HOSPITAL AT MONTEFIORE Artist in Residence Program
enCourage Kids Foundation has funded the Artist in Residence Program at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) since 2010. This program facilitates weekly workshops and individual sessions that encourage children to use artistic processes as vehicles for self-expression. Utilizing these creative tools can reduce stress and anxiety for young patients as well as improve their pain management through distraction. For the past four years, CHAM’s Artist in Residence has been beat-boxer and songwriter Jonathan “Duv” Zaragoza. Funding from enCourage Kids was used to hire Duv from ArtWorks, The Naomi Cohain Foundation, which invites artists into the hospital setting to offer multi-disciplinary art workshops and one-on-one sessions for pediatric patients. The CHAM staff see Duv as one of their own. “That is why I appreciate enCourage Kids supporting us for so many years. To me, it is like having an additional staff member. Duv is a part of our team. He is not a volunteer who is just stopping by,” says Meghan Kelly, Director of Phoebe H. Stein Child Life Program and GWN Explainer Program at CHAM. Duv does six-week rotations through the different units at CHAM. During enCourage Kids’ most recent visit, he was in the Pediatric Dialysis Unit working with a teenage patient, Jack*. Duv and Jack have known each other for four years, forming a close relationship that has allowed Jack to come out of his shell during his hospital stays. As part of his therapeutic care, Jack began creating music, and they work together each week to add a new element to Jack’s song on GarageBand, while also catching up on life and just hanging out. enCourage Kids is proud to support CHAM and their Artist in Residence Program. We are excited to continue to watch the incredible impact Duv has on the pediatric patients he works with, helping bring joy, hope, resilience, and healing. * Name changed to respect the privacy of the patient.