Art is huge across the Emerald Coast, but it doesn't always come in such a unique program. This innovative therapy program has taken the area by storm and provides plenty of fun for patients at Sacred Heart Hospital.
Rita Stuck is responsible for the Art Cart. This is a program designed to allow healing patients the ability to enjoy art. The Art Cart provides brightly colored art supplies with for patients, such as acrylic paints, canvas and more.
It isn't just art supplies wheeled into the room, however Rita brings in the Art Cart and helps the patient enjoy whichever type of art they prefer. Whether they have ever painted before or they are a complete beginner, when helps find enjoyment and make a connection through art.
The program is provided at Sacred Heart Hospital and brings both art and music to patients and visitors. The Miramar Beach Art in Medicine program is responsible for the funding and artist compensation. This program helps incorporate art into the daily routine of the facility.
The Art Cart is staffed by volunteers and the supplies are provided to patients and visitors, which include clay, crayons, paints, musical instruments and so much more. Art books and props are provided to give the patients the opportunity to start a project on canvas and learn all about art.
Along with the artists sent into the hospital to help patients and visitors, Sinfonia Gulf Cost sends musicians into the hospital to perform. The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County also plans to assist by providing sculptors, painters and other volunteer artists to add more diversity to the Art Cart.
The goal of the program, which is a part of the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine, is to help improve health care through art. This facility is one of five in the state providing this type of program.
Many within the hospital say art therapy has a proven to be a success in healing and studies dating back to the 1980s have shown the benefits of adding art to healing.