Arts in Healthcare Initiative

The Arts in Healthcare Initiative, established by the UB Center for the Arts, brings arts programming to the patients, visitors, and staff of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo.

The arts transform the hospital environment by engaging individuals in creative activities, enhancing the healthcare experience and encouraging physical and emotional well-being.

The Arts in Healthcare Initiative is comprised of twelve professional Artists in Residence with extensive experience in writing, music, dance, theater and the visual arts from Buffalo's vast cultural community. Artists work daily with the hospital population in waiting areas and playrooms as well as at the bedside and intimate patient care areas. Artists facilitate the creative process, allowing for enhanced communication, personal expression, understanding, distraction, and healing.

Professional Touring Artists from the Center for the Arts season enhance each hospital's arts offerings. Performances tailored to the hospital setting allow those who, due to illness or disability, would otherwise be unable to experience live performing arts. The Hudson Vagabond Puppets, Urban Bush Women, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, and classical guitarist Robert Bluestone have performed in the first year of the program.

This comprehensive program includes scientific evaluation in partnership with UB's schools of Social Work and Nursing to contribute to the growing body of knowledge in the field and encourage university-level curriculum development.

In addition, training is available through a specialized Summer Intensive program for artists, administrators, and others who are interested in arts in healthcare. Originating from a university performing arts center, the initiative is unique in Western New York and across the nation, offering distinctive opportunities for the field.

The Arts in Healthcare program is made possible by:

The John R. Oishei Foundation
Foundations of Kaleida Health
Roswell Park Alliance
Seymour H. Knox Foundation

Pottery for patients donated


Robert Bluestone
Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo
October 2007

Hudson Vagabond Puppets Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo
November 2007

Liz Lerman Dance Exchange
Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute April 2008



The Arts in Healthcare initiative will strive to:

  • Create opportunities to optimize wellness through creative expression, diversion, entertainment and stress reduction

  • Enhance the hospital experience for patients, families and visitors, and

  • Broaden the artistic and cultural reach of the Center for the Arts in the region.

  • Create opportunities for research and scholarship.

2017 - 18 Season Sponsors