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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

ArtWorks, The Naomi Cohain Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Performing Arts, Visual Arts

Mission: Founded in 2002, ArtWorks, The Naomi Cohain Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to improving the healthcare experience of pediatric patients through the arts. ArtWorks provides children and young adults starting from birth to age 24 facing chronic and life-limiting illnesses, and their families, access to creative and performing arts programs that serve as a vehicle for healing, communication, self-expression and personal development.

Target demographics: Children and Young Adults (age 0-24) facing chronic and life-limiting illness

Geographic areas served: New York & New Jersey

Programs: Teaching Artists Program invites Teaching Artists into the hospital setting to offer our Young Artists workshops and one-on-one sessions.

Surprise!Supplies brings art supplies and craft kits to our Young Artists through specifically designed mobile art carts, providing opportunities to create throughout the day, especially for our Young Artists who are not able to leave their beds.

Express Yourself is an annual creative and performing arts exhibition inviting our New York and New Jersey Young Artists to take part in a program of awe-inspiring performances and a gallery exhibition.s.

Community Stories

31 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Dan_6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Artworks Foundation staff are thoughtful and compassionate beyond words. Their dedication to using creative arts to help children and young adults who are facing serious and chronic illnesses is truly inspiring. They spare no effort to help young people cope with tremendous adversity. The Artworks Foundation is an organization that makes the world a better place. It is a pleasure to witness their wonderful work, and the positive impact it has on the lives of so many children and their families.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a music therapist working in a pediatric medical setting, I can attest to the outstanding humanitarian work that Artworks, The Naomi Cohain Foundation achieves on a consistent basis. This wonderful organization has fostered a sense of accomplishment and personal expression though creative arts that has benefited so many children who I've come to know in my professional work. I hold this organization in the highest regard. They make a tremendous difference in the lives of numerous children and their families and deserve acknowledgement for the fantastic positive contribution they make to humanity.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough good things about ArtWorks Foundation! They have helped so many of my patients and their families by providing opportunities for creative expression. Engaging in the arts is not only enjoyable, it is an invaluable tool in helping children and families to cope with distress throughout serious illness and hospital experiences. Several patients who used to dread coming to the hospital for transfusions and other procedures now look forward to visits because they know they'll get to create art using materials from our beautiful Surprise!Supplies art cart! Other patients, who were formerly withdrawn, are already talking about what they want to do for next year's Express Yourself show! I am so thankful to ArtWorks Foundation for all the amazing work that they do!!!

Donor

Rating: 5

I've seen the Artworks team in action and believe the work they do is so impactdul and brings such joy and pride to the children and hospitals they serve. They are dedicated, creative, and committed to providing a needed outlet for these kids to take their mind off of the often terrible circumstances they face. Proud to be a supporter!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I Thought I might share an email that I sent to Daniela Mendelsohn, the Executive Director of Artworks, a few years back. Daniela-
Volunteering for Artworks is an honor and a priviledge.
I couldn't imagine a more worthwhile and fulfilling way to spend the day.
You did an unbelievable job organizing and planning the event down to the
the last detail, as always.
What you have created is truely inspirational and I look forward to
volunteering from the moment one show ends until the time the next begins.
I only hope you know that the volunteering need not be limited to the
actual events.
I, for one, am more than happy to pitch in with the grunt work, so please
let me know whenever you can use a hand.
You're amazing and you should be very proud!
Love, your humble volunteer, Stacey
Artworks was phenomenal then, and has only gotten better with time.

Linda75

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Artworks Express Yourself Exhibition and Performance is among the year's highlights for the children in my program. We submit art work and several children perform. The event is organized, funfilled and allows for the special circumstances that are certain to arise with this population. The outreach and support given to the families is unparalled!

