The Detroit Institute of Arts studio staff have found a way to provide art enrichment to patients at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan during the pandemic by creating drop-off art kits for patients and their families.
Prior to the pandemic, as part of the museum’s Healing Arts Program, the museum’s studio assistants visited to Children’s Hospital of Michigan where they facilitated drop-in style art workshops bedside or in common areas such as waiting rooms or activity spaces for patients and their families.
When DIA in-person programming was suspended in 2020, the museum’s studio staff looked at its programs and identified those that could be altered to continue providing art-making experiences in the region. The Healing Arts Program at Children’s Hospital of Michigan was identified as one of those programs.
About the Art Kits
After discussions with Children’s Hospital of Michigan Child Life Project Specialist, it was determined that delivering supplies was the best course of action, in the form of individually bagged kits so patients and family could still have a DIA art-making experience.
Simple air-drying clay was chosen to provide an engaging activity for both patients and their siblings, parents, or caretakers that might be spending long stretches of time in the hospital. The goal of the kits is to provide supplies for a project that could be entirely open-ended. All kits come with background information, context relating to the museum or specific works of art, and motivating questions.