“A Beautiful Remedy” Documentary Wins a National Award at NCA Convention

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“A Beautiful Remedy,” a documentary co-produced by the Barbara Geralds Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact and WOUB Public Media, has been named the top award winner for Best Aural Visual Project in the 2017 Ethnography Division for the National Communication Association (NCA).

The award was announced by Dr. Shirley K. Drew, the Immediate Past Chair of the Ethnography Division of NCA. Ethnography is the study and systematic recording of human cultures; also, a descriptive work produced from such research, according to Webster’s Dictionary.

The film was produced by Dr. Lynn Harter, Professor of Communication and Co-Director of the Storytelling Institute at Ohio University, along with Evan Shaw of WOUB Public Media and the Institute.

“A Beautiful Remedy” profiles the story of the Arts in Medicine Program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital. Directed by Artist in Residence Ian Cion, Arts in Medicine provides art programming to pediatric, adolescent and young adult patients and their families.

The documentary was described by the judging committee as: “A visually rich and emotionally powerful ethnography. The documentary showcases how art can be used to foster communication and collaboration between children with cancer, their caregivers, and medical staff,” says Dr. Drew.

“Highlighting the voices and creations of children and adolescents, as well as the program’s artist in residence, “A Beautiful Remedy “ illustrates how art – and communication about art – can generate resilience, strength and healing,” she adds.

The production team engaged in two years of field work to produce the film but the film itself was the result of 10 years of ethnographic field work which has produced numerous scholarly articles and book chapters.

“The film is a scholarly work that also has the capacity to reach mass audiences who do not normally encounter academic writing.” says Associate Producer Dr. Margaret M. Quinlan.

“A Beautiful Remedy” received a nomination for a regional National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy from the Ohio Valley Chapter in August. 2015. It also was selected through a juried process to be distributed nationally to public television stations until 2018 by the National Education Television Association (NETA).

It is one part of a multi-part series called “The Courage of Creativity.” A digital film highlighting that series won a regional Emmy in August 2014.