Healing Arts Program

Bethesda Hospital

Long-term acute care for medically complex patients.
Bethesda Hospital

Healing Arts Program

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.

Three-dimensional exhibits

Fine art exhibitors display and sell their multi-media, 3D art. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Healing Art Program at Bethesda.

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.

Community concerts

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.

Bethesda Beat

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 Art Associates 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.

Ways to donate

By making a donation, you help HealthEast achieve our vision of providing optimal health and well-being for our patients, our communities and ourselves.

Make a donation

Your generosity allows us to continue our shared mission.

When you make a donation to HealthEast, you can choose the area that's most important to you. If you'd prefer not to donate online, go here for a donation form you can print out and mail to us.
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If a caregiver made sure your care was exceptional, that person is your Shining Star.

When you make a gift in honor of your Shining Star, you say “thank you” to someone who made a difference to you and your gift ensures we can continue providing excellent care in the future. If you prefer not to give online, go here for a donation form that you can print and mail to us.
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