Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s Healing Arts Program (HAP) began nearly 20 years ago when the program’s founder and director, Paula Most, introduced the hospital to the idea that healing arts programs help patients and families cope better with stress while she was working at the RISD Museum of Art. “The program began with a pretty simple concept,” she says, “which was to bring art into the hospital.” She did so by packing up reproductions of works of art that appeal to children – for instance, the paintings of Henri Rousseau, which resemble the illustrations in children’s books – and ferrying them to the hospital. She pasted a short story about the artist on the back of each reproduction, and designed lessons around them in a variety of art media.
The program is now an integral part of patient care and the healing process, bringing comfort and joy to patients and their families. Staffed by trained artists who offer experiences like Music on Rounds, Bottles of Hope, and Art While You Wait, today it serves both adults and children at Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital. This month, Friends of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital Healing Arts Program will host a rollicking inaugural fundraiser for the program, The Healing Arts: Inspire 2017, at the Providence Art Club on October 19.