MFA Artful Healing 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 experience for participants undergoing medical treatment.

Art expression engages the imagination, helps alleviate anxiety, and provides a space for positive interactions and communication–and the result is a beautiful piece of art to keep.

Program Details

MFA Artful Healing Workshops

MFA Artful Healing workshops take place free of charge in group settings or bedside in patients’ rooms at regularly scheduled times. Each workshop begins with a presentation of images from the MFA’s world-renowned collection, chosen to focus on one of various themes ranging from animals to jewelry. Participants have an opportunity to “explore” the MFA and connect with artworks spanning six continents and thousands of years of history! Following the presentation 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, and embossing foil pendants: the activities are varied and use studio-quality art materials. MFA Artful Healing instructors are trained and experienced art educators who collaborate closely with hospital staff and will adapt to any specific needs.

Quotes from Participants

“We’ve been here more than ten times in the last two weeks … but this is the first time I’ve seen my son smiling. Thank you for that!”
- 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.”
-Ilana Rose Kittrell, age 15, brain tumor survivor (from STEPS at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute - a support group for adolescent/young adult brain tumor survivors)

Passes and Scholarships

Admission passes to the MFA for patients and their families are available by request and while supplies last at MFA Artful Healing partner organizations. Patients and hospital staff also have access to scholarships to MFA studio art classes, taught in the Museum’s galleries and studios.

Beyond the Spectrum

Beyond the Spectrum is a program designed to introduce the Museum to children on the Autism Spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome, accompanied by a parent or caregiver. The program meets on the first Saturday of each month from 10:30 am to noon, and is open to children ages 8-12. Each class lasts an hour and a half and combines gallery exploration with an art-making activity. For more information and to buy your tickets please visit the Beyond the Spectrum page, call 617-369-4027, or e-mail

Accessibility at the MFA

The Museum is committed to making both its building and programs accessible to visitors with disabilities. For general access information, call 617-267-9300, or e-mail For information about parking, mobility devices, assistive listening devices, and other resources, please visit the MFA’s Accessibility page . For specific or unusual questions related to accessibility, please call 617-369-3189.


Artful Healing is generously supported by the June Nordblom Robinson Fund, Kent and Nancy P. Van Zant, Peter F. Kiely, Dr. Robert and Jane B. Mayer, and David and Ellen Blumenthal. With thanks also for the support of the Claudy family.