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Anne Hamersky collaborating with the Margie Cherry Complementary Breast Health Center with fiscal sponsor John Hale Health Foundation

Award: $35,000 Visual Arts grant awarded in 2002

Presented:  October 2003

The Bayview Hunter’s Point community of San Francisco is home to an abandoned Navy shipyard, two power plants, a sewage waste facility, and several toxic waste sites.  Citizens grapple with the possible impact of these industrial sites on health in the neighborhood, and statistics indicate that women residing in the area have the highest incidence of breast cancer in California.

Photographer Anne Hamersky and the Margie Cherry Complementary Breast Health Center along with writer Laurie Wagner and Super Natural Design worked together to create “You Can’t Do It Alone,” a public art project that raised awareness of breast cancer in the Bayview Hunters Point, Visitacion Valley, Sunnydale and Potrero Hill neighborhoods. The project promoted the need for early detection through breast self-examination and the presence of breast cancer support programs in these neighborhoods.  Through interviews and photography sessions with the Center’s clients, they created outdoor transit shelter billboards and bus interior posters.

The Margie Cherry Complementary Breast Health Center grew out of the Bayview Hunters Point Health Care Task Force “Women Working Together for a Healthier Community.” Its founder and executive director, Kathryn J. Summers, R.N. recognized a void in neighborhood services.  The Center coordinated awareness campaigns, breast cancer support groups, holistic education classes for related health disparities, and other therapies tailored specifically for African American women living with breast cancer.

Anne Hamersky is a wide-published photographer whose work has appeared in many venues, from mainstream publications to alternative galleries. Hamersky has documented a wide range of social and cultural subjects, often looking to health, education, and family dynamics for inspiration.