On a daily basis our patients have the opportunity to engage in expressive arts therapies through the hospital’s Mark Taper-Johnny Mercer Artists Program. The program brings together local artists, performers, and teachers with registered and certified Expressive Arts Therapists to meet the diverse needs of our patient population. Expressive arts therapies help patients explore their thoughts, feelings, alleviate anxiety and build creative coping skills. On Tuesday, March 11, the scheduled art therapy session had a special twist—Britney Spears was eager to participate.
Britney Spears and Patients Get Crafty
The room was calm, on the craft table lay a large blank sheet of drawing paper surrounded by tubs of markers and colored pencils. Britney joined three patients on their art therapy journey, which focused on the topic, “What it feels like to be away from home.”
Patients and Britney traced outlines of their hands and began sorting through magazine images that resembled anything you could think of—animals, food, landscape, children, sporting equipment. On the large blank sheet of paper, Registered Art Therapist, Nicole Albers, encouraged the group to make a collage around their hand outline of photos that reminded them of home. Bianca (age 17) glued an image of corn, green trees and family. She shared her enthusiasm for grilling corn in backyard with her family back at home. While she enjoys the Healing and Meditation Garden at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, she looks forward to when she can officially be outside of the hospital’s walls.
Britney shared her favorite images that remind her of family. Her collage included an image of a crawfish—her favorite food. She also chose a photo showing happy children to represent her two boys and a butterfly. “Butterflies are our guardian angels,” shares Britney.
The patients and Britney decided to name their special poster, “Happiness.” When they think of family, it bring them joy and happiness. After the art therapy session, Britney made her way to The Heart Institute, the Medical/Surgical unit and the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases and help boost spirits of several children who were too ill to attend art therapy.
We sincerely thank Britney Spears for visiting our patients and participating in art therapy.