We had the good fortune of connecting with Shaney jo Darden and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shaney jo, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?

The Keep A Breast Foundation provides free access to breast health education and via The Keep A Breast App. The KAB App is available in English, French and Spanish and has been used by thousands of women globally. We advocate for the self-check as we’ve so commonly come in contact with young women who have found their own lumps (both benign and malignant) “by accident.” With 40% of diagnosed breast cancers being self-detected (according to the John Hopkins Medical Center), establishing what is “normal” for you is crucial to knowing your body and creating awareness of when something is wrong.

Our Give Back Grant program has grown from 16 recipients in 2020 to 240 in 2021. The KAB Give Back Grant program seeks to counteract the injustice and inequality in the healthcare system through financial aid for BIPOC women who are survivors or diagnosed with breast cancer.

We distribute education materials in The Democratic Republic of Congo at schools, churches and farmers markets. Since 2018 we have handed out more than 80k Check yourself cards and have had over 75 breast health workshops.

Our mission is to reduce breast cancer risk and its impact globally through art, education. prevention and action.

Check out our website to learn about all of our programs and how you can get involved. https://www.keep-a-breast.org/

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

As an artist and designer it informs how I look at the world and in my career with Keep A Breast it informs how we educate. I created the Keep A Breast cast. The cast is made of plaster that is placed wet directly on the skin. No two casts are alike. I was inspired by Frida Kahlo who lived many years of her life in a plaster cast that she painted herself. Frida was an example of creating so much beauty out of so much pain. I wanted to bring that message into my art and take it one step further to collaborate with a model and painter to tell their stories about how cancer has impacted their lives. 

I use art to start conversations about something that is serious and complex.

I use art to design information that is engaging and cool to create action.

I use art to influence people to be a part of a community that cares about each other.

I use art to meet people where they are.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

Four years ago I moved to the Joshua Tree area. I’m from San Diego and I’ve been coming here for many years to visit a friend who had a ranch here who donated 10 acres of land to Keep A Breast. This opportunity was one I had dreamed of for a long time and has allowed Keep A Breast to begin the process of building a wellness center. I love when friends visit and there are a lot of new spots in town to do all the things.

DAY 1 Friday

First stop is a Yoga class at Cedar and Sage wellness studio.

Next stop is a quick trip up to Pioneertown to get a Taco at Red Dog Saloon and do a little Vintage shopping at The Pioneertown General Store. Then take a little drive out to Rimrock where we have our land so I can share the energy of the space and do some dreaming.

DAY 2 Saturday

I usually start off my Saturdays at the Joshua Tree farmers market. I take all visitors to The Station for all the cool and kitschy things you have to have when you visit here and grab a chai cold brew at Roadrunner grab and go. Head back home for a pool day and end up at The Tiny Pony for dinner and drinks.

DAY 3 Sunday

Sunday’s are usually for hiking. Pick a trail in Morongo Canyon, JT National Park or the Pioneertown Mountains Preserve and you are set for some beauty no matter what.

Other favorites not to miss…..

Luna Sourdough Bakery

World famous Crochet Museum


La Copine

Noah Purifoy Museum

When Monday rolls around It’s back to work and you gotta go!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

The KAB shout out literally goes to every single person who has ever supported KAB. Every volunteer, Everyone who ever bought an i love boobies! bracelet. Everyone who has had their breasts casted for one of our exhibitions. Every artist who has donated their time to paint the casts. Every single donor big and small, you are appreciated. Every brand that has ever done a collaboration with us. Everyone out there who has had their own DIY events to raise funds for KAB. Everyone who has ever worked for KAB and given all your heart to our mission. Every board member that has served with us in the last 22 years. Every writer that ever wrote press about us! Especially the ones who wrote about how i love boobies! bracelets were being banned nationwide. Every musician that supported us on Vans Warped tour and so many other tours. There are thousands of you and your efforts are all seen and appreciated.

Website: https://www.keep-a-breast.org/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/keepabreast/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-keep-a-breast-foundation/?viewAsMember=true

Twitter: https://twitter.com/keepabreast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeepABreast

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJSuz8TE7WFIkuBgWkEoYRQ

Image Credits
All images courtesy of Keep A Breast

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