Proceeds from each pair of Rialto Jean Project denim benefits Children's Hospital Los Angeles. RJP supports Children's Hospital Los Angeles' longstanding work incorporating art therapy to aid the healing process and benefit the lives of patients being treated at the hospital.
Art therapy at Children's Hospital Los Angeles is funded completely through philanthropic partners such as RJP. The Rialto Jean Project Endowment for Art Therapy at Children's Hospital Los Angeles will not only provide much-needed resources to aid the growth of art therapy but also will bring attention to Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
In 1991, the hospital founded the Mark Taper and Jonny Mercer Artists Program- a comprehensive, innovative, multidisciplinary effort to apply visual arts, music, dance and expressive art therapy to a pediatric medical setting. By combining the dynamic energy of local artists and performers with the specialized therapeutic training of registered and certified art therapists, this form of therapy helps patients and families express and address their thoughts and feelings regarding illness and hospitalization. In addition, art therapy programs have played a proven role in the healing of patients by helping alleviate pain, and accelerating recovery time.
"Art therapy provides the opportunity for the patient to be empowered and make choices about what they want to share through their artwork," says Nicole Albers, a Children's Hospital Art Therapist. "When I work with a patient for the first time, I explain 'sometimes it's hard to talk about what's going on in the hospital. There are a lot of adults here making decisions about what is best for you. Art Therapy gives you a way to express yourself in a different way. You get to be in charge of what we do, and you get to make all the choices.'"
The immediate goals of the RJP and Children's Hospital Los Angeles partnership include providing additional art therapy staff; giving isolated and long term patients an ability to communicate with others through the use of Skype and Facetime on iPads; providing MacBook Pro laptops for use in therapy sessions involving graphic illustration and design, music composition and more; and donating art supplies, Photoshop software, projectors and video cameras to the hospital.
These contributions to the hospital's art therapy program will help children express feelings they might not otherwise be willing to share with words. By creating their own images they depict their fears and anxieties, patients can release some of those negative feelings and focus on hope and optimism, benefitting their recovery.