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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Discovery Arts

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Services, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Performing Arts

Mission: Discovery Arts brings music, art, dance and drama to children with cancer and life threatening illness while they are in the hospital receiving treatment. All of our programs and services are completely free of charge for the hospitals, patients and their families.

Results: Discovery Arts was created in 1993 by a group of dedicated arts and entertainment industry professionals who began volunteering their time and talents to bring dance, music, drama and art to children with cancer and serious blood disorders during their hospital stay. For the first several years, Discovery Arts worked informally with the children hospitalized at Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center at Millers. Based upon the success of our programs and the positive responses from the medical staff, the children and their families, Discovery Arts was formally incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency in 1998 with a mission to expand the delivery of these experiences to many more children in hospitals throughout Southern California. All of our programs are offered free of charge to the hospitals, patients and families. With support from individuals, corporations, foundations, a committed circle of monthly donors and an enthusiastic corps of volunteers, Discovery Arts now provides Arts Adventures programs to more than 3,500 critically ill children each year. We currently deliver our "Arts Adventures" to the children at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, Millers Children’s Hospital Long Beach, Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center at Millers, CHOC Children's Hospital, Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center, CHOC at Mission and at Mercy Children's Hospital in Springfield, Mo.

Target demographics: Bring Music, Art, Dance and Drama to children with cancer and life threatening illness while they are in the hospital receiving treatment.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 3,500 children and their families.

Geographic areas served: USA

Programs: our "Arts Adventures" for hospitalized children we bring music, art, dance and drama to children with cancer and life threatening illness while they are in the hospital receiving treatment. All of our programs and services are free of charge to the hospitals, patients and their families.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Don_38

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member, I am especially honored to be serving alongside the most dedicated volunteers and staff for such an incredible non-profit organization as Discovery Arts. This organization has made a laudable impact in the lives of innumerable children and their families. I simply feel blessed to partner with an organization that passionately and creatively works to give every child they encounter a sense of joy, comfort, and hope.


Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Discovery Arts since the beginning of the organization. They are the most compassionate group of people and have an amazing amount of joy and love to share with the children in the hospitals who need it most. They have been praised by doctors, nurses, administrators, parents and of course, the patients who they have served over the years.

There is no better organization doing this work.


Board Member

Rating: 5

I can't think of a greater tragedy encountered throughout our life's journey than to discover our child, or one close to us, has encountered cancer or other life threatening disease. To date, I have been spared that horrific circumstance, but have been privileged to become involved in an organization that helps children and their parents when they in fact DO enter that dark world. One aspect of Discovery Arts that is often forgotten in our sole focus on the needs of the afflicted child is the incredible blessing it is to the parents of these children. As parents, they would take on the child's pain and suffering if they could without a moment's hesitation, but instead they are forced to sit back helplessly, and all they can do is wipe their child's tears. When Discover Arts visits, the parents get the opportunity to see their child laughing...playing...without the needles in their arms, and the desperate pain they experience night and day temporarily taken away. The children are greatly helped by this beautiful organization, but we should always remember that their parents suffer with them, and through DA they get the momentary chance to rejoice at seeing their child's smiles and hearing their laughter.


Board Member

Rating: 5

I cannot begin to tell you about the work that this nonprofit organization is doing with and for very sick hospitalized children. What you see with Discovery Arts is very heartwarming and an incredible lift for the patients, as well as the patient families. It adds another dimension to the hospital setting that is very healing and brings some joy and normalcy to a very difficult situation. Discovery Arts has become very important to the children and their families. Having a child diagnosed with cancer is a journey through hell and having Discovery Arts there on a regular basis, to give the children something to look forward to and to rely on, makes a big difference. Bravo to all of you for your fine work!