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Because childhood should be simple ...

Creative Artist in Residence Programme (CARPE)

CARPE photoCARPE offers opportunities for expression and control through a variety of artistic media. Through painting, music, writing, dance, theater and other artistic exploration, patients and families at Cook Children's connect the creative arts with the art of healing.

Our CARPE program is designed to provide a variety of expressive outlets to encourage increased communication and expression of feelings as well as a sense of connection and support. Participation in an expressive art form can help reduce fear and anxiety, encourage self-discovery, manage pain, and assist with rehabilitation. We encourage patient and family participation in our programming to enhance the overall health care experience.

What we offer

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Therapeutic art

It is also a simple way for patients and families to cope with a very complicated situation. We offer a variety of art methods to patients to encourage creativity and enhance communication during their health care experience including:

Music therapy

Our music therapy program provides our patients with a creative outlet for the physical and emotional challenges they face in their lives. Music therapy aids communication and can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research supports music therapy’s effectiveness in reducing fear and stress, facilitating movement, providing emotional support for patients and their families, fostering normalization and providing an outlet for expression of feelings. Music therapy interventions with one of our board certified music therapists may include playing instruments, singing, song writing or lyric analysis.

Therapeutic movement

Movement is a form of expression that promotes physical, mental and emotional well-being through:

Creative dramatics

Drumming circle

The rhythm of the drumming circle is a unique therapy that provides children and young adults with the opportunity to explore the relationship between music and healing. Semi-monthly drum and percussion sessions are provided to Cook Children's patients while at the medical center. These sessions can help patients to cope better with their medical condition and heal faster.

Benefits of drumming and percussion

Medical art

Medical art is a specific form of creative play that can be very beneficial for children facing health care experiences. Using medical supplies as the art medium can make the items seem less scary. This type of play allows a child to exert control over the equipment and over his or her environment. Children can safely explore their feelings and emotions regarding their personal experience with health care. Medical art is a pure, creative form of healing and expression.

Making magic

The Child Life team at Cook Children's takes pride in providing creative medical art experiences to children and families. When our Child Life activity coordinators began to notice that it was difficult to find published resources related to medical art activities, they decided to create one.

Making Magic with Medical Supplies Child Life Medical Art Activities is a colorful, inspiring how-to book designed share their ideas with others.

Copies of Making Magic with Medical Supplies can be purchased for $35 through Cook Children's Child Life department. For more information or to purchase a copy of this unique activity book please call 682-885-4048, or visit us here.

Art displays

You can see the colorful and creative art work of Cook Children’s patients and siblings proudly displayed on the walls of the medical center. Children who participate in our Creative Artist in Residence Programme (CARPE) often donate their paintings to us so they may be displayed in the hospital and enhance our environment. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

For more information, please contact Carri Ann Wantuchowicz, Creative Arts Programme Coordinator at 682-885-6643 or email carriann.wantuchowicz@cookchildrens.org.

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