Donor

Rating: 5

The love that the staff of Artworks has for children suffering with life threatening illnesses is amazing. They are committed to helping these kids cope with the struggles, pain and disappointments of their illnesses. Through Express Yourself, providing art supplies with Surprise Supplies and Art Carts, and Intensive Cair classes, kids can forget about their struggles if only for a day.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a music therapist at one of the children's hospitals in the NYC area, I have had the pleasure of being involved with Artworks: The Naomi Cohain Foundation's annual "Express Yourself NY" event for the past 3 years. This event offers children with acute or chronic illnesses the opportunity to connect with their inner creativity as a means of self-expression and coping with their medical issues. I have also been able to take advantage of Artwork's "Creative Artists In Residence" program that brings various creative arts experiences to children in the hospital environment. The staff at Artworks has been amazing in their efforts to provide these and many other services to the children and families with whom I work.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a Child Life Specialist, this organization has helped put smiles on children's faces as well as reaching those who could otherwise not get out of bed to play. They provided us with a colorful Art Cart, filled with endless craft supplies that we can wheel bedside, or keep in the hospital waiting room. The patients as well as staff truly appreciate this generous gift!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

While been at the Hospital with my son (in one of several admissions) I saw a sign at the Child Life Play Room: "Art Works" Express Yourself" and have my kids: Son and daughter working on expressing themselfs while being in and out of the Hospital. I think is wonderful the chance kids have to do art and be part of the exposure of their art. The exposition and all involved is wonderful and besides the good time and enfoyment more important the enrichment of the kids soul. Love it and will keep up participating.

Kevin30

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering for this program has been a wonderful gift. The three (there are only three!) ladies that run the organization are great to work with, and what they've accomplished would be impressive for an organization five times their size.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've helped with their yearly fundraising events and have attended several ArtWorks Express Yourself concerts and exhibitions. The programs truly makes a tangible and measurable difference to every child and family that it reaches. Coming from an art background and having a parent who is an art therapist, ArtWorks resonated with me on a personal and professional level, but it has also become clear to me that others feel the same way when they are exposed to what ArtWorks does. Ive also met with professionals in the medical field who know how much the art supplies mean to the children who use them. That is a great testament to what ArtWorks does.

Lissette G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The creative arts have enriched my life ever since childhood. But, as often happens when you grow older, you take for granted the benefit of creative expression -- particularly in difficult times. Working as a volunteer with ArtWorks has shown me how they enable children to share their full range of emotions when illness has robbed them of childhood's simplest pleasures. ArtWorks is the loudspeaker over which the voices of these children are heard -- clearly and proudly -- to celebrate in art, music, song & dance the beauty they see despite the struggles of their delicate lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with ArtWorks and the amazing team who puts their hearts into each event. I look forward to volunteering every time because I know it's a great experience for a great cause.

12

Donor

Rating: 5

It has been a pleasure being involved with ArtWorks, both on the giving and the receiving end. My daughter, who is a cancer survivor, has proudly displayed some of her art in the Express Yourself Show, and we were thoroughly entertained and inspired by the performances! We have also helped to support a Surprise!Supplies Art Cart. Daniela Mendelsohn and ArtWorks truly make this world a more beautiful place for so many families!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've witnessed the profound impact artworks has had on hundreds of sick children and their families since the organization's founding almost eight years ago. having attended most of the express yourself exhibits, as well as other artworks events, i only grow more and more amazed by the disproportionately significant achievements of this small-infrastructure organization. by far, the best testimony of the comfort and peace artworks provides those most in need are the letters we receive from our young artists and their families.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

My son, Daniel, has been involved in Artworks since he was about 5 years, which was shortly after he was diagnosed with leukemia. He is 12 years old now and has participated in several "Express Yourself" events for Artworks. Daniel's paintings and artwork helped him deal with many different feelings and emotions, including fear, pain, loss and joy that he experienced both during and after treatment. He also thoroughly enjoys seeing other people's works of art and performances at these events

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a Child Life Specialist, I have seen the positive impact that Artworks, The Naomi Chain Foundation has made on the hospitalized children who I work with on a daily basis. Our hospital has been so lucky to be part of the following activites that Artworks has to offer: The annual Art works Artshow, The Surprise Supplies artcart on our Pediatric Intensive Care unit, Artist of the Month, and bulletin boards to display patient's fantastic creations. Because of Artworks, the Naomi Cohain Foundation we have been able to inspire and empower many future artists!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am the director of a creative arts program that partners with other nonprofits to bring therapeutic arts experiences to medically fragile children in the foster care system. The collaborative efforts with Artworks continues to offer outstanding opportunities to our children to gain self-esteem and pride while participating in community events. The ExpressYourself event is an annual not-to-be-missed outing for many of our kids and their families. For one child named Michael, this is one of a very few opportunities wherein he canvisit with his biological father in an uplifting, structured environment. Artworks inspires!!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

