Spotlight on Jenny Lewis, Vanderbilt University Medical Center Coordinator

For the second year in a row, Jenny Lewis, the Program Coordinator for the Cultural Enrichment Program, did a tremendous job coordinating our Vanderbilt University Medical Center, TN Exhibition. With more than 130 pieces of art lining the walls of the medical center, the exhibition provides an artistic face to the employees and their co-workers. Jenny always receives positive feedback about the show from patients, employees and people visiting the outpatient facility. She even gets calls once the show is taken down asking when it will be back again.

This year, the NAP asked Jenny to be one of our first venues to test out our new online registration form.  Jenny not only jumped at the opportunity, she was able to get a 100% of participants to register online for the exhibition!

Jenny has a tremdenous passion for the National Arts Program® and we are pleased to feature her as our NAP Spotlight for the month of November! 

Q. What makes the National Arts Program® different than any other art exhibit displayed at Vanderbilt University Medical Center?
A. The National Arts Program® Employee and Family Art Show gives Vanderbilt a unique opportunity to showcase our employees’ talents and passion. The support we get from the NAP allows us to highlight multiple styles and mediums without sacrificing the high quality we are used to at the Medical Center. The employees are incredibly grateful for the opportunity and it is clearly one of our most popular exhibits. 
Q. Why do you feel that displaying employee artwork is important?
A. Displaying employee artwork accomplishes two equally important goals: 1.) it celebrates the many talents of our diverse workforce and 2.) it provides our employees with an opportunity to contribute to the artistic enrichment of the Medical Center. 
Q. How have employees and their families responded to the opportunity to display their artwork?
A. This is our 2nd year with the NAP and we’ve increased our artist involvement by over 25%. I expect that number to keep climbing year after year. 
Q. Can you tell us how art has had a positive impact on your personal life?
A. Working in the medical center, I am often around people who are worried, scared or suffering. When I see the positive influence that art, in all forms, has on their moods and outlook, I realize the impact it has on my life. Professionally and personally I am continually amazed at the power of art. 
Q. How did you get started in the art field or have you always been involved in the arts? Are you an artist yourself?
A. I have an art history degree from Tulane University. I’ve been at Vanderbilt Medical Center for over 15 years as the Program Coordinator for the Department of Cultural Enrichment. Our programs have evolved over the years and I have worn numerous hats. Having a varied set of responsibilities has allowed me to be involved in all aspects of the art world, which has been rewarding and sometimes quite challenging. The best way to describe my personal artistic ability is to admit that my 10 year old daughter refuses to allow me to help with any of her school art projects! 
Q. Why do you think displaying artwork in a hospital setting is so important?
A. The arts provide an “escape” for our patients and their families. Art has the ability to provide comfort or an outlet to patients, families and employees. Art transforms a hospital that is filled with uncertainty into an environment that is calm and reassuring. 
Q. What is your favorite aspect of the National Arts Program®?
A. The NAP makes coordinating this exhibit very simple. I love the provided materials and support. Also, the artists love the cash prizes. 
Q. How has utilizing online registration made the process easier for you?
A. Our first year, artists faxed in the registration form. If you spend any time around artists, you can imagine the potential challenges with this approach to registration. With the online registration- everything is simplified and ready to download. Thank you! 
Q. Do visitors to the building respond to the exhibit?
A. I get more phone calls asking about purchasing the pieces from this show than any other show. I notice people take their time viewing each piece of art as they are either going to or coming from their appointments. Their responses are consistently positive. 
Q. Is there anything else you want to add? Comments about the program, etc.
A. I want to thank the NAP. You are a wonderful organization to work with and I look forward to many years of partnering with you.


Vanderbilt University Medical Center