Julie Roberts. Courtesy photo

UPDATE: In just nine days, community donors helped Roberts’ GoFundMe campaign reach and surpass its goal of $10,000. So far, $11,520 has been raised to help with Roberts’ medical expenses. The following is an update from Roberts herself, posted to the GoFundMe page:

My Dearest, Beloved Community!

I am overwhelmed by your generosity, humbled by your sacrifice, and held up—and healed up—by your love!!!

Thank you artists, arts supporters, friends near and far, old and new, work buddies from Ivy Tech and the City of Bloomington, and mysterious compassionate strangers. You have joined forces to give me the greatest gifts that money could buy: continued treatment, time to heal, and peace of mind while doing it.

Everyone deserves both.

Special thanks to Ivy Tech Chancellor Emeritus John Whikehart and his wonderful wife Linda. This whole campaign was their idea and they ran it splendidly, as they do all things splendidly. Special thanks also to the best boss an artist ever had, Paul Daily, and his amazing family, both here in Bloomington and in Kokomo.

The Waldron lives on in all of us who loved it, and loved the beauty of the art, music, theatre, and learning that happened there. I am intrigued to see how we all re-invent ourselves—and the world—over the next few years. Thanks again from the bottom of my heart for the safety you’ve given me to hunker down and get well.

See you on the other side of quarantine!!!

Much love, always,

When Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington made the decision earlier this spring to close the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center in downtown Bloomington, Gallery Director Julie Roberts said goodbye to the position she’d filled since 2010.

“What Julie accomplished in that role was more than we could have envisioned,” says former Ivy Tech–Bloomington chancellor John Whikehart. “She created gallery opportunities for art students in K-12 and at Ivy Tech, as well as for local and regional artists, and made the Ivy Tech galleries an integral part of the local arts scene. She brightened our whole community with her smile, her charm, and, above all, her artistic excellence.”

With the end of her employment at the Waldron, Roberts, who was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in 2019, also lost her health insurance. Now seven months into her chemotherapy treatment, Roberts faces at least six more months of radiation, surgery, and rehab.

“Julie must now deal with the hardships of continuing under that same medical coverage at her personal expense so she may remain in the care of her current providers and undergoing continued medical treatment for her cancer,” Whikehart says.

In order to assist Roberts and her family in the coming months, Roberts’ colleagues have created a GoFundMe campaign to cover her estimated $10,000 in medical expenses.

“Although she has been reluctant to ask for financial help, we are not reluctant to ask on her behalf,” Whikehart says.

To donate to the GoFundMe campaign, click here.