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Welcome to Summer, Kids & Art Community. We hope you have lots of fun plans for these warmer days, possibly some involving a K&A event or workshop? Check out our monthly newsletter for June to see what's happening in our neck of the woods. Stay cool!

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Twenty years ago, I was sitting with a mom who was facing the unimaginable. Her seven-year-old son, David, had just been diagnosed with cancer. I listened as David’s terrified and devastated mom described what the doctors had told her about the two years of treatment that her little boy was about to endure. Tears welled up in her eyes when she asked, “How am I going to explain all of this to him? How do you describe what cancer is to a little boy?

A couple of days later, little David and I put on our grubby clothes, grabbed some paint and a big piece of butcher block paper. We described with words and colors what was going on inside his little body.

As Thomas Merton said, “Through art we can find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

We drew big happy circles for the good cells and little nasty circles for the bad cells. We laid out the cells – good ones and bad ones - all over the butcher block paper. David grabbed a big glob of red paint in his left hand and said, “This is my blood.” Then, he grabbed a glob of purple paint in his left hand and said, “This is my guts.” Smashing, whirling and swooshing the paint all around the paper between the good cells and bad cells, with the force of a determined seven-year-old, he yelled, “My body’s going to kick butt!” … and it did. David survived his cancer and has grown into a young man.

What also grew from that day was a vision for using art as a compassionate modality to guide conversations about the unimaginable.

When two-year-old Maddy’s cancer was taking over her little body, she would sit wearing only a diaper and a port catheter and paint; painting clay pots became her legacy. Maddy’s clay pots and David’s blood and guts forged the way for hundreds of children with cancer and thousands of their family members to connect, express and heal through a program named in Maddy’s memory: Art from the Heart, Celebrating Maddy.

Now, twenty years later, Art from the Heart is a quarterly expressive arts event, with activities for children with cancer and their entire family to express what living and dying with cancer is like when the cancer patient is a child. Through Art from the Heart, children and their families can communicate ideas and feelings that may be difficult to put into words. The use of the expressive arts in a therapeutic setting multiplies the avenues by which a family struggling with a serious illness may seek meaning, clarity, and healing.

Over the years Art from the Heart has grown and Jacob’s Heart’s trained volunteers work alongside our clinical counselors to facilitate expressive healing activities such as drawing, journaling, drumming, drama, creative movement, music and play. Together, family members of children with cancer of all ages express their thoughts and feelings in a manner that transcends verbal communication and has unique properties as a therapeutic intervention.

Research supports the use of the expressive arts to help seriously-ill children, their siblings and parents cope with the distress of hospitalization, better express themselves, reduce stress, and find meaning during one of the most difficult times in their lives.

So, next time you’re faced with a situation too difficult for words to describe, grab your grubby clothes and throw your blood and guts onto the canvas and into your life…maybe, like little David, you’ll find your strength.

Kids & Art Foundation is thankful to have a vast community of artists who create with us. Our artists share their passion for art and their commitment to make the world a better place. Without them we cannot heal pediatric cancer through art.

Donate Now!

If you believe in the healing power of artists then please support our artist stipends with your donations and corporate matching. All donations are 100% tax deductible and our EIN is 27-1415727

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Happy May from Kids & Art! This month has been a full and impactful one at Kids & Art. Read all about the events we participated in and the ways we supported the pediatric oncology community in our monthly newsletter.

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THIS WORKSHOP IS ONLY FOR CANCER PATIENTS AND FAMILIES

The Kids & Art team is so excited for this opportunity to work with artist Sahba Shere, who is part of the Cubberley Artist Studio Program. Participants will have the opportunity to tour through artist studios and be inspired by the artwork and art-making process around them. Then, Sahba will guide our young artists through her own creative process and invite them to enter their own painting adventure.

WHEN: Sunday, June 9th, 2-4PM

WHERE: Cubberley Artists Studios, 4000 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303

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Ember Fry hadn't even noticed she was holding her breath. As her family of four turned onto The Painted Turtle campground, Ember and her husband, Andy, still hadn’t figured out how to convince their nine year old daughter to go to Camp. “Kalina was in tears the whole drive up the mountain,” recounted Ember. “It was going to be her first time away sleeping in a room without either her brother, Dad and me, or usual team of nurses. I wasn’t worried about her brother, Jadon, having a good time because he had heard all about Camp from friends and was excited, but I half expected to receive a call from Kalina asking to come home.”

