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Deborah Roundtree collaborating with The George Mark Children’s House (San Leandro)

Award: $35,000 Media Arts Grant awarded in 2006

Presented:  Summer 2007 and ongoing

Media artist Deborah Roundtree collaborated with the George Mark Children’s House to create an interactive game, My Comix, customized for children, ages three to 16, who have life-limiting or terminal illnesses.  By manipulating the game’s word bubbles, page designs, and multicultural characters, and by adding their own stories and graphics, children living at the George Mark Children’s House are able to create super hero comic books and postcards that tell their stories and share their memories with friends and family.

Deborah Roundtree developed My Comix in stages with feedback at each level from child experts, children living at the House, volunteers, parents, and siblings of patients. After completing a prototype version in summer 2007, she realized ways the game could be enhanced and a number of industry professionals offered her assistance and advice to refine it. My Comix has been received with such enthusiasm that hospitals and other health care providers across the country want access to it.

Deborah Roundtree’s artwork combines fine art with technology.  She has had a successful 20+ year career in advertising and digital image making for Fortune 500 corporations. This project brought together her experience as a professional artist with 12 years of personal experience in hospice care, training hospice volunteers and working with families.

The George Mark Children’s House, based in San Leandro, California, opened in March 2004 as the first free standing respite, transitional and end of life care facility for terminally ill children in the United States.  It enhances the quality of life for the entire family by offering medical, emotional, spiritual, and respite support in a home-like setting that is full of life and activity.