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Creative Artist in Residence Programme

Artist painting with little girl in patient room

Cook Children's Creative Artist in Residence Programme (CARPE) 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.

Therapeutic art

Girl painting mermaid

Therapeutic art and the creative process can help children relax, express their feelings, gain confidence, make choices, practice control, problem solve, normalize the hospital environment and reach social, emotional, and physical goals. It helps patients explore new ways of expressing themselves through visual arts connects the creative arts with the art of healing.

Activities offered include:

  • Acrylic painting
  • Clay
  • Collage
  • Drawing
  • Jewelry making
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
  • Watercolor painting

Music therapy

Boy in hospital bed playing keyboard

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
  • Song writing
  • Lyric analysis

Best of all, music therapy doesn't feel like therapy to our patients, it feels like fun. See for yourself how music therapy helps to heal.

Are you a music therapy student looking for an internship? Check our our Music Therapy internship opportunities here.

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Creative dramatics and movement

creative play

Dramatics and movement are forms of expression that promote physical, mental and emotional well-being through:

  • Imaginative play
  • Storytelling
  • Playwriting
  • Dance
  • Juggling
  • Activities that encourage self-control and mind-body connection

Art displays

Patient painting of dog

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 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.

Contact us

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

If you're a music therapy student interested in our internship program, you can learn more here.

Heartbeat songs

Cook Children's heartbeat songs are truly songs of the heart for families who have a lost a child.

A look at how Cook Children's Shea Ingram, a board-certified music therapist, and Raymond Turner, recording studio producer, turn the recording of a child's heartbeat into a beautiful memory for families.