This week marks the two-year anniversary of a special outreach program in which our Art Studio participates at Children’s Hospital – a wonderful neighboring institution just a few blocks away from the museum.
If you ever find yourself at Children’s Hospital in the Detroit Medical Center to visit a patient or receive care on a Friday, there is a chance you will run into staff from our studio and have an opportunity to work on an art project with them. Each Friday afternoon, an artist from our staff visits the hospital to offer a free art workshop to patients and young visitors.
Each month we set up a different project on a cart with which we travel to individual rooms and clinics – working with kids from preschool to high school and from diverse backgrounds from all over the state. Some young people we work with are visiting a friend or relative who is receiving care and some are patients themselves who are in the hospital for an afternoon or for many weeks. Some of the most popular projects with our participants have included puppet-making, watercolor-painted postcards and making simple folk toys.
Working with the young people at the hospital has been an extremely rewarding experience for our staff involved in the program. Patrick Wise, one of our staff artists explains “I receive twice the amount back as I give to these kids. I feel honored to be able to spend some time with them.” Another staff artist, Jen Garrison adds, “I love having the opportunity to help a patient or visitor take a little mental break from being in the hospital.” These staff members and others involved in the program are grateful for the opportunity to work with children in this setting and the wonderful feedback we receive from patients, families and hospital staff indicates that the experience is really valued on their end, too.
This past summer we began a new program on Wednesdays called “Art in the Garden,” when we had the opportunity to work with kids in the garden outside of the hospital on projects such as making cyanotypes (a fun photographic process that uses sunlight), pinwheels, and kites. The Wednesday program is just for the summer months and will resume in Summer 2011.
We look forward to working with Children’s Hospital and the DMC for many more years to come!