Our Programs

Snow City Arts currently offers arts instruction in six different disciplines at all four of our hospital partners. Our teaching artists are multidisciplinary and can tailor a workshop in the hospital to a students needs and artistic impulses. Though education is at the core of our mission, we also aim to inspire students through these six art forms.


In our Creative Writing Workshop, we use the written word to spark young imaginations.

We focus on language skills by helping children exercise good reading, spelling, and grammar habits as well as vocabulary expansion. Whether they are reading, or writing poetry or short stories, children learn the power of self-expression as they find their voice.

Collaboration with community organizations brings instructors from around Chicago, all with unique talents and ideas. Children’s writings are collected in mini-anthologies and then given to patients and families. Each long-term patient usually completes a “book” of poems or short stories to take with them upon discharge. These books, at times, contain up to fifty poems by a single child author.

Check out the Snow City Arts portfolio in the April 2018 Poetry Magazine. The portfolio features poems and visual art by Snow City Arts students.


Dance is the newest discipline to be introduced in the Snow City Arts program.

Dance and Movement Notation has been used throughout time to document choreography. This type of documentation has allowed dance to live beyond the lifespan of its artists and provide a written history of its achievements for academic study. In our dance workshops, students will create original works of choreography inspired by traditions of dance notation. They will make choices about use of space, gesture and time and explore dance choreography as an activity of the mind by removing limitations of the body. We’ll explore mark making as a type of dance and a unique visual aesthetic, and create collaborations between students in the development of a dance score containing the work of many students.

See Teaching Artists Dan Kerr-Hobert and Emmy Bean create new dances with students at the Skylight TV Studio at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital.


Media Arts workshops expose students to techniques such as live action animation, model building, and puppetry, using the latest technologies in production and editing available.

Children write scripts, use cameras, create scores, and 3D set designs to produce several genres, as students transform ideas into finished films.

Head to our Vimeo or YouTube sites for more examples of our students’ work!

A Teaching Artist uses digital design software with a female hospital patient


Music Workshops focus on providing students with the gratifying experience of creating music.

Since we don’t know how long a patient will be in the hospital and instrument study is a cumulative, time-based process, our musicians-in-residence have developed various ways to allow a student with little or no prior music instruction to arrive quickly at a place of musical creativity. SCA Musicians-in-Residence encourage children to find rhythms and to explore elements of music and composition through rhythm exercises. Older pediatric patients learn to play instruments and become involved in music theory.

Along the way children explore the music of cultures around the world, how to construct instruments, and collaborate with fellow patients in other hospitals on original recordings.

Check out some of our students’ music here!

Young girl in hospital bed plays the ukulele with a Teaching Artist during a music workshop


In our Theater Arts Workshop, children explore a wide array of principles and techniques used by professionals in the field of theater.

From performance to design to history, children engage in creative decisions and learn how to communicate to either a real or imagined audience or even other patients through our collaborative projects. After being in the hospital for so long, kids learn group interaction, self-esteem, self-reliance, and team-building skills, language usage, and movement skills through performance and vocal techniques.

Theater is fundamentally collaborative, and brings children into the larger conversation of how we communicate with one another. Through our Theater Arts Workshops, students create work in response to the work of their fellow patients or from seminal theater productions from the cultural world at large.


Our Visual Arts Workshop introduces young patients to all types of arts ranging from painting and drawing to photography.

Activities are created for every child’s skill and ability level with the goal of introducing young patients to new types of art and new ways of thinking about them. Painting and drawing techniques, art history, computer-aided art, and digital photography and imaging are some of the skills taught in our Visual Arts Workshop. Work by our students has been exhibited in galleries across Chicago and nationally.

Check out some student artwork here!