Caring Arts

Caring Arts

Art Heals
Art has the power to heal. Research studies have shown how participation in the arts contributes to higher quality of life of cancer patients by improving coping resources, self-esteem, and mental and physical health.

The Caring Arts Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing emotional support to Chicago-area cancer patients and their families. Our mission is to facilitate and encourage expression and healing through music, fine art, journaling, photography, and other creative disciplines.

Join us for an event, sponsor an activity, or learn more about how Caring Arts Programs are enhancing the lives of children, adults, and their families living with cancer in the Chicago area.

A Year of Growth

Caring Arts' award winning programming is in increasing demand, affording us the opportunity to reach more oncology patients and families in new settings. Our partnership with Wellness House in Hinsdale, and their Outreach initiative, is bringing Caring Arts programs to MacNeal, Elmhurst, UIC and Mercy Hospitals, Berwyn YMCA’s Livestrong program and others.

Caring Arts activities include crafts, drawing, painting, music, and photography. And with new demand, we’ve added new artists: Ellen Lustig, a painter, pianist, caricturist and puppeteer; guitarist Steve Edwards; violinists Katy Gillan and Greg Hirte; Lucas Wesoloski, artist & med student; artist Brooke Rogerson, and performing artist Olivia Ports.

All our artists are trained to work with patients to bring encouragement and support along with their assigned activity. So often we’ll hear a first time participant say, "Oh, I can’t paint,” but by the end of the first opportunity, they are painting away and loving it. Time flies. They feel empowered. And, even if for a short time, they forget about pain, treatments and worries. They feel happy and accomplished when they leave, or simply more relaxed by soothing music. They find healing. 
What patients are saying about Caring Arts

“Just keep having these art classes, they are wonderful.” — Member, Waterford Center, Aurora

"I signed up for every one of these Mixed Media classes. I wish there were more!” — Member, Wellness House, Hinsdale

"The music Caring Arts brings to Gilda's Club at Northwestern Hospital is a kaleidoscope of peace & joy, relaxation & energy, and hope for those struggling with illness that there is life beyond the weight of their medical condition. Just remembering their music makes me breathe deeper & feel lighter." — Beth, patient & Gilda’s Club member 
ALAS Ellen  
Artist Ellen Lustig (center) helps attendees at a meeting of the ALAS-Wings Breast Cancer Association for Latinas to create beautiful mandalas for spring. Namaste!>  
Katy & Bill  
Violinist Katy Gillan & guitarist Bill Syniar perform music at University of Chicago stem cell and inpatient unit, Rush Radiology Oncology and at Rush Cancer Center. There’s nothing like being greeted by lovely music and a warm familiar smile as you walk in for treatment. Patients immediately feel better!   
Lucas Wesoloski, a former oncology patient at Children’s Hospital, is now a med student at UIC and an artist working with Caring Arts. Luc facilitates painting at Gilda’s Club and helps out with photo taking at Lurie Children’s Hospital.  
Lurie pics  
Waterford pics  
Caring Arts takes dress up photos for families at Lurie Children’s Hospital, as well as for families at Waterford Cancer Resource Center in Aurora. Families get a full set of portrait photos at no cost to them.  
Wellness House  
Patients at Wellness House’s Mixed Media class, facilitated by Caring Arts, try their hand at painting, drawing and other art forms, often for the first time. They rediscover a hidden creative part of themselves that brings healing and joy.   
“There is a Hindu Blessing which reads:

‘May God gift you with all the Colors of Life… Colors of Joy… Colors of Happiness… Colors of Friendship… Colors of Love… and all other Colors you want to paint into your life.’

Your artists bring this blessing to light
every time they come to Children's Hospital.”

— Mary Fiorito
Parent-to-Parent Coordinator, Children’s Hospital

Twinkle Twinkle Challenge
Our Caring Arts musicians, Bill & Petar, created their own version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and performed it with patients at Lurie Children’s Hospital to celebrate the Caring Arts’s 15th Anniversary, and to raise awareness for the healing power of creativity. Make a donation using the button above and bring more music and art to Chicagoland cancer patients.
Caring Arts Photography
View a Day of Caring Arts photography at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago in this video produced by The Daily Herald. See our Program page for more info.
Caring Arts Music
View one of our musical performances at University of Chicago Hospital’s new Center for Care & Discovery in Chicago.
Amazon Smiles on Caring Arts
Are you an Amazon shopper? If so, you can help raise money for Caring Arts just by shopping. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible purchases to Caring Arts and it’s so easy! On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Simply go to Sign in with your regular Amazon Log in, or create a new account if you don’t have one. Type In Caring Arts under “Choose a Charity” and you’ll see us pop up. Choose Caring Arts Foundation, and shop away! It’s that simple. All your future purchases will benefit Caring Arts as long as you log in through AmazonSmile. You use the same account on both and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same, but you must log in through AmazonSmile for Caring Arts to get a donation. Amazon will remember your charity selection, so every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation to Caring Arts. Shop ‘til you drop with AmazonSmile!

Caring Arts Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization registered with the state of Illinois FEIN 36-4378926. Your contribution is tax deductible and may also be eligible for matching funds from many corporations.
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