How are you funded?

We are financed through our hospital operating budget, grants, and private and corporate support. The vast majority of our budget comes from the hospital. In addition, we have several foundation accounts supported by private donors, including the Gaintner Family Endowment for UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine. These accounts combined provide approximately 20-30% of our annual operating budget. Federal and corporate grants provide approximately 15% of our annual funding.

Do you pay your artists?

YES! Consistency is the key to program growth, and committing to artists through payment builds that consistency. Our artists are considered outside contractors. They are on one year contracts with an option to renew at the end of the year.

Do your artists attend an orientation?

Yes. It is critical that the hospital is comfortable with our artists, and one important step in that process in being in compliance with hospital regulations. Each artist completes an annual hospital clinical staff orientation.  Artists also attend weekly rounds to stay up to speed with each other and brainstorm about the program’s direction.

How do you find your artists?

When we started years ago, we did several “call to artists” in our community to find out who was interested. These meetings took the form of experiential and informative workshops, which created a ground swell of interest. From that effort, a few artists volunteered and eventually became the core of our program. Few artists have left the program, but when they do, word-of-mouth recommendations provide outstanding new talent.

How do you distinguish an arts therapist from an artist in residence?

Artists in residence and arts therapists play distinct and complementary roles in a healthcare setting. An artist in residence in a healthcare setting is a practicing, professional artist in an artistic discipline such as visual art, music, dance, theatre or writing. An arts therapist is a mental health professional who utilizes an artistic discipline for a psychotherapeutic purpose. The expertise of an artist in residence is to facilitate creative process using their artistic discipline in a healthcare setting. The expertise of an arts therapist (i.e. dance therapy, art therapy, drama therapy, or music therapy) is to assess, treat and evaluate an individual using their artistic discipline of training to facilitate a psychotherapy session.

The primary distinction between the two disciplines of the Arts Therapies and the Arts in Healthcare, also known as Arts in Medicine, is the objective of engaging a patient, loved one, or clinician in the healthcare setting. An arts therapist engages a client for therapeutic goals and objectives serving as an integrated, interdisciplinary healthcare practitioner. An artist in residence engages an individual for the purpose of making art together to humanize the healthcare environment and uplift the body, mind and spirit through the experience of making art. While an artist in residence is also an integrated team member, they do not serve the healthcare team in a clinical capacity nor do they make mental health assessments or set psychotherapeutic objectives. An artist in residence has the clear and pure task of facilitating creative process; and making art. The arts therapist establishes therapeutic goals with the client; and continually engages the creative process with the aim of meeting stated goals.