While going to an out-of-state overnight camp for the first time was scary for the entire family, Ember and Andy knew it was an important milestone for everyone. Jadon and Kalina were born with diastrophic dysplasia, a rare form of dwarfism that often requires a tracheotomy and the use of a power scooter. Due to the chronic nature of their conditions, the children require round-the-clock nurses to ensure they’re breathing correctly.

“When Jadon was born, his health was extremely fragile and he was mostly isolated from the world for the first three years of his life,” said Ember. “Five years later, Kalina was born with the same illness. They are rarely left alone or away from trusted adults, so Camp was a big step for us. After researching The Painted Turtle’s medical facility, the Well Shell, and speaking with the Medical Director, Andy and I felt very comfortable leaving the kids in Camp’s care.”

Not only was this first visit to The Painted Turtle a chance for Jadon and Kalina to be more independent, it was also a rare opportunity for Ember and Andy to get some much-needed alone time together. “I wanted to call and check in every day, but instead I focused on all the good Camp can do for them emotionally,” said Ember. “I don’t suffer from the same illnesses that Jadon and Kalina do. They need to experience the fun of life alongside children who have similar obstacles to themselves. And after years of Andy and I being on call 24/7, it was nice to trust in Camp and have some time to ourselves while others provided the round-the-clock care for our kids.”

The week flew by and as Ember and Andy returned to Camp to pick up their children, they were amazed at the greeting they received. “Jadon saw us and immediately came over to tell us about his first time zip-lining, but as I looked over at Kalina, she was in tears again – only instead of crying from fear this time, she was crying because she didn’t want to leave all the love, hope, and life she found at The Painted Turtle. That was the greatest gift for Andy and me, and we’re so grateful for the opportunity to experience Camp. Our whole family has been changed forever.”

Every child deserves to experience the power and magic of camp. The Painted Turtle, a camp for children with serious medical conditions, makes that experience possible for all children, regardless of physical limitations or life-threatening diagnoses. Every aspect of the intentional and adaptive programming—from a wheelchair-friendly ropes course to exceptional on-site medical care—is designed to allow all campers to fully participate in all activities.

Through eight week-long, disease-specific Summer Sessions, ten Family Weekend camps, and hundreds of in-hospital camp days, The Painted Turtle offers life changing opportunities throughout the year. Since 2004, over 59,000 children and their families have attended Camp completely free of charge.

With the on-site support of some of California’s top pediatric medical professionals and the Well Shell, a state-of-the-art medical facility, The Painted Turtle’s adaptive programming makes it possible for children with serious medical conditions to enjoy traditional summer camp activities such as fishing, boating, horseback riding, archery, high ropes, arts and crafts, woodshop, and much more. Children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses arrive looking for a typical camp experience, and what they discover is confidence, belonging, and a feeling of acceptance that lasts long after they head home.

The Painted Turtle serves over 90 medical conditions including: cerebral palsy, spina bifida, kidney disease and transplant, liver disease and transplant, primary immunodeficiency diseases, rheumatic diseases, skeletal dysplasia (dwarfism), hemophilia, thalassemia, inflammatory bowel diseases, neuromuscular disorders, genetic and metabolic conditions, and many more.

Located in Lake Hughes, California, The Painted Turtle is a proud member of the SeriousFun Children’s Network founded by Paul Newman, who’s his vision and legacy have impacted over a million children with serious medical conditions and families worldwide.

To learn more about The Painted Turtle and how to apply, please visit www.thepaintedturtle.org. Camp magic awaits!

Kids & Art Foundation is thankful to have a vast community of artists who create with us. Our artists share their passion for art and their commitment to make the world a better place. Without them we cannot heal pediatric cancer through art.

Donate Now!

If you believe in the healing power of artists then please support our artist stipends with your donations and corporate matching. All donations are 100% tax deductible and our EIN is 27-1415727

Author of the Month
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THIS WORKSHOP IS ONLY FOR CANCER PATIENTS AND FAMILIES

We are so excited to return to Google for our May Destination Workshop this year. Our last visit to Google was filled with so much fun as participants experienced a variety of art stations ranging from creating Google Doodles, trying out Google Virtual Reality, making Surrealist Collages, experimenting with Gelli Printing, to so much more.

WHEN: Sunday, May 5th, 2-5PM

WHERE: GOOGLE - BLDG CL3, 1300 CRITTENDEN LN, MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA 94043

We will add more details as we confirm our artists and art stations. Please sign-up and share this link with families who can benefit from this workshop. This workshop will be a lot of fun and will fill up fast so please click below to sign-up.