ArtWorks continues to be a vital component of the Child Life Department at our hospital. The services provided by this foundation have positively impacted the lives of many of our pediatric patients and families by providing various means of coping with illness and hospitalization centered around the arts. Not only does ArtWorks offer opportunities for children to express themselves with art projects, but the foundation also supports our hospital by providing a mobile art cart filled with creative fun for our intensive care unit, bulletin boards to display artwork and opportunities for patients' art abilities to be recognized in art shows and/or honored as artists of the month. This foundation is also currently working on funding an artist-in-residency program which will allow a paid staff person to work with our children to engage patients in the creative process.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Artworks is an incredible organization. As someone who has benefited directly from their programs when I was a patient 7 years ago, I can attest to how meaningful their work is. I am truly grateful for the opportunity for artistic expression that they provide to kids who are fighting the toughest battles of their lives. The highlight of my experience with Artworks was the "Express Yourself" event in which I was able to perform a song with my brother that we had been practicing for months. But in addition to the performances and exhibits that Artworks provides for the kids it has worked with, Artworks also provides valuable resources and supplies to hospitals so they can give their pediatric patients greater access to the benefits of art/music therapy. An amazing organization doing great work. I'm glad I have been able to stay involved on a personal level with Artworks and the people behind it.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter was embarking on a project for her Bat Mitzvah and found ArtWorks through a local internet search. It didn't take us long to realize how lucky we were! My daughter is creative and artistic and wanted to use these skills to help others in need. Working with ArtWorks was the perfect fit. Everyone at the foundation was so friendly, welcoming and eager to speak with us and put together a mutually satisfying program. My daughter immediately began volunteering at their Express Yourself Events. How wonderful of a venue for the kids to shine as they express themselves on the stage and have their artwork displayed in a gallery setting. So on with the project. My daughter decided to support the SurpriseSupplies! program and raise $5000 to be able to donate an art card to a deserving NJ hospital. One year ago she began selling gift bags of originally designed greeting cards and she is on track to meet her goal within a 1 year time period! ArtWorks has been so supportive in the project every step of the way. They are always open to ideas, accessible and are a pleasure to work with. We hightly recommend becoming involved with this foundation!

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Artworks events for the last couple of years. The work they do for children with chronic and terminal illnesses and the families of those children is so inspiring! You can actually see the joy on the faces of these children and families, who are able to express themselves in ways they may otherwise not be able to. It gives them brief moments where they can feel free and enjoy life like kids who are not going through their experiences. The artwork in different mediums, including fine art, singing, playing instruments, dance, etc. gives the young people and their families a forum to show their talents. It is such an awesome opportunity to value their work and make them feel good. As a volunteer, I always leave the events with a "high," because the events make you feel so good, when there is so much potential for depression and hopelessness. Artworks is truly an amazing organization and the work they do with this population is fantastic. I feel privileged to be able to be involved with them.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Artworks is amazing. Daniela and Kristen love what they do and it shows. Through the use of art therapy, kids with life threatening illnesses are able to express their hurts and wishes, forgetting about the pain they are in even if just for a little while. Artworks also provides "ArtCarts" for hospitals to help out with art supplies for the kids. Daniela and Kristen are constantly looking for ways to improve their services to the hospitals and kids they help.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

