The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts recently concluded a six-month Arts in Healing program for patients, staff and physicians at the Children’s Peace Center at Our Lady of Peace. The program included a series of art opportunities including dance, creative writing, visual arts, music, drama and storytelling.
To commemorate the program, a stone-carved bench was designed and crafted by patients, staff and physicians at the hospital under the guidance of local artists and stone carvers Albert and Penny Nelson. The piece, a stone “Hope” bench, will be placed at the entrance of the Access Center at Our Lady of Peace on June 10.
The drawings carved on the “Hope” bench reflect the dreams and hopes of the patients and staff at the Children’s Peace Center. Participants created the designs, which the Nelsons transferred to the five-foot long bench. The Nelson’s then helped guide and instruct the participants as they carved their designs into the limestone. The bench will also carry the words “Children’s Peace Center” and “Hope has a place” on each side.
“The idea behind Arts in Healing is very simple,” said Kentucky Center President Stephen Klein. “At a time when people feel less in control of their own lives than ever, our artists help them discover the power they have to create something, to express themselves and reassert their unique and undeniable place in the world. At the moment of creativity, they cease to be patients and become artists.”
In recent years, research on how arts can enhance health has shown that patient participation in the arts can increase compliance with treatments and shorten the length of stay in hospitals, among other positive outcomes. In addition, arts programs can often reduce patient and caregiver stress, improve quality of care and reduce treatment costs.
“The children we care for at the Children’s Peace Center uniquely benefit from special opportunities such as the Arts in Healing program, because it allows them to access their creativity,” said Tim Brady, President & Chief Executive Officer, Our Lady of Peace. “We are grateful to the partnership of the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts and the foundations that made this program possible for our patients and staff.”
The Arts in Healing program at the Children’s Peace Center was funded by a $10,000 grant from the Norton Foundation and a $5,000 grant from Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation Peace Pals Fund.