Art and crafts are not just fun activities; they are powerful tools for healing. The Alfano Family Arts in Medicine Studio offers a unique form of healing arts engagement for young children facing cancer. A place where they can choose and direct their own art projects, and experience a valuable sense of control and self-command.
The Power of Creativity
Established in 2004, the Studio stands as a national model for innovative art programs in pediatric cancer care. Under the guidance of Nitza Danieli, an artist and seasoned Metropolitan Museum of Art educator, patients engage in creative expression using artistic mediums such as painting, sculpture, building, and drawing.
The Studio’s approach is tailored to individual needs, offering interactive sessions in one-on-one or group settings. For many, this is their first encounter with professional artists and a wide array of art supplies.
The impact has been remarkable. For many children, the Studio is a bright spot in their day, transforming routine hospital visits into moments of joy and normalcy. Nitza shares, “Watching kids skip or run over as soon as they come in, many not wanting to go home after treatment, makes my job a life mission,” she says.
Support for the Entire Family
Understanding that cancer affects the patient and the entire family, the Studio extends its reach to include parents, caregivers, and siblings. A grandmother, accompanying her grandchild to a doctor’s appointment, received a small weaving project as she waited. During her weaving, she remarked, “This is so relaxing. My day started out very difficult, but this has really calmed me down.”
Parents often schedule appointments to coincide with the artists’ presence. As one mother stated, “It makes coming to the clinic fun… during this arduous journey.” Moments like these speak volumes about the Studio’s transformative effect and the therapeutic power of art.
More Than Just Play
The Studio is more than an arts program. It’s a vital part of our comprehensive approach to pediatric cancer care—symbolizing hope and compassion and playing an essential role in the treatment experience.
Thanks to generous funding from The Alfano Family and support from Hope & Heroes, the Studio is free of charge to patients and their families. Learn more about our integrated, family-focused approach to patient care or make a gift to ensure children have access to the comprehensive care they deserve.