A UVM Children’s Hospital clinician visiting a pediatric patient during an Art from the Heart session. (Photo: Martha Loving Orgain, Art from the Heart)
For more than twenty years, The University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington City Arts and many dedicated volunteers have brought creativity, imagination and expression to pediatric patients, families and caregivers through the Art from the Heart program. Now, Art from the Heart is expanding from supporting children in the hospital to also serve adult patients.
Founded in 1994, Art from the Heart has grown into a daily program at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital. Art from the Heart volunteers visit patients every day, transforming hospital rooms into art studios, and bringing art kits with supplies ranging from painting, coloring and writing materials to markers designed for drawing on windows.
“Art helps to reconnect us with what it is to be human – thoughtful and creative,” says Rebecca Schwarz, Art from the Heart coordinator. “Patients – no matter how old they are – as well as families and staff all can use support in the hospital, one of the most significant and challenging places in our community. Volunteers come in each day to offer a broader and deeper sense of wellbeing and health. Art connects us to the parts of ourselves that are well.”
The positive effects of art on the health and wellness of both patient and caregiver have been studied by UVM College of Medicine students and reported in many peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Public Health. Jan Carney, M.D., M.P.H., UVM associate dean for public health, directs the Public Health Projects course at the UVM College of Medicine in which UVM medical students have conducted research and found correlations between the Art from the Heart program and the beneficial impact it has on everyone involved.
To learn more about Art from the Heart and how to volunteer, visit the Art from the Heart website, or UVMMC’s volunteer opportunities page.
About Burlington City Arts and Art from the Heart
Burlington City Arts (BCA) has served the cultural and artistic needs of the Greater Burlington area for more than 30 years. Art from the Heart was founded in 1994 by Abby Rose and has been facilitated by the BCA since 1997. Art from the Heart is funded in part by support from The Fountain Fund, The Morris and Bessie Altman Foundation, BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont, The Children’s Miracle Network at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and anonymous donors.
(This article was adapted from a news release produced by the marketing and communications office at the UVM Medical Center.)