We are a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization which provides a specialized and unique art program to pediatric units in hospitals and women in outpatient cancer centers. Recognizing the need for innovative effective and healthy distractions, our mission was to research, design and implement a program to create a happy, healthy environment for our “special clients” through artistic expression.
There is clear evidence that a patient’s physical well-being is fundamentally linked to their emotional and spiritual well-being. The expressive arts can play a decisive role in promoting overall health and to enrich and enliven their environment. The Portable Playhouse volunteers work with each new “client” in all stages of recovery, whether from a broken bone or terminally ill.
Many of the children/women recovering in hospitals and cancer centers are unable to leave their rooms for medical reasons/restrictions or are embarrassed by their personal appearances. Our unique program allows us the flexibility to attend to the children/women, one on one… Volunteers work at each bedside; and our”new beaders” are taught to make silver and glass jewelry items i.e. necklaces, key-chains, earrings and anklets. Each “new bead designer”youth (boys & girls ages 5-20 yrs & women up to 99 years old) has the option of making something for themselves or to create a gift for someone of their choosing. Each “new beader”, regardless of their physical condition or limitations, can participate in the design and creation of an item of their choice from simply picking out the color, style and pattern (for the new beaders unable to use their hands) to making the entire piece themselves.
Volunteers allow each “new beader” the maximum level of participation appropriate for their age, stage and physical condition. Volunteers stay with each “new beader” until their project is complete. Any item made can be easily removed for testing or procedures. Working individually with each new beader helps create a relaxing atmosphere, and assists with the development of coping skills through the act of creating. The “new bead designers” always display their projects with pride and a most importantly, a smile.