The Rachel Kay Stevens Therapy Center will celebrate a milestone on Friday, August 27th as it hosts its fifth-annual Art Show and Auction. For the second year, the auction will be held online with bidding beginning at 8 a.m.
The art show serves as the primary fundraiser for the Rachel Kay Stevens Therapy Center (RKSTC), the only student-run, pro bono occupational therapy clinic in the Mid-South.
More than 75 pieces of artwork created by children in the community who receive OT services, will be up for auction and are coming from partners including Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Arlington and Bartlett Schools, Avon Lenox High School, Janna Hacker & Associates Therapy Center, and Joy Life 901. Professional artists Whitney Winkler, NJ Woods, and Dana Shoops have also donated pieces for the auction.
“The OT faculty and students are super excited about our fifth-annual Art Show and Auction,” said Anne Zachry, PhD, OTR/L, chair and associate professor in the UTHSC Department of Occupational Therapy. “Every dollar raised will go directly to providing occupational therapy services for Mid-South children and their families who would not otherwise receive them.”
Opened in 2016, the clinic provides occupational therapy services at no cost to children of families that are uninsured or underinsured. Over the years, the Art Show and Auction has raised more than $10,000 toward providing occupational therapy services for children. Since it opened, the RKS Therapy Center has served more than 400 children, trained 200 students, 225 teachers, and worked with approximately 200 parents.
This year’s goal is to raise $3,000 for the center.
“It’s been really rewarding to see how children who maybe don’t always get to participate in art shows or stuff like this, to have the opportunity to have their artwork auctioned off,” said second-year UTHSC Occupational Therapy student Katie Tenner, who serves as Fundraising Chair for the RKSTC. “It’s really cool to see how excited they are, and their families are really excited and can’t wait to see the artwork on the website. It’s just really inspiring.”
Named for Rachel Kay Stevens, an OT student who died shortly after beginning her OT program at UTHSC, the art show honors her memory and her passion for pediatric occupational therapy and the arts. UTHSC occupational therapy students have been working on this year’s art show since last summer.
The RKSTC also serves as an educational site for students in the UTHSC Occupational Therapy program, who are able to gain hands-on experience and observe occupational therapy treatment at the clinic. Under the supervision of licensed OT practitioners, UTHSC students assist with developmental screenings, occupational therapy evaluations and treatment, and patient/family education. These are available in person or through telehealth appointments. Clinic appointments are available on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 3-6 p.m. on the 7th floor of the 920 Madison Building.
“My favorite thing about being a part of the Rachel Kay Stevens Therapy Center is having the opportunity to grow as a future practitioner,” said Tenner. “I’ve always been interested in pediatrics and it’s a great asset our campus has that we are able to allow students to serve as student clinicians, while also having a memorial for a former student of ours and honoring the memory of Rachel Kay Stevens.”
Participants can access the more than 75 pieces of art available for auction through the RKSTC Art Show and Auction website. Bidding begins Friday, August 27, at 8 a.m. CDT, and ends Sunday, August 29, at 5 p.m.