This is Infertility

There is nothing more fundamental to life than the urge to continue it. But while it may be the most natural thing in the world, childbirth is far from the easiest and no two fertility journeys are the same. For that reason, we are breaking from the typical podcast form. Each episode is hosted by a different voice who brings their own unique point of view to the complex and ever-changing world of infertility. Our hosts are licensed clinical social workers, patient care advocates, clinical psychiatrists, reproductive endocrinologists, real fertility patients, and others who are, in one way or another, experts in the world of fertility. We fuse narrative storytelling with experience and science to give you a new perspective on what it’s really like to go through this journey.

Episode 26: The ART of Infertility: Where Art Meets Advocacy

Unless you’ve been through an identical experience it can be difficult to understand what it’s really like for those who are struggling to build their families. But what if there was a place where people could communicate their personal stories of infertility in a way that others could truly understand? The ART of Infertility, founded in 2014, curates innovative and emotionally provoking art exhibits to portray the realities, pains and joys of living with infertility. Today we hear from its founders, Elizabeth Walker and Maria Novotny, about each of their personal struggles with infertility, and how they came to create this innovative organization. Today’s host is Lissa Kline, VP of Member & Provider Services at Progyny. 

Guests include: Elizabeth Walker and Maria Novotny from The ART of Infertility.

For more information, visit Progyny’s Podcast page and The ART of Infertility

Have a question, comment, or want to share your story? Email us at


Lissa Kline, LCSW, VP of Member & Provider Services at Progyny. She oversees the Patient Care Advocates and the Provider Relations Team. She worked at Columbia University Medical Center for several years in the division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Involved in Patient Services and the Donor Egg Program, she loved working with patients while they underwent fertility treatment. Lissa graduated with a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.


Elizabeth Walker, an artist, co-founder and co-director of The ART of infertility. With a degree in photography from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, she works in imaging and communications for the University of Michigan Medical School’s Department of Pathology where she also serves on the department’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee and the Patients and Families Advisory Council. After her own infertility diagnosis, the focus of her artwork shifted using a variety of mediums to express her experiences with infertility. She also began documenting the lives of others with infertility through portraits and interviews, in order to allow them healing through sharing their stories, and, to share those stories with medical practitioners and legislators, advocating for improvements to the care of those with the disease.

Maria Novotny, Ph.D, co-founder and co-director of The ART of Infertility and an assistant professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh where she teaches professional writing. Her dissertation, “The ART of Infertility: A Community Project Rhetorically Conceiving Failed Fertility”, overviews her collaboration with The ART of Infertility and features the stories of three infertile women who created pieces of art for the project. The findings of her research document how art, an extension of multimodal-making, is used as a rhetorical practice to navigate an infertility diagnosis. Broadly, her research advocates for curated exhibits of patient artwork as a method to facilitate more effective, patient-centered communication in healthcare settings. To read more about Maria’s research with The ART of Infertility, visit her website.

Music From This Episode:

Artist: Health&Beauty
Track: death@xmas

Artist: Rest You Sleeping Giant
Track: End of Winter

Track: Wants To Know

Artist: Monplaisir
Track: Brotherhood

Artist: Steve Combs
Track: A Vital Piece of Music for All Your Soundtrack Needs

Artist: Philipp Weigl
Track: Western Shores

Artist: Brylie Christopher Oxley
Track: Heavenly Motion

Artist: how the night came
Track: Reflection

Artist: TRG Banks
Track: Christmas Lights

Artist: Mise Darling
Track: No One

Artist: Nathaniel Wyvern
Track: Sanctuary Of The Sky Gods