Our Response to COVID-19
Art Therapy Studio (ATS) has made health policies consistent with CDC guidelines for participating in our programs to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. However, because COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is spread mainly from person-to-person contact, ATS cannot guarantee that its participants, volunteers, partners, or others in attendance will not become infected with COVID-19.
We ask that anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home and not come into our offices or attend our programs. If you come in and are discovered to have symptoms similar to COVID-19, you will be asked to leave. If you are a client-artist you will be asked to not return until you are: 1.) able to provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test (regardless of vaccination status or if your symptoms have subsided) OR 2.) at least 2 weeks have passed since you first started experiencing symptoms or from when you were sent home.
We work with a variety of individuals who are children or may be immunocompromised and want to keep COVID-19 (and other illnesses) controlled as best we can. Negative COVID-19 tests should be sent to Clinical Director Cheryl Pete at email@example.com or mailed to us at Art Therapy Studio, Attn: Cheryl Pete, 12200 Fairhill Road, Cleveland, OH 44120 for approval before being permitted to return to the Studio prior to the 2-week quarantine period.
As was the case for every organization in 2020, Art Therapy Studio worked to respond to COVID-19 and determine the best way we could support our local community. As a result of the State lockdown and the risk of spreading the virus, ATS has suspended our in-person art therapy sessions for much of 2020.
We realized early on that social distancing associated with COVID-19 significantly challenged our ability to serve our community and the artists with special needs, who rely upon weekly art therapy for their well-being.
ATS’ clinical and administrative staff identified alternative means of delivering our services remotely to anyone who needed them through distance art therapy sessions. The switch from art therapy in the studio and onsite throughout our region, to remote interactions required considerable technical infrastructure capacity-building.
The mental health ramifications of COVID-19 and the impact of social distancing continue to have negative short- and long-term effects on our community, so we continue to think creatively about ways to be present in the lives of our artists and reach new audiences in our community through online experiences. Based on data collected by our therapists during this initial months of the pandemic, ATS developed a strategy to continue to provide virtual outreach as part of our overall programming once the COVID-19 crisis abates. As these initiatives take shape, we will share news via email, our website, and through social media. If you don’t already follow ATS on Facebook and Instagram, now is a great time to connect with us.
We remain committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our artists and thank you for your ongoing support of Art Therapy Studio’s mission to enhance individuals’ quality of life through therapeutic art.
#ExpressiveArtThursday at Home Edition
Between 2020 and 2021 Art Therapy Studio created a series of art tasks people could follow along with at home to maintain mindfulness. The idea was to provide viewers with an artistic outlet to focus inward while the pandemic raged on and the relentless 24-hour news cycle became overwhelming for some. To check out past #ExpressiveArtThursday’s visit our Facebook Page or our YouTube Channel.
Blick Art Materials Donation
Art Therapy Studio also responded to the COVID-19 crisis by launching a distance art therapy program for our artists and community members with the help of the community and Blick Art Materials in Cleveland Heights, who generously donated art supply kits that participants could use at home during therapy sessions. This was an incredible gift and we were delighted to be able to share these kits with our artists in need during this trying time.
It costs $10 to package and mail one of the Blick kits to an artist in need, and every donation helped us reach our goal of sending out 100 kits. This is a perfect example of your contributions having a direct impact on the lives of those struggling to cope during the COVID-19 crisis.