EVENT SIGNUP
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We are honored to write this blog post for Kids & Art and to further our collaboration with this wonderful like-minded organization.

ArtWorks, The Naomi Cohain Foundation, founded in 2002, is dedicated to improving the healthcare experience of pediatric patients through the arts. ArtWorks provides children and young adults from infants to age 24 facing chronic and life-limiting illnesses , and their families, access to creative and performing arts programs that serve as a vehicle for healing, communication, self-expression and person development.

In the 17 years since ArtWorks was founded we have had many wonderful examples of how art is the universal healing tool, no matter what language you speak. We are very proud to be providing this creative outlet for all of the young artists who are waiting to show the world their creativity.

One of our three core programs is our Teaching Artists Program which brings professional artists to create with the children, both one on one at bedside as well as in small groups in art rooms or play rooms in hospitals. Currently we have 26 Teaching Artist programs in 16 of our hospital partner locations. We provide Teaching Artists from various genres including, the fine arts, beat boxing, graffiti, animation, laser painting, song writing, creative writing, theater arts, weaving, collage, percussion and photography.

As ArtWorks Program Director I have the honor to work with all of our wonderful Teaching Artists, the amazing Child Life Specialists at our hospitals and the best part of all, is the opportunity to see how art transforms the isolated world of a child in the hospital into a world where they have the freedom to express themselves.

We receive many beautiful stories from our artists, the children, the Child Life Specialist and the families about how art makes them feel. Here are a few that I would like to share.

From Our Creative Writing Program: “First up was a 7 year old boy who would be having surgery on Monday. The Child Life Team thought he might be anxious about the procedure and that some creative writing could be a good outlet .When I first approached him and told him what I had to offer he said no but then said that he wanted to make a clay story. I had no idea what he was talking about but I got very excited! It turns out somebody had just given him some clay. I asked what he wanted to make with it and he immediately said “a car.” Actually, he wanted me to make the car. With some compromising and coaxing I got him involved with designing the car and making the accessories such as the engine, the windows, the bumper, and the patterns on the tires. He loved it! When it was finished I asked him to tell me about the car and he came up with an amazing story! When I read it back to him the expressions on his face were priceless -- he was laughing and smiling. He also wanted me to read the story to his mom who was in the room and she liked it a lot. I felt that his sometimes naysaying/bossy behavior was his way of feeling in control over something in his life. He was a very sweet and creative child. I would love to work with him again and he said he would like to see us again too.”

From Our Weaving Program: ”A boy who had just turned 7. He was in the clinic near the loom and watching out of the corner of his eye. He was sitting with the school teacher, and he actually did concentrate mostly on his school work, but when he had finished his homework, he bee-lined to the weaving. While another boy was weaving, he was figuring out how the loom worked and was fascinated by it. By the time it was his turn, I showed him briefly how to weave and he was weaving on his own. He was a boy with a mission and he said that he wanted to weave a hotdog. I have never woven with anyone who had an idea of what he wanted to weave from the first time he sat down. He had watched the other boy weave an EKG design and he had observed the attention the EKG had received. He was creative and talented. It will be interesting to work with him again at future visits. He wanted me to come next week!

A Parent’s Perspective: “When the Child Life Specialist told us about ArtWorks, I was ecstatic because it gave my son a chance to shine as a young artist. It became a wonderful outlet for him, as well as, to keep learning basic skills for development. Even weeks before he became an angel, he was creating. Art is the means by which children can create, where there are no right or wrong answers regardless of age, sickness, emotion, etc. ArtWorks helped him to foster his creativity and gave him a place to let people know that behind the ‘bad guy’ was a very creative and loving child with the determination, strength, and will that cannot be matched by any adult with years of experience.”

A Child’s Perspective: “Some words I would like to share with other artists are, don’t be afraid to paint whatever is in your mind, because with art you can express yourself and explore.”

Thank you very much to Kids and Art for this opportunity.

-

Fran Heyman, Program Director

ArtWorks, The Naomi Cohain Foundation

96 Engle Street

Englewood, New Jersey 07631

Kids & Art Foundation is thankful to have a vast community of artists who create with us. Our artists share their passion for art and their commitment to make the world a better place. Without them we cannot heal pediatric cancer through art.

Donate Now!

If you believe in the healing power of artists then please support our artist stipends with your donations and corporate matching. All donations are 100% tax deductible and our EIN is 27-1415727

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THIS WORKSHOP IS ONLY FOR CANCER PATIENTS AND FAMILIES

Join us at Public Glass on April 7th for an exciting afternoon of hands-on glass creation. Participants will learn to cut, shape and arrange colorful flat glass in this three hour event, and will each design a one of a kind picture frames. Upon completion, the glass compositions will be placed into a kiln and fired to create beautiful sparkling frames to hold your favorite photos!

