Our Story

The ArtThread Foundation evolved from a US Department of Commerce and NIH/NCI-funded arts-based research and patient service program at the University of Florida. Drawing on the expertise gained from five years of working with people with physical limitations and health challenges, the Foundation forged a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University in order to develop online art-tools that bring the possibility of creative expression to people with limited access to traditional art-making tools.

In 2006 ArtThread moved from its academic-based roots to a community-based organization where tools for creating and sharing art can be used by the broader population. As part of its mission, ArtThread offers all of its technology assets to enhance the services of other non-profits such as VSA arts of Florida. These assets include an engaging interactive online gallery and highly-accessible art-making tools. The Foundation’s partnerships with the Early Learning Institute and Shriners Hospital of Tampa are examples of how ArtThread brings training and art-making tools to populations in need.

Our Team

Jay Klein is the Founder and CEO of the ArtThread Foundation, and he is a childhood cancer survivor who has used the power of creative expression as a survivorship tool within his own personal experience. Jay’s interest is in the use of technology and creative expression to foster self-esteem and community among children with disabilities, health challenges, and difficult social circumstances. Mr. Klein holds a degree from the University of South Florida in Biology/Biotechnology and a Masters from California State University in Public Administration/Non-Profit Management.

The ArtThread Foundation evolved from Jay’s National Institute of Health, National Cancer Institute, and Department of Commerce funded research at the University of Florida concerning the role of the arts, and creative expression in children with health challenges.  Jay has presented at the Florida Occupational Therapy Association, National Arts & Disabilities Center, David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA, Carnegie Mellon University, Moffitt Cancer Center Palliative Care Program, Lance Armstrong Foundation, American Cancer Society, and International Conference of the Society for Arts in Healthcare. Jay is a drummer!

Rob Rothschild is the President of the ArtThread Foundation and came to the organization in 2006 when the corporation was formed as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit.  Mr. Rothschild brings to ArtThread his 25 years of experience in fulfilling shared organizational vision, as well as best practices in media production, marketing, instructional design, and strategic planning.

With degrees in Telecommunication and Mass Communication from the University of Florida, Rob has written, produced, and directed a broad range of award-winning programming for public radio, including National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” and several news and cultural affairs programs for affiliates throughout Florida.  He has conducted numerous training programs for aspiring broadcast journalists, and he designed the curriculum and supporting materials for the “Work of Art” program, ArtThread’s 21st century skill-building program. He has conducted in-depth “Work of Art” train-the-trainer sessions and presentations for the state of Florida’s Project 10: Transition Education Network and for VSA arts of Florida, and he has presented at the International Conference of the Society for Arts in Healthcare, the Florida Occupational Therapy Association, and Carnegie Mellon University.  Rob is a drummer!

Yuri Fukuda is the Chief Technical Officer of the ArtThread Foundation. She is a seasoned developer with a creative heart. She holds a Master of Computer Science from CUNY – Queens College and has over 20 years of experience in the field of technology, systems integration, software engineering, and optimization of user experience.

Starting at the young age of 7 with Logic programming, Yuri has always had a passion for bridging technology with its potential to create positive change in the world. This drive has led Yuri to focus her efforts on creating access for international populations, building services for underserved communities, and manifesting solutions for fairness and accessibility for everyone.

Yuri is an expert in building and overseeing complex systems, from prototype to final deployment. She has a deep understanding of the importance of well-designed, continuously integrated and sustained systems, and she is always on the lookout for new technology to integrate within her projects.

In addition to her technical expertise, Yuri is deeply passionate about creative work, particularly in the realm of interactive 3D art. She has a personal love for creating ceramic art and appreciates the process of discovering and cultivating our association with the natural world.

The ArtThread Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity. All gifts and donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.


At the bedside
Jay teaches
Rob teaches
Jay Klein, Rob Rothschild
Yuri Fukuda