Creative Arts Program

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At Boston Children's Hospital, the arts are recognized as a powerful tool to aid patients and families through challenging circumstances. A growing body of evidence confirms the benefits of using arts in healthcare settings. The Society for the Arts in Healthcare* reports that roughly half of US hospitals are using the arts to:

  • Support the well-being of patients, families and staff
  • Create a healing environment
  • Lower stress and anxiety

Colorful, engaging works of art welcome and direct visitors. Special exhibits create community and provide a positive way to fill the time. A variety of artworks; sculpture, glass, kinetic and lighted artworks fill the hospital with visual delight. In clinical settings, artwork is used by staff to help distract and relax patients so that procedures go more smoothly.

Promoting healing, transforming the hospital experience and bringing joy to our visitors is a goal the arts help us to achieve.  We use all the arts have to help provide the best possible care to the patients and families at Children's.

Programs

Monthly "Artful Adventures" workshops in the Patient entertainment Center are met with eager expectation. This unique hands-on cultural enrichment program is a collaboration with the office of the Education Department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Child Life Services.

Arts Program has recently partnered with the Center for Families and Volunteer Services to bring professional artists to Boston Children's Hospital. This program draws from Boston's diverse cultural resources, bringing unique activities to patients and families. Visiting Artists host small workshops on inpatient floors. We currently offer electronic music, jewelry design, community painting and creative writing.

Positive, participatory art experiences not only give patients and families a chance to step outside their circumstances but also inspire hope and a faster recovery. Self-expression is power. Creating art can provide children with a sense of control during a time when they are anything but in control. Interactions with visiting artists can expand a child's sense of the possible and counter isolation. A case in point: A recent workshop featured quadriplegic artist Tommy Hollenstein, who uses his wheelchair as his brush, spinning through paint to create vibrant abstract canvases. One participant who had suffered a severe head injury was so encouraged he talked - and walked - for the first time in several weeks.

Our diverse Art Collection also plays an important role in supporting the ideal patient experience. A variety of artworks; sculpture, glass, kinetic and lighted artworks fill the hospital with visual delight. Every patient room has original art. In clinical settings, the art becomes a way to distract and relax patients so that procedures go more smoothly. In our Radiology Department, the CT Scanner and surrounding walls are wrapped in colorful graphics depicting Fenway Park or a day at the beach. The audio-kinetic sculpture in our lobby is a favorite with adults and children alike.

The Creative Arts Program is one of the many ways we strive to provide the best possible patient care, quality and satisfaction to patients and families visiting Boston Children's Hospital. We welcome your feedback. Please send your comments or suggestions to Art Program Manager Jessica Finch, or call 617-355-ARTS (2787).

Galleries

Boston Children's hosts about 25 exhibits per year in galleries throughout the hospital. Take a tour and see what's new!

Exhibition Spaces on Main Campus:

The Gallery at Children's, Main Lobby
Our largest gallery that hosts nationally known artists and special interest exhibits.

ABP Gallery, Au Bon Pain Cafe, Main Lobby
Features drawing, painting and photography by young artists.

International Gallery, 1st Floor, Farley 
Images from around the globe. Each exhibit showcases a different part of the world.

Animation Art Gallery, 1st Floor, Pavilion
Classic hand-drawn animation, generously provided by Chuck Jones Galleries.

Kool Kidz Cases, 1st Floor, Main & PEC 
Creations by local kids and CHB Patients. Look for seasonal displays too!

Designing the Future, Lobby-level behind ABP 
See one man’s vision in design drawings of futuristic cars, boats and other inventions.

More exhibit spaces at Martha Eliot Health Center in Jamaica Plain and 1295 Boylston on Yawkey Way.

Are you an artist interested in showing your work at one of our spaces? Please contact Jessica Finch, Art Program Manager, or call 617-355-ARTS (2787).

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This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

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The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
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