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!
We also had a very good mix of people: members of Gilda’s Club, family and friends. The best-surprise-attendee-from-out-of-left-field-award goes to the mother of my best friend from third through eighth grades. I hadn’t seen her for a decade or two. Sometimes you never know with whom your message will resonate.
We discussed different types of identity shifts and approaches to exploring your own. We also put out an open call for participants. We’ve completed three Cancer Shift photo shoots to date and posted them to our online gallery. We are looking for additional participants to collaborate with and help us grow the Cancer Shift body of work.
One Identity Shift + one type of Collaborative Art Making = an Identity Shift Exploration. These Explorations become a powerful declaration of self as well as a testament to the human capacity for change. By sharing them with others we give faces and stories to the different types of Identity Shifts, as well as empower, educate and inspire others who are going through similar experiences. Ultimately an individual’s Identity Shift is crystallized in the context of others witnessing and acknowledging that person’s transformation.
If you know someone who’s had or is currently living with a cancer diagnosis and might be interested in participating in our current Identity Shift Exploration, Cancer Shift, please share our website with them. If you’re married to us, related to us, are a longtime friend or colleague, or just really like what we are up to and want to follow our progress, you’re invited to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and join our mailing list .
Though, if you’re married to us, you’re actually obligated, not invited.