Our History – Celebrating Arts in Health

Inspired by a shared intent to improve the look and feel of the hospital environment of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH), the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation (WCH Foundation) and the Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCH Network) partnered to establish an Arts in Health (AIH) Program in August 2008.

The aim of introducing an Arts in Health program into the hospital was to integrate arts into the life of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital to improve people’s health and wellbeing. Today, the program consists of integrated areas which deliver a range of activities throughout the hospital, including:

  • Visual arts, design and digital media
  • Music and performing arts
  • Public art and integrated design
  • Literature
  • Play Therapy
  • Animal Assisted Therapy
  • Therapeutic arts (art, dance and music).

In January 2010, our Foundation opened the first exhibition in the newly created Blue Heart Gallery (Ground Floor, Zone A, near Allied Health and Hospital School), and through the generous support of our donors we now have five gallery space spread across the hospital.  The WCH Foundation’s Gallery program provides an environment away from the stresses of treatment to distract, entertain and inspire all who pass by. The artworks displayed in the exhibition spaces come from a range of sources – internally from hospital staff, patients (women & children) and their families, through specific Arts in Health activities and externally from local artists and art collectives.

The Hon John Hill MP Minister for Health and Minister Assisting the Premier in the Arts officially launched the Arts in Health Program on 28 January 2010. Next year as we celebrate 10 years of this program, we will delve deeper into the impact each of these programs has had on children, their families and the hospital community.

To celebrate the hospital’s 140-year milestone we are currently running an exhibition on the History of Fundraising in the Yellow Heart Gallery (Level 1, Zone F – past the QV Lecture Theatre). For more information about our exhibitions and other programs within Arts in Health, click here.

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