Healing Through Art
Art has the ability to heal, immersing children in creative expression that enables them to make empowering design choices while creating something new and original in a nurturing environment. Abrakadoodle is a champion for children’s art education, bringing smiles, confidence, skills and creativity to children facing any number of hurdles through its annual Arts for All Scholarship program that has been in place since 2007. Because Abrakadoodle is out in communities’ nationwide providing art classes, camps and events, the company has observed needs and has chosen to respond in impactful ways. Abrakadoodle salutes Charla Stuart of Abrakadoodle of Greater Metro Houston, who along with her teaching team has made a positive difference in the lives of children and young adults for the past two years. This is the second consecutive year that Ms. Stuart has received the Arts for All scholarship to bring creative art programs to young patients at the Texas Children’s Hospital Cancer and Hematology Center in Houston, Texas.
According to Carol Herron, Periwinkle Arts in Medicine Program Coordinator, Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, “The Periwinkle Arts in Medicine Program at the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers has greatly enjoyed having Abrakadoodle bring art activities, led by professional art instructors, to our outpatient clinic. The activities they have brought to our clinic have given our patients and their siblings opportunities to create pieces of art that they can take pride in and the finished projects are beautiful keepsakes. The projects give children opportunities for self-expression and empower them to make decisions with a structured environment. The staff have been very flexible in working with children of varying ages and backgrounds and are always very prepared. Thank you so much for supporting and bringing the arts for children undergoing treatment for life changing illnesses.”
Via Abrakadoodle’s Arts for All Scholarship program, Abrakadoodle-Greater Metro Houston has in 2016 provided one of three planned, two-hour art events for pediatric patients and their families at the Texas Children’s Hospital Cancer and Hematology Center in Houston, Texas. These hands-on art events provide children and their siblings with creative choices and joyful expression in a world where they have few choices, while also balancing family focus when so much energy is focused on the child’s illness. Reflecting on her Arts for All experience, Charla Stuart remarked, “I feel that our art program has had a very positive impact on the delightful patients at the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers. The joy was apparent in the shining faces of our program participants as they created imaginative art works that reflected their own respective styles.”
On February 19, 2016, Ms. Stuart responded to a call from Danielle Coleman, a Certified Child Life Specialist II with Texas Children’s Hospital Hematology, inviting Abrakadoodle to add art to a special event planned for a group of teen patients with sickle cell disease. The 12-hour lock-in event at the hospital featured two hours of art in which Abrakadoodle Artist-in-Residence Leonor Brazao participated by FaceTime so that students could see her original artwork “Fruit from Brazil” in her house in Northern Virginia while the students worked on their own masterpieces inspired by her style.
Abrakadoodle headquarters, along with its dedicated franchisees and their instructional staff members are proud to have donated more than 2,000 hours and approximately $20,000 to date to make these impressive programs possible and to make a difference in communities nationwide. We look forward to continuing this legacy of innovation and impact by funding empowering art programs now and in the future.