rocket launch, imagine that what you are watching is silent. Why? Because we are not promoting the site until we refine and test it while live. For now my main message is this: it’s a soft launch. We’re in beta. That means we are still working out all the kinks on the site. If you come across a glitch – technical, user experience, or otherwise – please let us know by sending a message to us on our Contact page. We’ll have a louder, publicly promoted launch in the coming weeks. In the meantime,… Read more »

| | Filed under Announcements.

Welcome to The Identity Shift Project (a.k.a. TISP, because it’s a mouthful when repeated more than once in a sentence). If you are arriving at this blog post by accident without the helpful context provided by reading the Home or About page of our website, here is our mission: We bring new perspectives to healing through collaborative art-making. Sounds like fun, right? We’ve been building the Project since August when my close friend, babysitting pool member, and TISP Director of Photography/Co-Founder, Julie Hassett Sutton and I decided to have an arts project together. Our husbands are okay with it;