Empowering young people around the world with breast health education and support.
The Keep A Breast Foundation™ is a nonprofit organization with a mission to empower young people around the world with breast health education and support.
We never set out to change the world. The Keep A Breast Foundation began as a small effort to build a community through the arts. This is essentially the core of our mission today.
As a young designer in the skateboard industry in the 90s, KAB Founder Shaney jo Darden fell in love with skating’s creative, “do it yourself” culture. Skateboarding was more of a creative scene than an industry, and Shaney jo quickly realized that it was the artists, designers and eccentrics that drove its evolution. She saw a natural breeding ground for awareness and communication.
In 1998, Shaney and friend Mona Mukherjea- Gehrig decided to tap into this energy. They organized a series of homegrown art and fashion events showcasing the work of friends, coworkers and local kids from the action sports scene.
The response was phenomenal, and that one event became Modart, a grassroots arts curating and event organizing group. Modart’s mantra was Creative Action Breeds Active Creation, and Shaney and Mona were able to bring a global community of well-known street artists, fine artists and graphic designers together for a series of well-attended gallery events that began to attract attention far beyond Southern California.
In 1999, Shaney and Mona learned that a young friend and artist had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Shaney knew she wanted to raise awareness in support her friend. Yet as she looked to existing breast cancer charities for ideas and inspiration, she found groups that were geared towards older women. Nothing resonated with the creative energy of action sports culture. She decided to stick with Modart’s model of bringing people together through progressive art.
The result was Keep A Breast, a unique art concept developed by Shaney and Mona to capture and communicate the physical and emotional challenges of breast cancer. Shaney enlisted a group of female volunteers, and wrapped their upper torsos in strips of plaster-soaked gauze. Once hardened and