Children’s Healing Art Project just won a Totally Awesome Award for Brightest Class for Kids with Special Needs in Portland. We recently spoke to them about their experience as a business owner, the best advice they’ve ever received and more. Hear what they have to say below!


Children's Healing Art Project (CHAP)

Red Tricycle: Your community recently voted you “Brightest Class for Kids with Special Needs” – what do your customers value most about your business?
Children’s Healing Art Project: Children’s Healing Art Project’s mission is to bring the healing power of art to children + families facing medical challenges. CHAP Families appreciate coming to a place to make art where their children are recognized for their creativity and ingenuity- not by their disease, diagnosis, or disability.

RT: What do you want people to know about your business that they don’t already know?
CHAP: There are many ways to engage with CHAP! CHAP delivers in-hospital art experiences to children and families at OHSU five days a week, in addition to offering bi-monthly out-patient Art Clubs in our Sellwood studio to families experiencing medical challenges or disability. We also offer volunteering, in-service opportunities, Art Parties, and Summer Workshops to the public. If your child experiences medical challenges or disability, they may qualify for our free out-patient Art Club.

RT: How did your business get started and what was the motivation?
CHAP: Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP) was founded in 2006 by artist Frank Etxaniz. Frank’s original vision was to be with children being treated as in-patients for cancer at Portland’s children’s hospital, and to share the magic of art with them. Over the years our work has expanded to include other in-patient units at OHSU- Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, as well as pediatric out-patient waiting areas across the OHSU campus. We have expanded our reach by creating monthly art clubs at our studio, providing a place for children who have transitioned out of the hospital setting. We also host groups (such as patients from Shriners Hospital) in our studio. We further extend our mission through targeted outreach programs. We are the only organization in our area providing visual arts experiences on both an in-patient and out- patient basis to children. Through OHSU, we are able to serve children from all of Oregon, SW Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska and Northern California.

RT: Tell us, what do you start your morning with: 1. coffee 2. tea 3. mimosa 4. water 5. all of the above.
CHAP: Coffee + Tea!

RT: What is the most awesome thing a customer has ever done for you?
CHAP: Nothing is as sweet as receiving artwork from a child we’ve worked with :)

RT: What’s your secret superhero power as a business owner?
CHAP: Wearing many hats, all the time. We’re a small non-profit organization after all ;)


Check out their website here.


Photo Credit: Maxine Hartswick- CHAP Hospital Teaching Artist