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ArtThread Brochure

Work of Art Program

ArtThread in San Francisco Medicine

Our Mission

The ArtThread Foundation makes art and creative expression more available to those impacted by illness, physical limitations, or social consequence. The Foundation works to build a global art-based community by making it possible for people to share and communicate via art. In this way the Foundation uses art as an agent of community change by sharing our technology assets with other non-profit organizations whose mission is to support arts in healthcare, child advocacy, and community-building -- any program that serves people in crisis or those with special needs. From cancer survivors, to persons with disabilities, or children at risk, ArtThread provides a healthy way for these everyday people to connect, foster creativity, and thrive in their daily life. People feeling better and coming together through the power of creative expression: this is the work of the ArtThread Foundation.



The word “art” (not a capital "a") connotes a wide variety of meaning for all of us.  Here’s how we see it:

art (ärt) 1. the human ability to make things; the act of individual expression or declaration. 2. an attitude changer; a shout out; a uniter/connector; not what’s hanging  in a museum.

For the survivor (and we are all survivors) the act of individual expression can be a symbol of independence and unity. Now imagine being able to share that symbol with survivors all over the world. ArtThread is that global community, linked by a common thread of support for one another.


What We Do

Through service, education, and research, the ArtThread Foundation makes art and creative expression readily available to those impacted by illness, physical limitations, or social consequence.  ArtThread offers its services to healthcare facilities like Shriners Hospitals for Children, organizations that support people with disabilities like VSA arts of Florida, and education and research organizations like the UCLA Pediatric Pain Program. 

Around the corner or across the ocean, ArtThread technology nurtures creative expression and helps any organization perform their mission better by building connection, creativity, and community.  We support you, too! Create an account and make your own personal gallery!

ArtThread uses its technology to build a global art-based community that bolsters the individual spirit across cultural and language barriers, and puts art EVERYWHERE: home, work, in-patient and clinic settings, schools, and in community organizations.

The Foundation generates revenues through donors like you, corporate sponsors, grants, and the Gallery's e-commerce features.


Our History

The ArtThread Foundation evolved from a US Department of Commerce and NIH/NCI-funded arts-based research and patient service program at the University of Florida. Drawing on the expertise gained from five years of working with people with physical limitations and health challenges, the Foundation forged a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University in order to develop online art-tools that bring the possibility of creative expression to people with limited access to traditional art-making tools.

In 2006 ArtThread moved from its academic-based roots to a community-based organization where tools for creating and sharing art can be used by the broader population. As part of its mission ArtThread offers all of its technology assets to enhance the services of other non-profits such as VSA arts of Florida. These assets include an engaging interactive online gallery and highly-accessible art-making tools. The Foundation's partnership with Shriners Hospital of Tampa is an example of how ArtThread brings both artists and art-making tools to a population in need.


Our Team

Jay Klein is the Founder and CEO of the ArtThread Foundation, and he is a childhood cancer survivor who has used the power of creative expression as a survivorship tool within his own personal experience. Jay’s interest is in the use of technology and creative expression to foster self-esteem and community among children with disabilities, health challenges, and difficult social circumstances. Mr. Klein holds a degree from the University of South Florida in Biology/Biotechnology and a Masters from California State University in Public Administration/Non-Profit Management.

The ArtThread Foundation evolved from Jay’s National Institute of Health, National Cancer Institute, and Department of Commerce funded research at the University of Florida concerning the role of the arts, and creative expression in children with health challenges.  Jay has presented at the Florida Occupational Therapy Association, National Arts & Disabilities Center, David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA, Carnegie Mellon University, Moffitt Cancer Center Palliative Care Program, Lance Armstrong Foundation, American Cancer Society, and International Conference of the Society for Arts in Healthcare. Jay is a drummer!

Rob Rothschild is the President of the ArtThread Foundation and came to the organization in 2006 when the corporation was formed as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit.  Mr. Rothschild brings to ArtThread his 25 years of experience in fulfilling shared organizational vision, as well as best practices in media production, marketing, instructional design, and strategic planning. 

With degrees in Telecommunication and Mass Communication from the University of Florida, Rob has written, produced, and directed a broad range of award-winning programming for public radio, including National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” and several news and cultural affairs programs for affiliates throughout Florida.  He has conducted numerous training programs for aspiring broadcast journalists, and he designed the curriculum and supporting materials for the “Work of Art” program, ArtThread's 21st century skill-building program. He has conducted in-depth “Work of Art” train-the-trainer sessions and presentations for the state of Florida’s Project 10: Transition Education Network and for VSA arts of Florida, and he has presented at the International Conference of the Society for Arts in Healthcare, the Florida Occupational Therapy Association, and Carnegie Mellon University.  Rob is a drummer!

The ArtThread Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity. All gifts and donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.