Denver Art Museum and Children’s Hospital Colorado team up to focus on the restorative and transformational powers of art

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) and Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado) have teamed up around the powers of art—its ability to lift spirits, build confidence and create moments of family connections. This new partnership, rooted in the idea that art benefits the whole person, will include creative opportunities at both Children’s Colorado and the Denver Art Museum.

“Art can be a powerful force in every person’s life and part of how we take care of ourselves from the inside out,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the Denver Art Museum. “This partnership highlights the power of art to provide respite for those navigating health challenges.”

“Our medical staff and families witness the power of healing and its therapeutic value when patients create art through the Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program at Children’s Colorado,” said Jim Shmerling, president and CEO of Children’s Colorado. “Partnering with the DAM brings many more ways for us to connect the impact art has in our community and in the lives of our patients and families.”

Specifics on what visitors at both campuses will encounter:

The partnership focuses on the power and benefit of art in people’s lives. The DAM will provide hands-on coloring sheets to patients at Children’s Colorado to engage the families undergoing treatment with unique artworks from the DAM’s collection. The museum also will provide expert lecturers, on-site visits and art-making materials for kids at Children’s Colorado. 

Children’s Colorado demonstrates the positive power of art in the healing process for patients and families through a multitude of creative services. The Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program provides art, music, yoga and dance/ movement therapies for all behavioral health patients, and many medical patients. One specific project hosted by the Ponzio Program is Art for Life, a community arts mentorship program that connects 25 students who attend school at the hospital with 25 volunteer community artist-mentors. Dance, paint, poetry, clay and music become vehicles to express identity and to create meaning and connections with each other. Projects are ongoing from January through May, with each pair working towards a final performance and art exhibition.

The hospital is also supporting the DAM’s popular Family Activity Cart, which provides Family Backpacks and Art Tubes for families to explore the museum together.

June 2 Partnership Launch Details:

Through a multi-pronged partnership, the DAM and Children’s Colorado will connect via events, on-site activities and shared learning. On June 2, the museum will debut a newly-designed Family Activity Cart—one of the museum’s most popular family activities—thanks to its partnership with Children’s Hospital Colorado. Throughout the summer, the DAM will introduce new Backpacks that will focus on the museum’s Asian art collection, Mexican colonial art collection and the American and European art collection. For example, families can learn about the contemplative life of a Chinese scholar or daily life in Mexico in the 1800s by completing the activities in the backpacks. From June 2 through August 26, the Family Activity Cart will be available at the museum every day.

The museum also will showcase a selection of Children’s Colorado works from their Many Hands Create Art project, an 18-month hospital-wide mural venture designed to beautify the campus during the construction of a new patient tower. More than 40 hospital groups including patients, families, nurses and staff, 25 individual artists and a dozen community groups made their mark by creating murals. The project was celebrated in November 2011 when 100 mural panels were installed on outdoor construction fences around the hospital, creating one extraordinary art exhibition. In addition to the murals on display at DAM, Many Hands Create Art murals are now displayed prominently on the patient family garage at Children’s Colorado. Many Hands Create Art has realized its full potential and provided a transformative experience uniting our campus and community.

A complementary project, Art Heals, was facilitated by the Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program and dedicated to the DAM. Children’s Colorado hosted a painting party today for patients, families and staff to create eight separate paintings for each letter that spell Art Heals.  These murals will be on temporary display at the DAM on June 2 when they kick off expanded summer programming for families with a Free First Saturday packed with activities for all ages.

Both the DAM and Children’s Colorado engage a broad audience from the Rocky Mountain region. Through this partnership, each organization strives to better serve both the local and regional community by creating access to and awareness of each other’s services.

About Children’s Hospital Colorado

Children’s Hospital Colorado has defined and delivered pediatric healthcare excellence for more than 100 years. Founded in 1908, Children’s Colorado is a leading pediatric network entirely devoted to the health and well-being of children. Continually recognized as one of the nation’s outstanding hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and ranked fifth in their Best Children’s Hospitals 2011-12 Honor Roll, Children’s Colorado is known both for its nationally and internationally recognized medical, research and education programs, as well as the full spectrum of everyday care for kids throughout Colorado and surrounding states. Children’s Colorado is recognized for excellence in nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Centers and has been designated a Magnet® hospital since 2005. With more than 1,000 healthcare professionals representing the full spectrum of pediatric specialties, the network for Children’s Colorado includes 15 regional locations including its main campus on the Anschutz Medical Campus, and more than 400 outreach clinics. For more information, visit www.childrenscolorado.org and connect with Children’s Colorado on FaceBook (www.facebook.com/childrenshospitalcolorado) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/ChildrensColo).

Download PDF of press release.