The Creative Center: Hospital Artist in Residence

The Creative Center, Arts in Healthcare: The Creative Center at University Settlement was founded in 1994 on the belief that “medicine cures the body, but art heals the spirit.” The Creative Center has been a LIVESTRONG Community Partner since 2003 and in 2010 was chosen as a Model Program selected for replication in communities across the country through LIVESTRONG funding. Due to the success of the 2010 programs, was again selected for national replication during our 2012 cycle.

Selected as a “best practice” model by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Creative Center’s Hospital Artists-in-Residence program works bedside and in small group settings with men, women, and children in oncology units, bone marrow transplant units, intensive care/respiratory units, hospice and palliative care programs, & pediatrics offering their patients the opportunity to learn about and become absorbed in their own creative resources as they meet the challenges of diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

The Community Impact Project has funded the replication of this program within 42 hospital and cancer center infusion suites, Bone Marrow Transplant units, and wards through two years of replication. Awarded sites received full training from The Creative Center, $11,000 for their artist’s annual stipend and $4,000 to purchase art supplies for their Hospital Artist in Residence program. This program provides an excellent opportunity for hospitals to provide psychosocial care to their patients through a program that has proven to lessen people’s anxiety, fears, isolation and boredom during treatment. As one recent program participant stated in a recent survey “I never knew conversation and water colors could completely change the way I view my cancer treatment, thank you for making something so terrible turn into something beautiful."

Due to the success of these grantees, and the numerous requests we receive to further expand the field of Arts in Healthcare, the LIVESTRONG Foundation will be working with the Creative Center at University Settlement again in 2013 to further expand their out-patient art classes for cancer survivors.