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Art for Life Foundation


The Art for Life Foundation: A Symphony of Healing and Creativity


Introduction to Art for Life Foundation

Since its inception in 1998, the Art for Life Foundation has emerged as a beacon of hope and healing. As a non-profit 501 (C)3 organization, it dedicates its efforts to enriching the lives of children through the transformative power of art. This noble initiative extends across various children’s hospitals, juvenile courthouses, and hospice locations in eight states and Washington, D.C.


Healing Beyond Medicine: The Foundation’s Mission

The core belief of the Art for Life Foundation is that healing transcends the physical realm. In the often tense and stressful environment of children’s hospitals, the Foundation introduces an array of arts programs. These initiatives serve as a crucial adjunct to traditional medical treatments, offering therapeutic art activities that not only alleviate stress but also aid in the emotional and psychological well-being of young patients and their families.


Diverse Programs: A Canvas of Opportunities

  1. Art While You Wait: This award-winning program, spearheaded by Anthony Knutson, turns the daunting wait times in emergency rooms into creative sessions. Children and their siblings are provided with art materials and guided projects, helping them channel their anxiety and fear into artistic expression.

  2. Feeling Notes: Although retired in 2016, this program left a lasting impact. Led by Wendy Tamis, a renowned harpist, it filled hospital corridors with the soothing melodies of the harp, demonstrating the profound impact of music on healing.

  3. Coloring Books, Crayons & Kids: Situated in the Victim/Witness Assistance Program in Orange, CA, this program provides coloring books and crayons to children, many of whom are transitioning to foster care. It stands as a testament to the simple yet profound joy art can bring to a child’s life.

  4. Vickie & Friends and Ceramics & Kids!: These programs, flourishing in several locations, allow children to paint ceramics, fostering joy and creativity amidst their health challenges.

  5. The Art of Children: Hosted in the Clayton Community Library, this exhibition showcases the healing journey of children through their art, symbolizing the therapeutic power of self-expression.

  6. Art-To-Go Box: Recognizing that not all children can participate in scheduled art sessions, this initiative provides art kits for children to use at their convenience, ensuring that every child has access to the healing power of art.

  7. Rainbow Connections: Launched in partnership with the Trans Wellness Center, this program celebrates and supports Transgender youth and their families through art, reinforcing the Foundation’s commitment to inclusivity and understanding.


Empowering Healing Through Art

The Art for Life Foundation does not stop at hospitals. It extends its reach to juvenile justice centers and hospice care, ensuring that art becomes a versatile tool for empowerment and healing in various settings. Each program, whether it be group-based or individual, is designed with the ultimate goal of nurturing and inspiring every child it touches.


A Legacy of Compassion and Creativity

Over the years, the Foundation has been recognized for its innovative approach to healing, including an induction into the Bertha Wright Society at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Oakland in 2004. Its programs, like “Artfelt Memories” and “Painting Hearts!”, have become integral components of the healing process in the facilities they serve.


Conclusion: The Art for Life Foundation’s Continuing Journey

The Art for Life Foundation, through its diverse and compassionate programs, continues to redefine the healing process for children facing various challenges. By intertwining art with medicine, it not only alleviates physical pain but also nurtures the soul, proving that in the world of healing, creativity knows no bounds.


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