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Children's Healing Art Project (CHAP)

May 20, 2014|

A discussion with Roxie McGovern, executive director with the Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP) about how their organization helps children and families through illness and crisis with the healing power of art.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

You're listening to microscope a series of interviews of people of interest in northwest -- and selfless Washington funny -- blocks of the children's healing art projects pork -- Brings healing power of art to children in crisis through a mobile team of teaching artist working a partnership -- hospitals community organizations and schools. And we'd like to welcome to make the scope Roxy McGovern he's the executive director with Jeff welcome to the broken -- good thank you -- me so tell us a little bit about chapel close a lot about to happen -- I'm so our mission is to bring healing power of our two children in crisis and their families. And we have a team of mobile teaching artists to bounce around. And a bunch of different locations -- -- to -- -- so where adorned Becker. -- cancer institute the stats -- diabetes center and then the pediatric neurosurgery clinic which this great town street from here who can. I -- and so we do -- also projects was trainers -- hospital for children okay. -- all in all local and homes. Centrally located around her. He asked what her cool yeah ends Aaron we basically and -- cart with kids in the hospitals we -- -- side with the children. Somewhere in isolation and we work in family waiting her family rooms in hospitals on the units. And then also in surgery waiting rooms. To kind of helped. Ease the tension and intern nervous energy and creative energy and then we have a studio in southeast Portland on the eleventh rate between division and how far and where we work with kids. It with a group called our club. Four children who are living with a critical illness or chronic illness -- disability that can but don't need to be hospitalized. And come down to our studio seven times a month and may carton to -- kids. Well it's a really fantastic -- kind of work do you could do -- everything from scope search to be keen to painting. Clash some kids just not a drought with a -- -- sketch book. It's really whatever they -- -- so our programs are are based. -- are created and felt based on the needs and wants of the kids. And so it's it's a really special project because we don't go to them and say here's what we have do you wanna do it we go to them and say what you wanna do today. -- and then Oliver projects have grown from. The ideas and and saddened. Requests of the children in the families that we request that's great because really developed by them. -- is it hard to get the kids to open up and -- If they're not so I know I mean sometimes that children just. Don't feel got an -- too sick to to warrant Stephen wanted to anything. But our teachers have and I really special knack at getting the kids to. To create and you know it's it's really sometimes they just need permission and especially for a lot of a lot of the families that are in the hospital. That you parents and aunts and articles written and they don't know what to do you know it's it's in -- situation in Africa they -- the end. And they're sitting in hallways and waiting rooms and it's you know they just. It's it's what kind they need permission to make art and we've had added. Some of her teachers who have approached handling this. And ask them if they wanted to you know come and join captain makes mart where can and they say -- you know I'm I'm not creative and I'm not an artist. And we really really believe that everybody has an artist and a lot of times you know our our teachers have been doing it for so -- that he added they can sense when. A family turns it down and has known if it's really liked -- I'm not sure I should. Should I should I be sitting and thinking about what's going on -- be with my child. So they'll come back and say you know it sometimes helps you just have these things in different view -- -- wanna make -- can make if you don't want to you don't have to. And almost every single time she'll do a little circle rounds and the unit and come back and they're beating and painting and just you know. Being creative. How special it is a must be a really nice distraction during the really troubling time to do. It is in fact and you know just the other day we had I am a little girl who was in the hospital and really was not feeling while at all. Am. And didn't you didn't know what she she was an -- wanted to purses the issue is just angry at her situation. I mean how can you not be great. And our our teacher you know said he wanna make anything and she's just like now and I'm just matter just Matt didn't. And our teach -- how would you like -- you like to throw some paint. And and she just lit up and -- grinning ear to ear -- yes. And they spent two hours in the Stanley room cleaning paint at that as a big white sheet that they have laid out. And this little girl left so happy and being able to transform that. Anger and anxiety into creative energy is a real guest for everybody for not only for rest for the children in the families. And for the parents to be able to see their kids living in you know and it's really tough situation and just upset and angry. Grinning ear to ear and then getting mad when we have to leave when our when our hours about -- It's it's really special it's written it's really an amazing -- agree release and just bone -- to storm. Client and really it's it's it's really great being able to -- Provide something that helps these kids just be kids is not sick kids not -- we don't identify the children where quest for their disease diagnosis or disability we they're just kids. And we provide a place where kids can be kids not