About the Founder

Artreprenuer Godni Amir was inspired to create A Free Bird when he witnessed firsthand art's potential to heal. His voice teacher Gail gave up teaching to become the primary caregiver for her husband when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Soon after, she received a cancer diagnosis herself.
During this difficult time, Godni continued his singing classes with Gail, and was touched that Gail's husband was uplifted by hearing him sing. He sadly passed away, but Gail made a full recovery, spurred on by her passion for music, art and photography. Inspired by her determination and love of the arts, Godni wrote a poem, ’A Free Bird’, about her journey.

Godni reflected on how he would feel if he received a cancer diagnosis, and how his love of singing and the arts would be essential to his recovery. Having seen the positive impact artistic pursuits could have on the body's capacity to heal, he began to consider the prospects of children who didn't have a creative outlet available to them.

Godni visited the pediatric ward at Sloan Kettering hospital, to see what opportunities were available to sick young people. Seeing the lack of artistic offerings, Godni made it his goal to bring the therapeutic power of the arts to those who have the most to live for; children. He founded A Free Bird in July 2008, and the organization became a 501(c)(3) public organization in January 2011.