Tania Katan Discusses Finding Humor in Hardships at Art Intersection

Most of us have heard the old saying, "Art imitates life." But what's an artist to do when life throws them a curve ball of crap? If you were to ask celebrated author and performer Tania Katan, she might say an artist can take that ball of crap and make something funny and poignant out of it.

And on Friday, April 15 at Art Intersection in Gilbert, that's exactly the sort of thing she'll discuss in her lecture, "A Laugh Riot: A Guide to Funny Activism with Serious Results."

Katan survived breast cancer -- twice. After reflecting on her harrowing experiences, she managed to find humor, and her memoir, My One-Night Stand with Cancer, has won numerous awards, including the Judy Grahn Nonfiction Award and the Stonewall Book Award.

"She's able to find humor in the darkest places," says Carol Panaro-Smith, director of Art Intersection in Gilbert, where Katan will give her lecture. "She's a really good teacher, too."

Katan's lecture is part of a two-month block of programming at Art Intersection that focuses on "Art and Healing."

Panaro-Smith says Katan was an obvious choice for the theme, because she finds absurdity in unlikely places and turns it into entertaining writing. "For two months, we're focusing on how artists can draw from their struggles and hardships," Panaro-Smith says. "Tania came to mind immediately because of how she's used her writing and performance to work through her battle with cancer."

For her presentation, Katan will talk about finding light in dark places, and how writers can discover their own voices and stories, followed by a Q&A session with the audience. "She'll talk about how humor is her gift, and how she uses humor in her writing," Panaro-Smith says. "It's less about her, and more about writing as a platform for finding and using humor."

Admission to Katan's "conversation and comedic lecture" on Friday costs $15 for general admission, $8 for students, and is free for Gilbert residents. "Tanya insisted Gilbert residents can come for free," Panaro-Smith says, "as her gift to Gilbert."

There are only ten spots left for Katan's lecture, but she's also scheduled to host a creative writing seminar on Saturday, and one-on-one writing project consultations on Sunday at Art Intersection, 207 N. Gilbert Road, Suite 201. For more information, visit www.artintersection.com or e-mail info@artintersection.com.

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