At Bethesda, we believe that art can have a profound impact on the healing environment and a patient's recovery. Art can help rejuvenate, restore and heal the human spirit.
We incorporate art into the healing process to help patients, visitors and staff:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Cope with physical and emotional challenges
- Celebrate strengths and accomplishments
- Achieve therapeutic goals
Contact Bethesda Healing Arts program
Contact us if you have questions, want more information or are interested in becoming involved in the Healing Arts Program at Bethesda.
Art displayed inside the hospital
For nearly half a century, visual art has been displayed throughout public areas, waiting areas, hallways and patients rooms at Bethesda Hospital. Each piece of original or commissioned art is thoughtfully chosen for a specific area because of the qualities of healing and peace that it will bring to that space.
Our unique healing environment is greatly enhanced by a collection of sculptures on loan from Franconia Sculpture Park. The therapeutic landscape offers patients, family and staff a sense of nature’s gifts and of well-being.
Fine art exhibitors display and sell their art in the Gallery Café. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Healing Arts Program.
Artie the Art Cart
Patients can experience the power of art, in their hospital room, through "Artie" the Art Cart. Artie is wheeled to each room and patients are able to choose from more than 250 pieces of art to hang in their room during their stay.
Patients are encouraged to select art that "speaks to them" and suits their personality and definition of healing.
Patients may keep a piece of art in their room for the duration of their time at Bethesda or trade it for different piece as often as they wish.
Fine art exhibitors display and sell their multi-media, 3D art. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Healing Art Program at Bethesda.
See how healing arts are used at Bethesda
Patients can choose from more than 250 pieces of art to hang in their room during their stay.×
Therapeutic Recreation program
Activities offered through the Therapeutic Recreation department are geared to each patient's interests, abilities and therapeutic goals and include:
- Literary arts: poetry, creative writing, journaling
- Visual arts: 2D and 3D arts including painting, ceramics, beadwork
- Performing arts: music, storytelling, dance
Bedside art and music
Interested patients can receive music visits in their room. Painting, drawing, writing and craft materials are available for independent use.
Therapeutic recreation art studio
Patients can sign up to participate in the therapeutic recreation art studio or schedule it as part of their therapy. A variety of supplies and materials are available. Computers with Internet access are also available. Patients can choose to work independently or with staff assistance on individual or group projects.
Concerts and special events are offered throughout the year. These take place in the Gallery Café and Sheehy Therapeutic garden. Examples include bluegrass music, Aztec dancers, open-mic variety shows and holiday concerts.
Thanks to funding from grants, donations and community collaborations, a variety of artists provide services to the Bethesda community. In the past, these have included poets, dancers, musicians, ceramic and visual artists. We have been fortunate to partner with COMPAS (Community Programs in the Arts) to launch a three-year arts and health care pilot program.
Watch this dance art video created by Bethesda Hospital and COMPAS.
Art professionals at Bethesda
Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists oversee and coordinate art, horticulture and music activities for patients. They also initiate collaborations with community organizations to bring arts and other opportunities to patients at Bethesda.
Barbara Piotrowski of Artistic Arrangements, Inc., is the creative force behind many of Bethesda's unique artistic offerings. As a consultant, she developed and coordinates Artie the Art Cart, acquires and adds pieces to the Healing Art collection, and volunteers her time to run the Fine Art Exhibitors Program.
How to donate
Philanthropy plays an increasingly important role in our Healing Arts program, ensuring its long-term success and sustainability. Gifts to the program help cover the costs associated with purchasing art work, preserving our current collection and buying materials used during therapy. For information on supporting the Healing Arts Program, call the HealthEast Foundation at 651-232-4990.