Art Therapist’s Creativity Balloons on CMN Zoom Luncheon
Children’s Miracle Network Staff at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Children’s Hospital organized a “virtual luncheon” as part of #GratitudeWeek2020 to thank families, employees, corporate partners and community groups for their support. Some participants in the call donate to and fundraise for CMN throughout the year.
Center Stage Arts in Health Art Therapist Alexis Lombardo, MA, ATR-BC, shared a story of her experience with CMN to as a way to illustrate how much the support from partners and donors impacts care and the lives of others. CMN funds 40 percent of the Art Therapy position. Alexis also led an art activity for all of those participating.
Alexis chose meditative Zen drawing as it is something relaxing to teach, all age groups can participate, and most everyone has access to a pen and paper. Using the screen share feature of Zoom, she connected her iPad, which allowed her to draw on the whiteboard feature while simultaneously sharing instructions verbally for people to learn the steps.
Usually, the simple drawing starts as a square, but Alexis chose to lead this special workshop with the outline of the CMN logo, which is a balloon.
Participants complete the task in 20 minutes. Instead of working silently, yet together, individuals used the Chat feature on Zoom to ask questions about art therapy, what a session may look like, and education needed to become an art therapist. Alexis shared examples of some sessions and how CMN dollars are used for the art therapy program, including, but not limited to, art materials.
CMN Associate Director Erika Zaborny says, “We could see on all the faces of the attendees that they were truly touched and interested to learn about the role Alexis plays in healing and caring for children at Penn State Children’s Hospital. It was relaxing, informative and inspirational. She offered her expertise to add an engaging, fun element to our virtual meeting.”
At the end of the call, a few screenshot images were captured of participants holding up their creations to the camera. An attendee from CMN Hospitals national office was so impressed by Alexis’s presentation that they asked if she would create another art workshop video inspired by this session. The video will be shared via a Facebook page set up to reach Walmart associates nationwide during their upcoming CMN fundraising campaign, June 22 – July 19. “Alexis does a wonderful job serving as ambassador for the field of Art Therapy and for CMN. And she makes art making for relaxation truly inviting for all!” said Claire de Boer, director of Center Stage Arts in Health.