Leslie, Lisa Marie, Emily and I have now moved into the office of the Expressive Therapy Center. The light coming in through the atrium roof makes even the worst northern Ohio day bright and cheery. The blues and greens painted around the space make it peaceful and serene. It is wonderful to be here.
For many, this has been a long journey that started about 8 years ago when former patient Lauren Gartner (of the Lauren Gartner Foundation) and her best friend, Mattie Straughn, used their creativity to help cope with Lauren’s illness. This inspired their families, a visionary doctor, and a supportive hospital administration and community to create this beautiful therapeutic arts and healing space. It has taken a village to create the space, and oh what a village it is. Akron Children’s Hospital staff as well as the city of Akron can be very proud of this wonderful accomplishment and unique treasure.
The storage units for the center have just arrived. The last bucket of paint was removed this morning. A few ladders are left so the lighting can be tweaked. We expect the piano to arrive in the next couple of weeks, if not sooner. We will be getting more music and art supplies to fill the new cabinets. There are some other odds and ends that need to be addressed but it looks like we will be open soon.
Thanks everyone for being so forward thinking. Thanks for your patience during construction. Thanks to all those who played a part in the construction of this beautiful space. Thanks for the financial support and belief in the healing value of the arts. And thanks so much for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this remarkable project.