Caring Arts

Caring Arts

Art Heals
Art has the power to heal. Research studies have shown how participation in the arts contributes to higher quality of life of cancer patients by improving coping resources, self-esteem, and mental and physical health.

The Caring Arts Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing emotional support to Chicago-area cancer patients and their families. Our mission is to facilitate and encourage expression and healing through music, fine art, journaling, photography, and other creative disciplines.

Join us for an event, sponsor an activity, or learn more about how Caring Arts Programs are enhancing the lives of children, adults, and their families living with cancer in the Chicago area.

New Partnership: Welcome to Wellness House

Wellness House

Wellness House in Hinsdale

Wellness House in Hinsdale has provided support for people with cancer and their families for over 25 years using a psychosocial approach, looking beyond the medical diagnosis at how social, emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological health affect a person’s well-being.

It’s a perfect fit with Caring Arts programming and, starting in 2018, we’ll be partnering with them to bring the healing aspects of the arts to their facility in Hinsdale, as well as locations around Chicagoland through their Outreach Services.

Already we’ve brought two evenings of painting to the Latino community, working with Wellness House and ALAS-Wings Latina Association for Breast Cancer. Artist Jordi Pedrola brought his pots of paint and inspiration to families dealing with cancer at a number of city locations. The smiles say it all!
Jordi Pedrola (standing above) brought paints and smiles to ALAS-Wings Association members and their families. The result? Beautiful works of art!  
ALAS Group  

Holidays with Caring Arts

Hope Love Boxes

Giftmakers diligently work at creating Boxes of Hope & Love as gifts for beloved cancer patients

Caring Arts always has a few special patient activities at year end, often a rough time for many families dealing with cancer. Our partner, Waterford Center, afforded us the opportunity to take part in their "Presents for Patients" event, to help caregivers create lovely handmade gifts, like Boxes of Hope & Love filled with inspirational notes and messages.

Holiday music was provided by our very own Phil Balsano and friend, John Nash. Our crack photographers, Ray, Sharon & Jennifer, once again provided beautiful family photos for holiday giving.

Gift Music
Phil & John provide holiday jazz at Waterford Center

Angel Claxtons
Family Mother Child

Just a few of the lovely holiday photos taken for families by Caring Arts

Creative Power in Health & Healing
Facing an illness like cancer involves more than managing treament. It affects the whole person, as well as the people around them. Many people find they aren’t sure how to cope or express feelings. For others, it's a time of inward reflection, which can come with a sense of grief or loss. And for some, it's a moment when the desire to engage with life grows stronger, and they seek to take in the beauty of the world and be more social & creative. At times like this, the creative arts can provide a powerful healing experience or an opportunity to reconnect with an inner part of oneself that may have been ignored or forgotten.

What does creativity have to do with health, healing and well being? Studies show that engaging in a creative process is healing. Whether you make a simple drawing or listen to a piece of music, creativity and the arts can help in many ways:
• Express complex thoughts & emotions
• Lower stress, anxiety and pain
• To relax and feel a sense of calm
• Connect with yourself on a deep level
• Find meaning in life experiences
• To cope with a sense of grief or loss
• Form new connections with others
• Shift focus away from pain or stress to activities that are soothing, enjoyable, fun or empowering
• To create something unique that provides a sense of pleasure & accomplishment
Painting is relaxing and helps to create a sense of calm
Many people don't think of themselves as creative beings and lack the confidence to express themselves through an art form. It’s a lovely surprise to find that we’re all creative, people simply need encouragement to find their way back to their creative core. After all, most children simply know they’re creative, you don’t have to tell them how to draw or paint. It comes naturally. Caring Arts provides the encouragement and guidance needed, without judgement, for patients to reconnect with that inner child. Our Caring Arts Program works with oncology patients of all ages in different settings, offering them a variety of creative activities, perhaps while they receive chemotherapy treatment, while waiting in a reception area, while spending time in the hospital or at a support facility. Projects include crafts, drawing, painting, music, and photography.

Winter Painting

Cancer patients and family members of all ages take part in the Caring Arts Program at Gilda’s Club on Saturday mornings. Caring Arts also partners with Gilda’s Club to bring music to patients at hospitals in the city. The Caring Arts Mixed Media Program at Waterford Cancer Resource Center in Aurora takes place twice a month, offering a variety of artistic projects for patients and family members to explore.


“There is a Hindu Blessing which reads:

‘May God gift you with all the Colors of Life… Colors of Joy… Colors of Happiness… Colors of Friendship… Colors of Love… and all other Colors you want to paint into your life.’

Your artists bring this blessing to light
every time they come to Children's Hospital.”

— Mary Fiorito
Parent-to-Parent Coordinator, Children’s Hospital

Twinkle Twinkle Challenge
Our Caring Arts musicians, Bill & Petar, created their own version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and performed it with patients at Lurie Children’s Hospital to celebrate the Caring Arts’s 15th Anniversary, and to raise awareness for the healing power of creativity. Make a donation using the button above and bring more music and art to Chicagoland cancer patients.
Caring Arts Photography
View a Day of Caring Arts photography at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago in this video produced by The Daily Herald. See our Program page for more info.
Caring Arts Music
View one of our musical performances at University of Chicago Hospital’s new Center for Care & Discovery in Chicago.
Amazon Smiles on Caring Arts
Are you an Amazon shopper? If so, you can help raise money for Caring Arts just by shopping. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible purchases to Caring Arts and it’s so easy! On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Simply go to Sign in with your regular Amazon Log in, or create a new account if you don’t have one. Type In Caring Arts under “Choose a Charity” and you’ll see us pop up. Choose Caring Arts Foundation, and shop away! It’s that simple. All your future purchases will benefit Caring Arts as long as you log in through AmazonSmile. You use the same account on both and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same, but you must log in through AmazonSmile for Caring Arts to get a donation. Amazon will remember your charity selection, so every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation to Caring Arts. Shop ‘til you drop with AmazonSmile!

Caring Arts Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization registered with the state of Illinois FEIN 36-4378926. Your contribution is tax deductible and may also be eligible for matching funds from many corporations.
© 2016 Caring Arts Foundation, all rights reserved
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