sick kids. In the control we forget that team -- that there and so focused on their illness and -- and this is just fantastic yeah. And we've heard. Nurses and childless specialists say I -- That's because of art and does that distraction that we're providing for these children that. Are making creativity. Sometimes. Makes us -- to children have to take less medication -- and less painkillers and we didn't like that. Or and it has we've had a chocolate specialist who's gone so far to say that we've helped them shortened State's hospital stays. And that's special that's that's really amazing that something that we never even. You know we didn't even think about that when we started working in the hospitals that we would be hoping. Stanley shorten their hospital stays or. Take less medication you know. So tells a little bit about the history of the children's T shirt project. I was come from so are our founder frank attorneys and I am used to volunteer just five hours a week at that time Packard Children's Hospital. He's just amazing visionary me. Crazy artists. And and he started volunteering and working with the kids in the hospital. And he hasn't talked to some of the child left specialist Salvatore backer and ask them what it's wears that greatest needs where where can. Where can we fit in and so that's kind of how -- started. So we started out just five hours a week a BitTorrent tracker back in 1990. And sorry at night 2006. And now eight years later we provide over sixty hours of healing our experiences and in different locations apparently -- -- The sentence and then we have seven offerings outside of the hospital so I haven't. We started just bringing in painting and art supplies and things like that and it's grown to more sophisticated projects and a whole range of things from painting silk scarves tee who drives a chirping a sketch book. -- and then we realized that you know we were working in the hospitals and then children with leaves. And spoke with all of our programs being cut in schools and have that creative outlet and they were different these children where we're different in their communities. So we wanted to provide a community for them. And being able to continue. Are making with these children outside the hospital so that's how are published created. And that started out just once a month for a couple of hours from now we have 77. -- offerings. After creating art outside of the hospitals -- our our club. That's your southeast Portland location noticed that. If a family wants to find out about chop -- give information. I need to go to our website it's www. Chat dot name and EME. And -- -- so. Title three to 435294. And speak to somebody there. And we work with any child's who is affected by an illness so it looks a lot of kids whose parents are sick. Or have cancer -- You know or -- or disabled. Both physically or developmentally to -- disabled and our programs are totally free to the children in the -- recently -- quit and just. They can come as many times -- saying why. So that's that's the way to get investor families who are affected by illness to get involved to attack. So it's not just for the children who are tickets can be children were affected by an illness. It's for the whole family. And you know because a child and an illness doesn't affect just the -- it affects the entire family. And a lot of times. You know siblings. Can feel neglected because all of the attention is on -- sick child or you know or the parent. I am so our programs are totally inclusive they are for everybody. And even when we have you know families would come into our club and the parents that I'm not artistic. We we always say -- sit down eating you never now actually put a pencil to that paper or pain to end. It's really amazing to see the masterpieces that these families come up -- even the people who say they are not creative or artistic. And it's really not -- democratic to say it's about the process of art making it. And being in the moment. And creating a community where all of these kids can be together and be around other other families and children just like them. Must be fun to kind of watch that breakthrough to and they really think maybe I can draw or maybe I -- -- -- -- and sculpture I can yeah this. After -- plus who really fun. It's amazing and then for everybody involved you know when when -- got a dad who you know has no interest in making -- sit down and and then you know see usually they're they're doing it. Data parent whoever it is usually they're they're making her because I can't as. But to see that connection on the parent's and child's faces an and the excitement when they make something that they love. And it's it's nothing I feel like I've never experienced anything like that are witnessed and the friendships that are develops between children. And parents and family is is. It's amazing to watch them I feel very fortunate to be a part of of this organization. Have you experienced any budding Picassos -- They've continued on their all that gal -- says it's I don't answer. Yeah we all are in fact the little girl at the hospital who is the flinging ping the other day and our teacher. Pulled out her computer and showed her Jackson Pollock paintings and seen this little girls like over us. I'm just like Jackson public you know she's never heard of them and -- that's really cool that's pretty -- If a member of our listening audience in the community wants to get involved with -- -- are -- volunteer opportunities. Absolutely so we Aaron just to give you a little glimpse of how value our front our volunteers are we the staff of eleven. And we've provided over 8500 healing -- experiences last year to children and families. There's no way we could have done that without our core of volunteers. And there are so many different opportunities for volunteers and everything from you know if they wanna do. And stuffing