Throughout the day at our four partner hospitals, Snow City Arts Teaching Artists have unencumbered access to actively engage available patients with bedside workshops. When the children are well enough to leave their rooms, they can take advantage of our Idea Labs – which are separate rooms in the pediatric wards where the students may work in a medical-free zone without being interrupted by doctors or nurses.
Each Idea Lab is equipped with art supplies, computers loaded with cutting edge music and design programs, green screens for film-making, keyboards, string instruments, video and still cameras, and a small art library. Artists provide one-to-one instruction in these labs or facilitate small group workshops just as a teacher would in a classroom.
Snow City Arts tracks patient progress and, with parental consent, sends detailed reports and artwork to schools so patients can receive academic credit for their instructional time while hospitalized. Since 2002, we have maintained a formal partnership with the Chicago Public Schools system. For CPS high school students spending 5 hours or more during a semester, Snow City Arts allows students to receive credit much like an independent study.
Because of Snow City Arts, children in hospitals have received classroom credit, improved their grades, discovered talents and interests that had gone previously untapped, and been engaged in creative-decision making activities in an environment where little personal choice is available.