Fourteen-year-old Daniel Stanley cannot get enough of Arts For Life. Whether Daniel is visiting the clinic or on the inpatient unit receiving chemotherapy treatments, he can be found making art. When he feels well, he comes to the AFL art table to create and visit with other patients and parents. On days when he has to stay in his room he likes to explore new mediums
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About Us

Arts For Life builds bridges and makes lasting connections between the art and healthcare communities of North Carolina. Our staff members are artists and teachers who believe the arts are key to creating and maintaining vibrant and healthy communities. Our programs teach visual arts, music, and creative writing to patients and run five to seven days a week, eight to fourteen hours a day in each of our four different hospital sites. Arts For Life staff, interns, and volunteers teach the arts to patients for over 250 hours each week.

Arts For Life has partnered with Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem, Mission Hospital in Asheville, Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, and Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center in Durham to create successful pediatric clinic art programs, patient and family art support groups, and inpatient art programs.

Our teachers work with more than 6,000 patients annually, and we see many of those children on a weekly basis. We teach the arts to children and teens who have serious and chronic illnesses, and we teach children who need ongoing therapies and treatments. Demand and need drive our growth.

Arts For Life has impacted pediatric and patient care across the state of North Carolina, demonstrating the importance of support services for patients and their families. Our programs strive to help young patients become strong members of their communities in spite of the struggles and hurdles they face.

Arts For Life’s internship and volunteer programs train college students, artists, medical students, and community members in teaching the arts to patients. Through these programs, we have led hundreds of individuals in utilizing the arts to improve their communities.

Arts For Life Programming Goals

  • Utilize art stations, art teachers, and art lessons to transform and improve healthcare environments;
  • Provide hospitalized and seriously ill children access to the arts and education;
  • Help young patients and their families cope with short and long term effects of illness;
  • Give patients opportunities to interact with peers (other patients and siblings);
  • Foster patients’ imaginations, critical thinking skills, and creativity;
  • Help patients to set and achieve goals;
  • Guide patients in focusing on positive activities during waiting times and during stressful experiences;
  • Provide positive educational experiences that add a sense of purpose and accomplishment to children's lives.

Fiscal Control and Accountability
Arts For Life's Executive Director and Board of Directors are responsible for Arts For Life's fiscal controls and accountability. We carefully create, review, and revise budgets and fundraising strategies each year. Our strong belief in fiscal frugality is reflected in our modest salaries and reasonable yearly expenses. We strive to bring the most arts programming we can to the largest number of patients possible while also maintaining the integrity and quality of our lessons.

Arts For Life Board of Directors
AFL Board of Directors
Wes Sugg, Chairman
Karen Fitzgerald, Treasurer
Alex Taylor, Secretary
Sheila Ennis
Lindsay Jones
Doug Michaels
Carol Mitchell
Mary Nesbitt
Tom Schulz
Anne Sessions
Michael Worsman