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Center for the Arts receives grant to fund Arts in Healthcare at RPCI

The Arts in Healthcare initiative brings specialized art forms and skills directly to patients in the hospital. Photo: Nancy J. Parisi


Published January 16, 2014

“Artists can provide a distraction, start a conversation and give patients and their families interesting things to see, experience or think about.”
Cindy Eller, executive director
Roswell Park Alliance Foundation

The Center for the Arts has received a $83,200 grant from the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation to provide four artist stipends for the center’s Arts in Healthcare initiative at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI).

The program, now in its sixth year, maintains six professional artists in residence at RPCI, who bring their specialized art forms and skills to patients at the cancer center. Their arts-based activities assist patients in expressing themselves, create opportunities for relaxation and distract from stresses associated with diagnosis and treatment. Visitors, families, and staff also benefit greatly from the program.

“The University at Buffalo and Center for the Arts are honored to work in partnership with Roswell Park Cancer Institute on the Initiative,” says Thomas Burrows, executive director of the Center for the Arts. “From the beginning, Roswell has been supportive and understands the potential to serve the hospital population in a uniquely positive way. We applaud their dedication to the quality of life of patients and families.”

Cindy Eller, executive director of the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, adds that creative outlets “can be very therapeutic for people battling cancer and contribute a great deal to the welcoming and therapeutic environment at RPCI.”

“Artists can provide a distraction, start a conversation and give patients and their families interesting things to see, experience or think about. The artist-in-residence program is entirely donor funded, and it has played a strong supporting role in patient care at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.”

The Arts in Healthcare initiative was established by the Center for the Arts in 2008 to bring the performing and visual arts into health care settings at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and RPCI. The artists in residence, who have extensive experience in writing, music, dance, theater and the visual arts, work daily with the hospital population in waiting areas and playrooms, as well as at the bedside and intimate patient care areas. Artists facilitate the creative process, allowing for enhanced communication, personal expression, understanding, distraction and healing.