The Arts at RCH (ARCH) program draws on international evidence that art can help to promote improved healing outcomes for hospital patients. For staff, the presence of and participation in art can reduce stress and build capability. ARCH positively contributes to building this healing environment at the RCH by making patient and public spaces more stimulating, engaging and less stressful for patients and families. ARCH encompasses a wide range of activities and events, while actively supporting creativity and learning.
Cultural diversity week
Cultural Diversity Week at the RCH truly was a celebration of the many cultures present across our staff, patients and families.
As part of the hospital-wide celebration of Cultural Diversity Week, a large world map was installed on the ground floor. Patients, families and staff were invited to place a sticker on their countries of origin, demonstrating how enormously diverse the hospital community really is.
Portrait of a Hospital
ARCH, in partnership with Footscray Community Arts Centre, ran a week-long series of portrait workshops for outpatients.
“Illness can take away a child’s normality and confidence; we know that all children find illness to be isolating, that it can make them feel alone and uncertain,” ARCH Director Victoria Jones said. “This is especially true for children who have diverse backgrounds, they may be recently arrived in Australia, and they might not speak English as a first language or even at all. The arts takes away a lot of those alienating factors; almost all children at the hospital can draw, paint or use artistic supplies to create something special.”
Patients, families and staff were encouraged to come along and create their own portrait celebrating the diversity of the hospital community.
“We want everyone to feel welcome here, and feel equally valued. We want people to think about who they are, what they look like and celebrate that through artwork. The portrait program celebrates everyone, including their differences, it unites children and young people through creativity, and encourages respect and understanding.”
Staff Photography Exhibition
More than 119 stunning images were submitted to the first RCH Staff Photography Exhibition from a wide range of staff. The works were displayed in the Hospital Education and Learning Precinct exhibition space throughout April and May.
“The staff photography exhibition was designed to showcase the creative talents of RCH, to bring people together and cut across the hospital’s departments and hierarchies. Creative projects are also stress relieving, and encourage innovation and lateral thinking,” Victoria said.
This article originally appeared in the RCH 2013-4 Quality of Care report, find it here.