Creative Arts

The Creative Arts Program is a collaboration between Child Life Services and the Art Program at Boston Children’s. We provide engaging, innovative, and uplifting arts experiences that support our many patients and families throughout their hospital experience.

Why art?

The arts in its many forms — visual, music, prose, poetry, multimedia — provides opportunities for self-expression, connection, and exploration. In the hospital setting, engaging in arts activities has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, lessen the need for pain medication, and alleviate boredom.

Our leadership

Kirsten Getchell is a clinical and program manager for Child Life Services at Boston Children’s. In her role, she oversees Child Life staff, music therapists, artists-in-residence, Art Cart staff, and Seacrest Studios staff. Kirsten also works closely with the Laughter League clown program to ensure programming reaches patients and families in inpatient settings, clinics, and throughout the hospital.

Elisabeth Gordon is the art program manager at Boston Children’s. In her role, she oversees the many paintings, sculptures, and multimedia installations that brighten the lobbies, corridors, and patient rooms. She especially enjoys helping patients and visitors find fun and meaningful ways to interact with the artwork.

The Creative Arts Program is happy to offer volunteer opportunities. We have weekly volunteer positions with the art cart, artists-in-residence, MyMusicRx Volunteer Music Program, and volunteer photography program. For more information about volunteer opportunities please visit Volunteer Services.

Our programs

Artists in Residence

Our team offers creative writing, video making, painting, cartooning, arts history, and visual arts activities. We travel to patients’ bedsides and to clinical settings.

Art Gallery

Our diverse art collection can be found throughout the hospital and plays an important role in creating an uplifting and healing environment. The work in our collection is often original and custom-made to meet hospital standards.

Laughter League

The Laughter League team is comprised of veteran variety artists with a wealth of performance backgrounds, including circus arts, theater, improvisation, magic, and music. All performers are trained in hospital protocol, including hygiene, confidentiality, sensitivity, and child development.

Music Therapy

Music therapists are members of the treatment team on inpatient units, providing treatment and education through music-based interventions to support a patient during their hospital admission. Therapists work to improve each patient’s hospital stay and achieve optimal recovery while supporting the patient's psychosocial needs.

Seacrest Studios

Seacrest Studios opened in November 2014 through a partnership with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. Programming from Seacrest Studios airs on channel 19, The Hub, the hospital’s closed-circuit TV system. Patients can make song requests, participate in games, or even be a guest host.

How to contact us

To schedule a visit with one of our Artists-in-Residence, Music Therapists, or the Art Cart, please contact your child life specialist or email us at arts@childrens.harvard.edu.

To find out more about our visual arts program, or to inquire about donating a work of art, please email arts@childrens.harvard.edu.