The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco is pleased to announce its fifth Community Outreach Exhibition, Healing In Color, showcasing artworks created by children receiving cancer treatment at two Bay Area hospitals. Walt Disney once said that “fantasy and reality often overlap.” The young artists whose works will be on display have been encouraged to explore this intersection of fantasy and reality, using therapeutic art-making techniques themed on the inspirational work of legendary Disney artist and animator Mary Blair. Making use of a variety of materials, their artworks express a common dream for a bright future using bold colors and textures.

What’s Happening:

  • Through its partnership with Kids & Art, the Walt Disney Family Museum worked with cancer patients from two local children's hospitals, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco and the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. Both institutions rank among the nation's best in all ten specialties assessed by the 2019–2020 U.S. News & World Report annual survey of children's hospitals, reflecting the high quality of care available to patients in Northern California. Children treated at pediatric institutions that provide specialized treatment in combination with supportive care, such as art workshops, are more likely to have positive outcomes.
  • The Walt Disney Family Museum educators, working in tandem with artists and staff from the Kids & Art Foundation, employ the unique power of art to support a holistic approach to healing. Art workshops introduce participating youths to storytelling and therapeutic art-making techniques themed on the inspirational and colorful work of legendary Disney artist and animator Mary Blair.
  • Blair is well known as one of Walt Disney’s most original and influential designers and art directors, with her vibrant designs and exuberant color palette enduring in classic Disney animated films such as Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951), and Peter Pan (1953). Blair designed the "it’s a small world” attraction in 1964, a classic and beloved attraction at Disneyland. She was also personally invited by Walt Disney to create a ceramic tile mural for the pediatric surgery waiting room in his friend’s clinic, the Jules Stein Eye Clinic at UCLA, in 1966. The mural features characters from “it's a small world,” welcoming and soothing children and families with whimsical composition and colors.
  • The Kids & Art Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides arts workshops to children with cancer and their care circles to improve their well-being during treatment, as survivors, and in bereavement. In California, it is estimated that more than 1,700 children ages zero to 19 are diagnosed with cancer each year. Approximately one in every 265 children in the state will develop some form of cancer before they reach age 20.
  • Healing In Color is the fifth in a series of Community Outreach Exhibitions inspired by the vision of the museum’s founder, Diane Disney Miller, who championed arts access as a vital component of the museum's commitment to community engagement.
  • Healing In Color will be on view in an accessible gallery and will be free to all visitors from March 25 through August 24, 2020.

What They’re Saying:

  • Kirsten Komoroske, Executive Director of The Walt Disney Family Museum: “We are honored to partner with the Kids & Art Foundation on Healing In Color and to support the voices and talents of the artists represented in this exhibition. The work and initiatives of Kids & Art brings awareness to the positive impact art can have on children in challenging circumstances.”
  • Suzanne Yau, Executive Director of Kids & Art: "Kids & Art Foundation is thrilled to be a part of The Walt Disney Family Museum's Community Outreach Exhibition for 2020. The opportunity for our pediatric oncology families to learn from and create with the museum's educators and artists has been truly magical. We are deeply grateful to have the support of such a recognized institution that epitomizes the power of imagination and creativity. Thank you for believing in Kids & Art's mission to heal cancer through art."