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Hospital Arts Program

Hennepin Healthcare's Inspire Arts Program

Inspiring hope, inspiring healing

Hennepin Healthcare has been a regional leader in incorporating arts programming into patient care. Hennepin Healthcare's arts programming is conceived and administered by its Inspire Arts program. A multi-disciplinary program, Inspire Arts annually stages 8 exhibits featuring local artists that engage patients, visitors, and employees and provide a visual oasis from the healthcare environment. We bring a mobile art activity cart to patient rooms, an artist in residence to work 1:1 in the Comprehensive Cancer Center, present 15 musical concerts in public and patient areas each year, and host workshops, cultural events, and other performances for patients, staff, and visitors. We are a member of Global Alliance for Arts & Health and Midwest Arts in Healthcare Network.

Changing the Healthcare Experience

Through thoughtful use of the arts, Inspire Arts is creating an environment that is patient-centered and family-focused – an environment that will have a positive effect on the way patients, families, staff and community members view their experience at Hennepin Healthcare.

Patient-Centered Care. As part of Hennepin Healthcare’s Patient Experience Services department, Inspire Arts is integrated into hospital care and services. In this way, the program strives to complement and support holistic patient care and healing.

Patient and Family Support Through the Arts. The arts also reflects the diversity of Hennepin Healthcare’s community, creating connections through the shared human experience. Patient and family programming consists of bedside and waiting room art activities, including an art cartwheeled to patient rooms.

Engage and Renew. Public and employee arts programming includes both community- and employee-based art exhibits, workshops, artist receptions and talks, experiential events and concerts. Art exhibits are located in four areas of the hospital and rotated quarterly. Music concerts are held in lobbies and patient areas to help lift and renew those in need.


An artist-in-residence works one-on-one and in small groups with patients in our Comprehensive Cancer Center and hospital units. Through access to the arts and guidance from a teaching artist, patients receive much-needed relief and distraction from the anxiety, pain, and boredom that is often associated with a hospital stay. Engagement with the arts provides them with a way to become absorbed in their own creative process. This program is made possible by generous donations from individuals and the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Music Therapy

We are piloting a new music therapy program in 2014 that brings therapeutic interventions to patients in our Comprehensive Cancer Center. Funded by LiveSTRONG Foundation, a licensed music therapist will facilitate relaxation, decrease anxiety and stress, enhance wellness, improve pain management and provide comfort and support for cancer patients and their caregivers.

Our Vision

Inspire Arts supports patient and family-centered care at Hennepin Healthcare by providing a variety of art forms to ease suffering and stress, promote healing, and improve the experience for patients, families, employees, and the members of our community. Program goals are to:

  • Complement and support holistic patient care and healing – addressing physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual needs.
  • Strive to comfort and empower patients, family, and employees, and help reduce stress, fear, and anxiety.
  • Integrate sensory-rich elements and images into the environment, providing life-giving vitality and warmth.
  • Reinforce a positive, consistent message of patient- and family-centered care throughout the facility.
  • Partner with patients, families and the community to create opportunities for connections and an environment that positively impacts their experience.
  • Reflect and celebrate diversity in the context of both our shared human experiences and our wide range of personal backgrounds and preferences.
  • Be evidence-based with a multidisciplinary approach.
  • Provide interactive opportunities for connections between patients, families, employees, and the community.

You Can Make a Difference

Inspire Arts programming is funded by charitable donations. With 1,730 patients and their families seeking care each day through our hospitals and clinics, every gift can make a large impact. Make a donation today by calling the Hennepin Health Foundation at 612-873-6090. Use our online donation page and write Inspire Arts in the 'Other' designated drop down line. 

How to Participate

  • Purchase art supplies from our Dickblick wishlist
  • Share ideas and artist referrals with the Arts Program Coordinator by emailing [email protected]
  • Volunteer for Inspire Arts through Volunteer Services
  • Sponsor a visual artwork by a local artist to be displayed in the hospital
  • Purchase a piece of artwork from one of our exhibits
  • Make a tax-deductible donation that is designated for Inspire Arts programming on the Foundation donation page.
  • Donate funds to commission a special work in memory of a loved one
  • Artists may respond to periodic calls for art by mailing their resume, artist statement, and a CD of images (contact information below.)

Our Art Collection

The art collection at Hennepin Healthcare contains many wonderful and regionally important pieces.