Where the Heart Leads: Art With A Heart In Healthcare’s Origin Story

By Sheri Leonard Webber 

Equal parts compassion and creativity, Art with a Heart in Healthcare (AWAHIH) has served more than 100,000 patients at hospitals and clinics across Jacksonville. Founded in 2001, its origin story is as heart-driven as the art experiences it provides.

“Well, it started with my cousin,” says Lisa Landwirth Ullmann. Lisa and her coursin Lori Guadagno, inseparable throughout childhood, found themselves living 1,200 miles apart as adults. “At the time, she lived in Vermont, and I visited in July of 2001. We were talking about this program in Burlington and ended up trying to figure out a way for her to move to Florida. We’ve always wanted to live in the same place.” No stranger to philanthropic efforts, Lisa’s family had already founded the Fanny Landwirth Foundation and the Kissimmee-based nonprofit, Give Kids the World (GKTW). The foundation targeted homelessness, food insecurity, children, and families at risk, along with Jewish causes, all in the loving memory of Lisa’s grandmother.

With degrees in sociology and fine arts, Lisa thought of herself as the administrator. Lori was the artist. In Vermont, Lori worked as a para-educator at a local high school. “A lot of kids paired with me had one form or another of a learning or behavioral challenge. From the time I was a child,” Lori says, “I was drawing and taking art classes, so it was a very logical step for me to continue in that direction.” A Rutgers University alumna, Lori also pursued opportunities in several creative industries—film, hand-painted clothing, culinary artistry, and more.

Author: Arbus

Share This Post On

Subscribe for the Weekly Buzz from Arbus Magazine

Join our email list! It's your spot for cultural to-do's around Northeast Florida.

You have Successfully Subscribed!