The Artful Healing program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, offers art-making activities for children, teens, young adults, and their families in Boston-area hospitals and healthcare centers. The MFA currently provides off-site workshops at Boston Children's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. These art workshops provide a fun and creative distraction for participants undergoing medical treatment. Art expression engages the imagination, helps alleviate anxiety, and provides a space for positive interactions and communication. And what results is a beautiful piece of art for patients to keep!
This initiative reinforces the Museum’s mission—to reach beyond its walls to bring art experiences into the community.
Artful Healing is generously supported by Carol and Terry Wall. Additional support for the program at MGH is provided by June N. and John C. Robinson.
About the Artful Healing workshops
Following the slideshow and discussion, participants make art in a hands-on activity related to what they have seen. From Chinese brush painting to Styrofoam printmaking, wire sculptures, painting on canvas, sculpting with clay, embossed foil pendants: the range of activities is varied and uses studio-quality art materials.
Quotes from participants
Parent - Patient Entertainment Center, Boston Children’s Hospital
“The Artful Healing session was wonderful! The kids were engaged and many of them voiced that they felt better than when they first started the group. We are so honored to have this program on our unit and look forward to future sessions!”
Staff– Psychiatry Inpatient Service, Boston Children’s Hospital
“When I go back to school I will bring these materials to teach my art teacher how to make prints like the MFA because it is the most fun art project I have ever done.”
Patient - Pediatric Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital
“[U]ndertaking an activity with people who can sympathize with your struggles is a truly wonderful experience, and having people genuinely want to have a place in that is even greater.”
Ilana Rose Kittrell- age 15, brain tumor survivor.
STEPS at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Support group for adolescent and young adults brain tumor survivors)