envelopes served a male appeal for. And painting trip priming campuses that are going to be going up to the hospital -- putting together packs for an outreach event. And -- you know there's there's a lot of different opportunities and a lot of our volunteers and community you know I'm not artistic and you don't have to be. It's the same thing with -- and engines and the families we work with you don't have to be an -- You know with quotes around it. I'm to to get involved. And it's the same way to learn and learn how to get reach our volunteer coordinator is. The same info it or you can email info at Chad's got a name good and our go to our website how solid information on Q. That's CH EP dot and AME that's great. But -- funding for this where you go your funding. I'm from a lot of different areas so -- programs that we partner with organizations like in the hospitals are fee for service so. The hospitals pay a percentage of our programs. You know. Based on the hours that where there. And that individual donations. Are extremely. Valued they they help us you know our our our donors and community supporters. Help us continue to bring healing power to more children. We get a lot of grant funding. And then also we have a big defense -- as free. November. Can contact play Andy act and that's a big gala fundraising event. And that is and it's a totally crazy. Fun party and it's it has all the traditional. And aspects of a fundraising event wary of us live auction a silent auction a sit down dinner and happy hour. But it really echoes our programs with color enjoy a -- fact we ask everybody to all the guests you'd -- the little black dress and her stuffy suits and dress with joint colored. -- some board members who come wearing paint splattered suits and you know we will open up our studios the month before the event so that the guests can come in and decorate their customs with all of well we -- costumes because they really are crazy. With all of our suffice so late in coming in and paid their -- and -- whenever put glitter on it didn't. It's a lot of sign that sounds like -- -- -- -- it's November 1 this year OK where is that being held at the last -- can't accept it. And so it's it's gonna be a lot of friends. Eight it's really an amazing event and every year we we get and notes and emails and calls for months after the -- and thinking asks her putting on such a fun party. So everybody wants to come. Yeah -- does that -- we've entered mostly to for adults only most of her adult children until we do have you know. Will feature an artist that we where Quentin and have some of -- the kids that can't patent. And and features that there artwork and tell their stories about the offense so most of the kids that aren't there are from our benefit from our program this is. We'll tell you back in when we get closer to November 1 and we'll talk about it -- yeah fantastic. Clear favorite parts about working it's up. You know I think I am. It's the relationships. I am seeing is seeing -- -- on all friends you know the relationships I have with my staff and the board. And the children that we -- twins. And that the relationships that our and that are built between the families and kids I've seen some really. Amazing friendships. And developed through the children that get that come to our programs. And it's amazing too relaxed children you know in the hospitals. To sit down and look at each other -- and these kids -- -- stuff I peoples and I hope. I have a say my people read this or you know whatever whatever it is like being able to see their connection and I -- and last year we did and we did documentary. Look of documentarian Fran. The East Coast came out she -- used to volunteer -- years ago. And the wanted to make a documentary. And we worked with children from our art club who actually did a lot of the filming they did a lot of interviews. The interview each other they interviewed board members and -- And there was a young gal who. Was interviewing one of our board members and she asked him how he learned about chat how he got involved. And we met him in the hospital and has -- his son was in was in the hospital getting cancer treatment. And she was interviewing him. And hear you know he said what what the cancer was she isn't alone I have I have that. And being able to see that connection and was really. It's it's interesting. And you know another another really one of my favorite pieces is being able to. See them. The wisdom that these these kids have and what how what they're going through translates into the artwork even though we don't ask them to pull you know. Try how you feel you know I think my Mac. It always shows true and it's the first time -- ever gone on too -- record I was a little girl. Sitting at -- table in the family room. And analysts for an arch also twice here we have archer is up on the oncology and he mentality -- at Torrin Tucker. And when averaged just introduced meet her and I realize her painting was hanging on the wall right next to me and I said. Lol is this your painting and she says he can look back to doing hardware can. And it literally wears a rainbow Trout on a piece of paper with a big -- at black cloud across it. And it looked like she hadn't tipped her hand into that big cloud of black he just smear -- across that rainbow. So you could see the bit to the -- through and they said that I was like -- let's you can see the colors of the -- off to the college. And she just looked up at -- with these giant blue eyes and said. Yak. And I realized I was making a purely aesthetic comment you know like I V I like the way it looked visually and but her. And curb which she was saying through that -- totally different that through this really hard time in her life and this darkness in this black cloud looming over her. She was still able to see bits of the rainbow and the color and enjoy. That's fantastic. And that's you