Healing Arts at Lifespan
Fostering creative expression to promote overall health

Art While You Wait

Hospital emergency rooms can be a place where children experience anxiety and fear. A magical program is enchanting kids who visit the emergency department at Hasbro Children's Hospital.

Children's art from Healing Arts program
Lifespan Healing Arts coordinator Kyle McDonald, in collaboration with the Art for Life Foundation, created Art While You Wait in 2001 at Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, CA.

The program taps into the amazing creativity bubbling inside every child, as kids fashion rainsticks, memory boxes, collage, painting and more. For the youngest artists, parents are encouraged to help. Some parents enjoy crafting their own projects.

"When children of any age enter a hospital, they become part of a group that is defined by illness, and yet when they enter a place in the hospital where art is created, they become part of a group that is defined only by imagination," says Anthony Knutson, founder of the Art for Life Foundation. "They become part of a nurturing environment where they can express themselves freely." 

Every week, Art While You Wait transports kids and teens out of the emergency room and into their imaginations.

The Art for Life Foundation gave birth to Art While You Wait in 2001 at Children's Hospital in Oakland, California. Anthony Knutson has expanded this program to 10,000 children each year across the country.

Lifespan Healing Arts coordinator Kyle McDonald, in collaboration with the Art for Life Foundation, created Art While You Wait in 2001 at Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, CA. In 2005, the Art While You Wait program was the recipient of the Blair Sadler International Healing Arts award.

At Lifespan, Art While You Wait artist Suzanne Duquette offers a variety of art and craft activities in the Hasbro Children’s Hospital emergency department, as well as the Children’s Neurodevelopment Center.

Learn more about the healing arts at Lifespan