My experience is that Artworks really works to bring sick children to a different sphere. I have witnessed how the children that participate feel "well" and like a star. That the "art" they chose to participate in takes them away from being "sick" and being the "sick child". The "art carts"enables the children in the hospital to have all of the necessary supplies to create art! and brings such a smile to themin light of being in the hospital.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ArtWorks was founded by my cousin in honor of my sister. The organization has grown to be a critical part of the lives of young children who suffer from diseases and their friends and siblings. We see many repeat participants at our events and we know how important ArtWorks is to them and how much they look forward to our events. I am extremely proud of the growth that ArtWorks has made and the direction it is headed in.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ArtWorks provides such a valuable experience for children and their families who are living with cancer. The program helps children focus on healing and wellness. It builds self esteem and offers support during the most difficult time in a families life. Positive, energizing and life affirming are words that describe the work of ArtWorks!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ArtWorks give children and teens living with a medical illness opportunites to experience the pleasure of being true artists. Through their art form these children/teens can be understood and recognized. The Express Yourself Show gives them a day of fame, a day to celebrate themselves and to join with other youngsters who have experienced similar challenges. Our patients look forward to this event and staff eagerly await the yearly show to see patients in their glory. This glory is afforded to all our patients no matter what their artistic or musical skill level. All creative endeavors are given the same dignity. It is an event that becomes implanted in all our memories. The art work (and/or poems)are returnded to the patients in beautiful frames, which helps them see the importance and validity of their creation. The performers receive applause that can't compare to any Broadway show. We are indebted to what ArtWorks affords these patients through the power of the arts. Additonally they just provided us with 2 fantastically designed art carts to provide more opportunities for creative endeavor while in the hospital or stuck in a room connected to an IV pole. The arts give these patients the ability to escape these 4 walls with their imagination, to express feelings related to illness/treatment, or to use the arts in whatever manner they chose. We thank ArtWorks for always bringing these things to our patients.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Phoebe H. Stein Child Life Program at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore(CHAM) in the Bronx, NY began it's relationship with Artworks over 6 years ago. We have consistently participated in their annual Metro NY Artworks, Express Yourself! show which showcases the artwork, musical talents and poetry of our patients. This experience allows the patients opportunities for creative expression which are then recognized with such value in this venue. The patients and their families always feel so proud and honored at this show! Our relationship grew as we benefitted from the Intensive C.A.I.R. program which sent 2 artists in residence for a series of workshops on our adolescent unit. The teens learned how to express their hosptial experience through urban music and art including bucket drumming, beat boxing, graffiti art and more! Lastly, we have been the recipient of a mobile art cart full of supplies through the Surprise! Supplies! program. This beautifully decorated cart is housed in one of our teen lounges and regularly re-stocked with a variety of arts and crafts material which we are able to select. It offers us a bountiful amount of supplies and is mobile so we may also use it at the bedside of a patient who can't come out to the lounge. The Artworks Foundation offers many fabulous programs and is so easy to work with on many collaborations. I am happy to endorse them as one of our favorite aspects of programming here at CHAM! Meghan D. Kelly The Children's Hospital at Montefiore Director of Child Life

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As the Art Therapist at The Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital in NYC, I collaborate with a lot of diverse nonprofits specializing in art. ArtWorks is without a doubt my favorite group to work with due to their commitment to their mission of facilitating kids dealing with chronic and life-threatening illnesses, as well as their often forgotten about siblings, in utilizing creativity as a vehicle for healing, communication, self-expression and personal development. I've been working with this organization for 3 years, and find them to be the most ethical, authentic, and helpful organization when it comes to creativity and children dealing with medical illnesses. They are always available to answer questions, provide me with information, or make special exceptions to ensure the happiness of a child. For the 2008 Express Yourself show, many of the pediatric patients and siblings who entered artwork into the show communicated to me that they really wanted the hospital staff to be at the ArtWorks show. After discussing publicity ideas with ArtWorks, they sent me a large number of full-color posters to display throughout our hospital, specifically inviting our hospital employees and showcasing our patients' and siblings' artwork on the poster. Another examples of their commitment to their mission is how every single year, a few patients or siblings submit entries for the show after the deadline, and after ArtWorks has already come to pick up all the entries. Without hesitation, ArtWorks always makes exceptions and comes to pick up the additional entries within a day or two. Unfortunately a few of our patients who've participated in ArtWorks have passed away before the actual opening reception, and ArtWorks has always gone above and beyond to honor those children by posting a last-minute plaque by the child's artwork, and being proactive in how to reach out to the family in a sensitive and caring manner. If only every organization was run with the same degree of integrity, dedication, and heart!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with ArtWorks has been wonderful. The organization is a great chance for kids to express their feelings and emotionals through Art and Music. Being a part of the ArtWorks family has been important to me. I love seeing the kids showcase their artwork or perform their favorite songs. It brings a smile to their faces which is a delight to see. I remember my first time volunteering and seeing Zach play his drum set. He had so much energy and you can tell he loved being up on stage. At that moment, I am sure he was thinking "I am such a rock star" and not thinking about his illness. It was at that moment, I realized that I had to be a permanent fixture with ArtWorks. Kudos to Daniela and Kristen.