Boston Children’s Hospital provides health care for children who come from all over the world to be treated by its world class medical professionals. In addition to top-rate medical care, the young patients at the hospital have access to a team of professional artists or Artists-in-Residence to help them express their feelings.

Boston Children’s uses the arts to support the well-being of patients and their families, create a healing environment, and lower stress and anxiety. According to the hospital, “participatory art experiences not only give patients and families a chance to step outside their circumstances but also inspire hope and a faster recovery.”

We were thrilled and honored when the Creative Arts Team at Boston Children’s asked us to be involved in a unique program – The Art of Story – to aid patients’ healing. For The Art of Story program, the team from Boston Children’s chose illustrations from more than twenty Barefoot books to be framed and prominently displayed in many waiting rooms and exam rooms to help soothe children undergoing medical evaluation and treatment.  As  Laura Weissman, Developmental Pediatrician at the hospital explains: “The children I work with are very drawn to this piece (an illustration from Lola’s Fandango). Our autistic patients love to point out the numbers and vehicles. It is great to see them engaged and it gives me an informal understanding of some of their developmental skills.”


The hospital staff use the art to help patients focus and keep their minds off of the procedure. Featured artwork comes from a variety of Barefoot books including: I Took the Moon for a Walk; If You’re Happy and You Know It; My Mama Earth; My Granny Went to Market; The  Journey Home from Grandpa’s; We’re Roaming in the Rainforest; Listen, Listen; Up, Up, Up!; Star Seeker; Ship Shapes; Lola’s Fandango; We’re Sailing Down the Nile; Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush; We’re Sailing Down the Nile; Whole World; Secret Seahorse; The Barefoot World Atlas; Grandpa’s Garden; and The Elusive Moose.

Recently, Micha Archer, illustrator of Lola’s Fandango, and Susan Reed, author of Up, Up, Up, participated in the grand opening of the art exhibit at the hospital. Micha held a craft workshop based on her art from Lola’s Fandango while Susan performed lively children’s songs (pictured above). Carolyn Curtis, author of I Took the Moon for a Walk, wasn’t able to accept her invitation but hopes to visit the hospital soon to share stories with the patients.

To learn more about the Boston Children’s Hospital Creative Arts Program please visit: www.childrenshospital.org/art

 

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