Art therapy is a powerful tool for working with children who have special needs. It reduces their stress and anxiety, improves their self-esteem, and provides children who have difficulty expressing themselves in conventional ways with a nontraditional medium to communicate their thoughts and emotions. Sinai’s Paley-Mironov Art Therapy Program was established in 2012 by Steven and Laura Paley, and thanks to their generosity, it continues to enrich the lives of Sinai’s students.
Sinai’s annual Unique Inspirations Student Art Show has been sponsored by Bear Givers, a non-profit dedicated to empowering children with pediatric illnesses or special needs, since 2013, and it always has taken place in a gallery or event space. “When we started Bear Givers in 2009, Diane” — that’s Diane Lempert, the president of Bear Givers — “and I had the vision of empowering children and helping not only the children but the families of the children. The Sinai art show really epitomizes our vision,” said Joseph Sprung, founder and chairman of Bear Givers.
When Sinai moved to online learning in March, its art therapists continued to provide therapy over Zoom. When it became evident that an in-person art show would be impossible this year, they collected photographs of the students’ artwork in order to create a virtual art show.
Sinai’s 2020 Unique Inspirations Virtual Art Show is a 4½ minute video, showcasing the children’s powerful artwork with eye-opening narration by the art therapists on the power of art therapy. It is free and available to the public at www.sinaischools.org/artshow2020.