A Grand Opening of a New Facility

Artists do their best work when they have the best tools available. That’s certainly true with the work done at Snow City Arts. Having the highest quality supplies, facility, and resources available helps us provide the most innovative and creative artistic and learning experience for children in hospitals.

Sue Fischer, Carrie Spitler, Chris Hensley, Les Wiberg, and Mary Wiberg outside the new Idea Lab.

That’s why we are very excited to announce the opening of a brand new Idea Lab at our newest hospital partner, Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital.

One of the many benefits in bringing the gift of art to a child in a hospital is providing a space where students can, for a moment, take their minds away from their medical condition, and have the space to engage in uninhibited creation, learning, and exploration. An Idea Lab is just the place for this to happen. These are medical free zones on a pediatric floor, filled with art supplies, musical instruments, media technology, and so much more.

“The Idea Lab allows our patients to have a ‘medical free zone’ space for them to create and be immersed in the art making process without some of the worries and stress that hospitalized children often experience in the medical setting,” says Dora Castro-Ahillen, Child Life coordinator, Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital.

A hospital doesn’t have to provide Snow City Arts this space, it could certainly be used for another patient bed. But our hospital partners understand the value of these rooms, as an artistic oasis for patients to explore their creativity.

The Idea Lab at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage hospital is just such a place. Thanks to the generosity of two long-time supporters of the hospital, Mary & Leslie Wiberg, a simple storage space was transformed into a new hub of activity and creativity on the inpatient pediatric unit.

“It was an eye opener to learn that many Snow City students are repeat visitors to the hospital and suffering through critical, life-altering illnesses.  Some of these students have grown immeasurably in their artistic appreciation and output working with Snow City Arts,” said Les Wiberg. “Mary and I are thrilled to support the growth of the Snow City Arts program at Central DuPage Hospital with the new Idea Lab.”

One of our Teaching Artists at this hospital, Eric, states some of the many benefit of such a facility:

“This space allows for more spontaneous creation and more artistic choices than is possible bedside, especially when more than one student is working side by side or even collaborating on a project. An IdeaLab gives both teaching artist and student more space and time to transform a hospital stay into a rigorous, improvisational, energizing art-making lesson.”

Eric Elshtain shows Mary and Les Wiberg some of the creative writing projects in the new Idea Lab.

Even though we’ve only recently moved into the Idea Lab, the students and teaching artists are reaping the benefits of this new space. 

All of us at Snow City Arts thank our generous partners at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, and Les and Mary Wiberg, for making the Idea Lab a reality.

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By | 2018-03-20T15:25:49+00:00 October 31st, 2017|News Updates|3 Comments


  1. Mary Kurcz November 14, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    A space of one’s own grounding and empowering. Kudos to all who made this happen.

  2. Mary Kurcz November 14, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    oops forgot a comma

    A space of one’s own, so grounding and empowering.

  3. Jonathan Heuring November 28, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Thanks Mary! We appreciate your kind words. We are very proud of this new space.

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