Binding Arts

Binding Arts


Arts the New Rx

Gilda's Club, NYC

April 2010*

My first workshop at Gilda's Club through The Creative Center.

I'm standing with The Creative Center's Director, (wonderful artist and dear friend) Robin Glazer.

*I go every year. Next workshop: 4/9/12

"...As patients engage in the creative process, I have seen them,

time and again, gain meaning from misery, comfort from pain, and an insight that liberates them.”

Joel T. Katz, MD
Director, Internal Medicine Residency
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Harvard Medical School

If you believe that art is good, then it is good everywhere, and especially good in places where the human spirit is in need.  Our goals are to engage as many patients as possible in a creative, art making experience; helping patients find their artistic voice and teach basic art concepts and skills for creating works both in the hospital and when they leave: creating art for life.

The mission is to bring the individual experience of art making as a gift to patients to lessen their anxiety, pain and fear.

--The Creative Center, NYC

" made chemo go by quick & Debra is wonderful. A real God send."--age 40 at the Zangmeister Center

"I love these activities. They are great stress relievers & take your mind off of everything else. Thank You!" --age 24

"I hope others will feel better by seeing it" --age 52

Please call or email to begin a conversation about creating a Healing Arts program for your group or facility: (419) 560 3949;

From January 2011-March 2012, I was the Artist-In-Residence in the Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Nationwide Children's Hopsital in Columbus, Ohio. Since the summer of 2007, the AIR at Buckhorn Children & Family Services of KY at Ohio in partnership with Tri State Youth Academy.

In 2006 I was one of 10 artists selected from a nationwide pool of approximately 100 applicants to be trained by New York City’s Creative Center as a Hospital Artist-In-Residence. Beyond providing much-needed relief and distraction from the anxiety, pain, and boredom that is often associated with a hospital stay, the Artist-In-Residence Program provides patients with a way to become absorbed in their own creative process.

Patient Benefits

  • Reduces anxiety, stress, depression, and pain
  • Improves short and long term memory
  • Sharpens cognitive skills  
  • Addresses psychosocial needs by providing new ways of coping
  • Assists in reaching developmental goals by reducing self-isolation and social isolation   
  •  Builds family unity and self-esteem
  • Elevates emotional well-being
  • Enhances communication skills, decision making, independent living skills, quality of life and self-control
  •  Prevents decline of health status  


Research reports citing the above benefits available from

A visit from an Artist in Residence (AIR) is a way to enhance the patient care experience.  Artists add substantially to the hospital’s healing environment for patients, families and staff.  Making art takes place in the patient’s room or occasionally a lounge or day room.  The AIR is trained to work in these tight spaces. Art supplies are portable. Ideally a cart would allow the AIR to offer a greater variety of materials at each visit giving the participants more choices.

In addition to bedside sessions, AIRs provide small group art sessions in day rooms, family waiting areas and treatment centers. AIRs can also provide staff and caregiver art sessions in break areas or at off site retreats.


Copyright 2008
Debra Fink Bachelder