Barbara Volan Christensen was a native of Colorado Springs, and lived here nearly her entire life. Barb learned her love of the arts from her father and mother. Her father loved music and dance and her mother Catherine was an exceptional painter and a founding member of Arati Arists Gallery in Old Colorado City. Her father Denys Volan, as a historian, taught her to focus on the beauty that gives life meaning and often brings peace in a troubled world. Her mother taught her the visual arts and gave her an eye for color and composition. As a child she thrived through her study and practice of ballet and she continued to love dance throughout her entire life. Dance was a means for developing her personal strength and discipline. She later followed her mother’s influence and pursued visual art in several forms to include digital illustrations.
Barb became a Registered Nurse and worked for many years in psychiatric nursing with adolescents. Upon being treated for breast cancer in 1989, she redirected her efforts toward helping others by providing cancer information through the Cancer Information Service of the National Cancer Institute. She was again treated for breast cancer in 2000 and continued a rich life with courage and grace in spite of her challenges. Her third treatment for breast cancer in 2013 would prolong her life until her passing in March of 2017 at 65 years of age.
Barb’s love of music and dance enriched her childhood, her passion for life and commitment to her community was exemplified in her lifetime of work to help others, and her artistic creativity brought beauty to her life and that of others during her 28 year struggle with cancer. It is only fitting that this fund be created to support foster children by giving them an opportunity to learn dance and art in hopes they too find creative expressions of beauty in their often troubled world.