know I had only been working attacked for. You know maybe in a month at that time aren't in the executive director for a month at that time and I atlas completely humbled and on the way. And it's those little moments that are my favorites. They're they're my favorites MIA. They're what keep me going yeah. Moments like that Celia -- you'll always be involved with -- yeah. Yes that's -- a great story and I will never forget that that came that moment and this really incredible talent. Let's get this to see the kids. Meet up with the other children who they can relate to and who can relate to them. Because they're kind of going through -- -- may -- up the same thing but similar things in another children who are going to the same thing can always relate to them. -- and then they can start working on our projects together and let's be an exciting thing to see kids blossom like that. Yeah it is we have one little gal who -- not little anymore she's a teenager now that she's. She likes to joke about how. She's been tapped longer and I have. And she was born without arms and she does everything with her feet and she is an amazing artist an inch I. It it thing blows me away wishing to do with her feet. And we had a brand new girl who had come to chat who didn't have parents. And she was trying to get some snacks and she asked she's she couldn't reach him on the counter and says she asked somebody to come and help re entry since that. Welcome I'll feel and she lifts her foot up under the counter and dishes up the -- played a snacks at this little girl I don't know -- Have any -- and they have worked all -- gathered next to each other at the table and she hadn't even noticed that she didn't have any environments. And now you know and to -- -- It was almost like you know somebody she can look -- two and a mentor our analyst with outs you know. I -- having to create that. But it was really cool seeing this little this little girl look up to Teresa and say that it was kind of like everything's going to be okay now. At all Teresa have to do this picture of the plate of food and it was really beautiful. Those kind of interactions between kids. That's though what a beautiful story yeah. Tells of a salute your community partners. That we -- partner with united terrible policy we -- -- -- car that we take -- ran two different events. And will. We'll bring our car and and to their achievements they have all walked -- Ryan event fundraiser for their organization every year. We'll come mountain and bring our cartoon there. -- fans and the and then they're they're kids that they work with will come to our our. Club. And a lot of them imminent volunteer. As well it partner winds -- going to be doing two camps when it cascading its project this summer of and Providence and center for medically fragile children has come out and leads -- projects with -- have three. Summer for their creative camps. And can't -- is a bereavement camp will work with them and so it's really any organization who has and serves a similar population. We left to partner with them because in a lot of those organizations that have marked projects are our program so we'll bring our programs to them. And that's a lot of fun and being able to go out into our community and serve so if people that may not have necessarily have known about yes. And then to be able to continue those those relationships and serve more children. And for -- -- talk about being able to bring the healing power of art has many kids as we possibly can. So we have a lot of a lot of calls from organizations -- sarcoma foundation is another organization we work when it's. With some context annually. -- an old takes a lot of volunteer time it does he absolutely does snow. And be like instead we and -- 8500 healing our experiences in 2013. There's no way we could do that with eleven people here. So yeah so how can people volunteering. -- -- contact asset info act chat dot name CH EP dot NE ME. Or go to our web saint and give us a column and it's so -- would love to have. Everything everybody from the community come in and volunteer there's definitely no shortage of jobs. Anything you can do anything. Yeah really stuffing envelopes to hoping -- beautiful piece is a far right. Such a cart painting I mean who doesn't wanna go hang on page a car so that is that what -- car is I was -- askew until some of your car. Which -- -- -- it's a car it's our check our car. And say and what we'll do as -- -- attorney tents and take up the windows license plate in the lights and then the kids can -- it. And then a disaster -- studio and wash it off it actually has a layer as of art or -- are ready so. It's a lot of fun I mean who doesn't wanna paint to car. It's a blast sent -- -- that's really our own end and then it when we partner with organization other organizations to serve a population we we work with them that. We've been at the Mississippi street fair in Fremont street fair and we charge. 250 dollars for two hours of cart painting and anybody can have pass out for if he. And paint cars. That's really fun yeah must beat up but take out some good to aggression if you wanna -- the car. You don't get to do those sorts of things and caucus and -- a thank god thank you so much for coming in -- McGovern executive director with children's healing art project this has been fantastic thing isn't so much for having. Metro scopus and Entercom communications public affairs program. My name's Gary and if you have a nonprofit or public affairs organization that you'd like let others know about you can email me at macro Scopes at -- com dot com. Remember Fincher can't start too -- or you can go directly to the station's website click on the community link and submit your information there. Also we like to hear this program again you can visit our podcast page at microscope PDX dot com. Thanks for listening to microscope and enjoy your weekend.