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Exhibit leads to companion book

Friday, March 2, 2012

KU's Department of Family Medicine's Natabhona Mabachi, Ph.D., and Crystal Lumpkins, Ph.D. are two of the authors that contributed articles for a companion book to the Waiting Room: Lost and Found exhibition currently on display. The exhibit was developed by artists including Bruce Scherting, who teaches MUSE 703, Introduction to Museum Exhibits, a core Museum Studies course. Founded in 2009 by an associate professor of art at Washbrun University, The Waiting Room Project began as a way to explore women's health issues through art. It since has grown to a national level and includes creative works by dozens or artists, writers and other creative partners. In the exhibition's companion book, Mabachi's chapter, "Desperately Seeking Healthcare: Women, Poverty and Health in America," focuses on the health disparities between women in different economic classes, and more specifically between women of different ethnic backgrounds living in poverty. Women are more likely to seek careers in teaching or in caretaking occupations that typically aren't considered high-earning fields. In addition, if a couple separates, the responsibility of child-rearing often falls on the woman and collecting child support is not always as easy as it should be. Therefore impoverished women are less likely than their male counterparts to be able to afford the basic necessities of life, and healthcare is often sacrificed in a decision between vaccinating children and feeding them. A woman's situation is liable to be even bleaker if she isn't white, and Mabachi explores these health disparities. For example, American Indian and Alaskan Natives suffer from particularly high rates of obesity and tobacco use, yet problems accessing basic healthcare are often more challenging than in other minority groups. The way to begin smoothing out health disparities across economic levels and ethnic backgrounds will not be easy, Mabachi writes, but the responsibility falls on everyone to make a change. From policymakers to community members, she says everyone must make a conscious effort to understand and acknowledge how poverty limits the options and, ultimately, the health of women in America. Lumpkins tackles a different though related issue in her article, "Marketing to the Soul, Health Advertising and African-American Women." She describes the disconnect between health care marketers and those in need. Successful advertising for drugs geared toward conditions prevalent in African American populations could make a world of difference, Lumpkins writes, yet campaigns for such drugs are more often designed for the most generalized version of the audience. Advertisers worry that campaigns focusing on a specific ethnic group will draw as much criticism for doing so as if they had included no racial cues at all. Though the challenge is complex, Lumpkins recommends obtaining feedback at a grassroots level — starting the conversation with individuals, as she has done with her own research — as the first step. She hopes that with increased sensitivity to cultural differences, progress can be made and helpful drugs can get to the people that will most benefit from them. For more information and pictures of the artwork, visit The Waiting Room Project website. The exhibition is also up through March 16, 2012, in the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery at the Topeka and Shawnee Public Library.

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Museum Events

Red Hot Research: Graduate Edition
Friday, November 17 | 4 p.m.-5:30 a.m.
The Commons, Spooner Hall, 1340 Jayhawk Blvd.
Red Hot Research brings together scholars from all disciplines, speaking for six minutes each in Pecha Kucha–inspired presentations. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and each other during breaks. This session features graduate student research.

Slow Art Sunday: Amida Buddha (Amitabha) 
Sunday, November 19 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 407, 1301 Mississippi St
Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In November, get to know Amida Buddha (Amitabha).

Performance: Aspects of Liszt 
Sunday, November 19 | 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317, Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 1301 Mississippi St
Distinguished Emmy-winning author, critic, radio and film producer David Dubal joins KU international concert artist Steven Spooner in an afternoon of piano music from the era of the Spencer Museum’s origins and fascinating commentary on the legendary Franz Liszt. This concert is part of the Museum’s centennial celebration of our collection.

Day After Thanksgiving Program: Magic Marbles 
Friday, November 24 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, 5235 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
It’s a day of marble magic with fun for the entire family. Explore the museum’s special exhibit Playing for Keeps: The VFW Marble Tournaments, 1947-1962, and try your hand at “knuckling down” during a marble lesson. Then, pick out your own marble and turn it into a piece of wearable art to take home with you. Included with museum admission.

Global Film Festival
Thursday, November 30 | 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Rm. 309 1301 Mississippi St
Curated by first-year students, the Global Film Festival features four films exploring ideas in Spencer Museum exhibitions. This film is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Power Clashing: Clothing, Collage, and Contemporary Identities. The film will be announced on the Museum’s website.

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