The art of healing

Pediatric art program expands to adults

The idea that art affects healing predates contemporary medicine. Creating art, looking at art, listening to music … all make us feel better.

There is a resurgence of interest in incorporating art into health care practice, and many health care organizations are creating art programs that heal their patients’ spirits as well as their bodies. The University of Vermont Medical Center has partnered for many years with Burlington City Arts to create a healing environment for our patients and families.

Sometimes, you feel wired and anxious. Art creates stillness and peacefulness within my soul.

An Art from the Heart participant

The Art from the Heart program engages patients, their caregivers and visitors in the creation of art, providing respite from their health challenges. When the program began, children were the focus, but a gift by a generous donor made it possible to include adults. The expansion of the program has begun to provide benefits for patients across the UVM Medical Center.

Art from the Heart is also working more closely with student volunteers from academic programs including the Larner College of Medicine, UVM undergraduates and Saint Michael’s College’s undergraduate psychology practicum students.

The service learning program helps students understand the power of art to connect with patients and strengthen their creative, playful spark.