Families we do have to pay Public Glass for this workshop but it is free to you so if you cannot make it to the workshop for any reason, do kindly inform us so that another pediatric cancer family can join in. Space is limited to 20 participants.

Where: Public Glass - 1750 Armstrong Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124

When: Sunday, April 7th, 2-5PM

EVENT SIGNUP

Age requirement: must be 8 years and older.

This 3-hour workshop will introduce students to the process of cutting, shaping and assembling sheet glass for the creation of a unique and colorful picture frame. Projects will be designed to fit within a 10”x10” space. This workshop is a great way to learn the basics of fusing in a fun and family-friendly atmosphere.

Public Glass is located at 1750 Armstrong Avenue, near Third Street in the Bayview. Take the Muni T-Sunnydale to Third & Williams. There is also free parking on site.

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It’s a long-debated topic, and one that is especially divided when it comes to children; does music really help with productivity? Half the argument says yes, the other half says it’s just an excuse to listen to music instead of getting work done. There is truth to both sides, but it’s actually a bit deeper than it seems. In this article, we look at whether or not studying with music is bad, if it can make you more productive, and the music you should be listening to in order to benefit from it.

Studying with Music: Good or Bad?

So, there have been numerous studies on this topic and, to make a long story short, they show that it really does depend on the kind of person you are. Some are going to find studying with music to be fantastic and really helpful, others are going to feel lost and distracted. The studies took place in controlled settings, with one of the most famous ones splitting students into a series of rooms that were one of the following: Silent Steady state speech Changing state speech Music they like Music they dislike Each of the students was completing homework in one of these environments, and those in the silent and steady state speech rooms did the best, while the other three did not perform as well. However, those who were listening to music they liked did not find it distracting and actually enjoyed doing their homework, so it is important to keep this in mind.

The Mozart Effect: is it Real?

You have likely heard of this before, where listening to Mozart from birth is supposed to make you more intelligent. Well, it’s wrong for one, but also completely misinterpreted. The study was looking at special-temporal reasoning as opposed to intelligence, and they did find a massive increase in these reasoning skills for around 15 minutes after the music was played. However, the media took this to mean that your child will become smarter with Mozart, and it got to the point that toys were being sold for it and hospitals in some countries were giving free Mozart CDs to mothers who had just given birth. If you want to get smarter through music, learn to play a classical instrument, that has actually been shown to increase your IQ by around three points.

The Best Music for Studying

If you decide to listen to music while you are studying, there is the option to play whatever you want, but there are actually some that you should consider trying out first. The following are best to help you to study and focus: Sounds of nature Classical music Songs you don’t care about Songs without lyrics Songs with an upbeat tempo All of these can be very beneficial, and while each person will find what works best for them, you should seriously consider trying these options out first. Baroque music has been shown to be some of the best according to studies, so why not start with that?

Hopefully, this has helped you to learn more about music and its impact on learning and productivity. While it is something that can vary massively depending on the kind of person you are, generally speaking, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that you can, in fact, benefit from listening to certain types of music while you work. If you want to learn more about their relationship, and even get some good song suggestions, we have a detailed and researched guide that you can read through.

Kids & Art Foundation is thankful to have a vast community of artists who create with us. Our artists share their passion for art and their commitment to make the world a better place. Without them we cannot heal pediatric cancer through art.

Donate Now!

If you believe in the healing power of artists then please support our artist stipends with your donations and corporate matching. All donations are 100% tax deductible and our EIN is 27-1415727

Author of the Month
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Event Description

For the month of March, we at Kids & Art are thrilled to bring kids and families to an incredible space of creativity, right in our own backyard. The Peninsula Museum of Art is an art museum located in Burlingame, California. The 18,000-square-foot complex opened in 2013, and houses both the museum and the Peninsula Art Institute. Together, the museum and institute comprise five gallery spaces, a library, a classroom, a store and 30 working artists’ studios.

Participants will be painting the day away with our Kids & Art artists. There will be plenty of paints, brushes and canvases for everyone. The only missing ingredient is your creativity!

THIS WORKSHOP IS ONLY FOR CANCER PATIENTS AND FAMILIES

Come join us for this incredible experience!

  • When: Sunday March 10th, 2-4pm
  • Where: Peninsula Museum of Art, 1777 California Dr, Burlingame, CA 94010

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