There’s little doubt in my mind that art makes our lives more livable. While we may not agree on what constitutes “good art,” we benefit from having it around us–in our homes, museums, banks, restaurants, offices, parks and other spaces.
I was delighted to see a brief and colorful article in Architectural Digest (June 2017) noting a recent project by RxArt. This New York-based non-profit commissions visual art “to transform sterile healthcare facilities into engaging and inspiring environments full of beauty, humor and comfort.” Turning pediatric care facilities from dull institutions to vibrant, colorful spaces, RxArt helps distract kids from fear and “free their imaginations.”
Over the last 16 years “RxArt has completed over 40 projects with 60 artists in hospitals throughout 15 cities in the U.S.” They manage to do this work at no cost to the hospitals, relying instead on the support of individuals, dedicated funds, corporate matching, corporate sponsors and foundations. (They also have a fun online store!)
I recently had the pleasure of attending an event for another organization that works to expose kids to art: artworxLA. Founded in 1992 “to address the lack of arts education programs for LA teenagers,” artworxLA uses “the rich cultural resources of Los Angeles to help us engage alternative education high school students” and combat the city’s dropout crisis.
The organization introduces L.A. at-risk youth to art and artists, to ongoing educational and leadership opportunities, as well as specialized training in art, music and fashion. Participants are encouraged to stay in school and have received scholarships to the region’s top art colleges.
In addition to the Annual Evening of Art fundraising gala that I attended, artworxLA relies on funding from government agencies, private foundations, individuals, corporations and district contracts. The organization also encourages participation, financial and otherwise, from interested and concerned community members.
It is exiting to witness the vision, optimism and success of these two nonprofits and to see how art truly helps kids.