Alison Caballero, MPH, CHES, Senior Development Officer for the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation, was a wonderful host, touring me around the hospital, introducing me to my team and educating me on Arkansas BBQ! Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) in Little Rock, Arkansas is the only pediatric hospital in the state of Arkansas. Established in 1912, it is a non-profit hospital which treats patients from birth to age 21. They have 2 helicopters and 4 ambulances. In 2015, there were 2,062 transports and a total of 15,089 total surgeries performed. AND there is art everywhere- metal sculptures indoors, themed murals and framed patient artworks created with the help of two dedicated and highly talented artists-in-residence.
In May, I will conduct 2 Bodyscapes Healing Art Workshops for the Child Life and Education Staff of ACH. Renee Hunte, MA, CCLS, Director of the Child Life & Education Department, worked very hard to find a time when all her staff could attend two sessions of Bodyscapes Workshops. Burnout and compassion fatigue are a high risk factor for ACH Child Life Specialists who regularly observe or participate in children’s suffering. Often care providers put patient’s needs before their own. They consider it a “treat” to take time and do something for themselves. Renee Hunte and I are extremely excited to offer this Bodyscapes experience, using the power of the written word and pastel drawing, to the Child Life and Education staff as a restorative arts practice and self-care modality.
Child life specialists use their knowledge of child development and developmentally appropriate interventions to educate, prepare and support children through difficult tests, procedures, and the sometimes drastic changes that happen within their families due to chronic or acute illness, treatment, and recovery.
During the same week in May, I will conduct three Bodycapes workshops for five teen receiving dialysis in the ACH teen dialysis center. Beth Brown is the Nursing Director in the teen dialysis Center.
Also, the Artist-in-Residence program at ACH is thriving due to Elizabeth Weber and Hamid Ebrahimifar. Two talented artist and strong arts educators who are dedicated to sharing their message that despite an injury, illness or disability, one can be successful at art. They are funded by an In-School Residency Grant from the Arkansas Arts Council. Elizabeth’s captivating paintings can be seen on her website–http://mysoulspath.com/. Hamid’s philosophy about the intersection of art, wonder and beauty can be read on the Arkansas Art Organization’s website. http://www.arkansasarts.org/aie-artists/hamid-ebrahimifar. I am very pleased they will attend my Bodyscapes workshops for Child Life & Education Staff AND consult on the production of the ACH/Bodyscapes: Drawing What Ails Us art catalog.
Thank you to my team– Alison Caballero, Renee Hunte, Beth______, Elizabeth, Hamid, and local Little Rock photographer, Daniel Moody –danielmoodyphotos.com. My meetings with you and my long visit with the teens in the dialysis treatment room answered all my questions and provided the necessary information needed to understand the scope of my Bodyscapes pilot project at ACH. Now home, I will confidently deal with the unique challenges of making art with teens while they receive dialysis.