This program serves individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses, their caregivers and family members. Arts interventions are based on the belief that the creative process involved in the making of art is healing and life enhancing.
Each month, the 90-minute class will help patients, their caregivers and family members increase self-awareness, cope with the symptoms of the illness, and adapt to stressful and traumatic experiences while having fun in the process!
Dates: (Every Third Thursday of the Month)
EIAA's Art Studio
1847 E Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Limited Space Available! Make reservations for one or all of the Healing Hearts workshops today!
To RSVP contact the EIAA Office at 350-1805 or, via email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Healing HeARTS Program- EIAA is expanding its programming with the addition of the
Healing HeARTS Program, intended to serve individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses,
their caregivers and family members. Eastern Iowa Arts Academy believes that a growing body
of evidence suggests a connection between art and music-making opportunities and the positive
benefits they bring to patients, which translates to healing and better health. This new paradigm
for healthcare, using creativity and expression, needs to be nurtured. Healing is an internal
process that restores balance and harmony to the mind, body and spirit. Patients not only need to
be treated for serious illness, they also need assistance with the healing process aimed at reducing
the stresses and fears that accompany serious illness. Art and music-making are healing agents.
Arts interventions are based on the belief that the creative process involved in the making of art is
healing and life enhancing. It is used to help patients, their caregivers and family members
increase self-awareness, cope with the symptoms of the illness, and adapt to stressful and
traumatic experiences. The objective of EIAA's arts programming is to use the creative process to
develop awareness, reduce stress and express emotions.
A growing body of evidence demonstrates that art and music therapy can be effective in reducing
symptoms associated with cancer and other serious illnesses in both children and adults. In The
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management in Cancer: Innovative Use of Art Therapy (February
2006, Volume 31), researchers stated that art therapy is easy to implement in a hospital setting
and that it is widely accepted by participants who found it distracted them from their symptoms
and was calming. They went on to say that while art therapy is a relatively inexpensive
intervention, it may have long lasting effects by teaching individuals techniques for managing
their illness. Expressive art and music-making is now considered by healthcare professionals to
be one of the most powerful, as well as cost effective, self-healing tools available. In the above
mentioned study funded by the National Institutes of Health, results showed that cancer patients
who received eight weeks of mindfulness-based art therapy reported a significant decrease in
distress, anxiety, and depression. In a study conducted at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in
Evanston, Illinois, cancer patients reported significant reductions in eight of nine symptoms
measured by the Edmonton Symptoms Assessment Scale (ESAS). Symptoms of pain, tiredness,
depression, anxiety, drowsiness, lack of appetite, well being, and shortness of breath all showed
improvement as a result of art therapy sessions. The ninth symptom, nausea, did not show
improvement. The patient’s quality of life was significantly enhanced and improved!
According to the American Cancer Society, listening to music and participating in music
activities is an effective way for cancer patients to cope with some of the symptoms of the disease
and the side effects of the treatment. New research supports that participation in music therapy
activities helps improve anxiety, pain, mood, quality of life, heart rate, respiratory rate and blood
pressure in cancer patients. Researchers from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
scientifically measured a significant improvement in the areas mentioned above, translating to
improvement in the quality of life for patients, as a result in participation in music therapy.
The St. Louis University Cancer Center is one of the few cancer centers in the area to have a full
time music therapist on staff and the first to establish a partnership with the St. Louis Symphony.
They are undertaking a pilot study to better understand music’s effect on health and its onnection to healing. The study is looking to see how much anxiety levels decrease after
participation in music activities and how reduced anxiety levels affect a patient's recovery time,
complications and willingness to comply with treatment. Alternative Therapies in Health and
Medicine reports that, in a study by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center,
patients who have undergone bone-marrow transplants report less pain and nausea if they take
part in music therapy programs. Researcher Dr. Bryan Hunter states, “When a program like this is
first introduced, typically we get mixed reactions. Some in the health care field are skeptical at
first…but when they see the positive effects on patients, they usually change their minds.”
The evidence is very compelling. The effects of participation in a quality art and music- making
program greatly improve a patient’s quality of life. Encourage care givers and family members to
join in and the benefits become even greater! Eastern Iowa Arts Academy will offer quality arts
programming and the services of our dedicated, professional educators, artists and musicians to
patients through the Healing HeARTS Program. Together we can help to improve the quality of
patients’ lives by providing a wide range of quality art and music-making activities. EIAA
believes that the art-making experience is therapeutic in and of itself. Through creating art and
music and reflecting on the process, patients and family members can increase awareness, cope
with symptoms, relax and relieve stress, while having fun in the process! Eastern Iowa Arts
Academy can help connect art-making, healing and health for all those involved.
“We tend to intellectualize the grief by sharing facts, but the heart is still aching. Art therapy
helps the person get in touch with the non-verbal part of grief. It’s a nice way to connect the head
and the heart.”
- Blackburn- Using the Heart to Grieve
“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”