Discovery Arts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is celebrating it’s 25th year of service for hospitalized children who are undergoing treatment for cancer and other life threatening illness.
This year marks Discovery Art’s 25th year of service of providing Arts Adventure Programs to children who are in the hospital undergoing treatment for cancer, serious blood disorders or life threatening illness. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization was created in 1993 by a group of dedicated arts and entertainment industry professionals who began volunteering their time and talents to bring dance, music, drama and art to children during their hospital stay.
In celebration of their 25th anniversary Discovery Arts is promoting their “Circle of Friends” Partnership. “Circle of Friends” is a monthly donation of $25 that will ensure one child will receive a customized Bedside Adventure Kit, a Costume, and a Keepsake Photo, plus much more.
Discovery Arts now provides their programs to more than 3,500 critically ill children each year in six Southern California hospitals and in 2009 they began a “pilot program” for hospitalized children in Springfield, MO. Each week the dedicated “Cast & Crew” of Discovery Arts Staff and Volunteers bring a parade of fun, laughter and “Arts Adventures” for the children at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, Millers Children’s Hospital Long Beach, Jonathan Jaques Children’s Center at Millers, CHOC Children’s Hospital, Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center, CHOC at Mission and also at Mercy Children’s Hospital in Springfield, MO.
Discovery Arts was co-founded by President, Don Harper and Executive Director, Marilyn Clements. For the first several years, they worked informally with the children hospitalized at Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center at Millers Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Long Beach, California. Based on the success of their programs and the positive responses from the medical staff, the children and their families, Discovery Arts was formally incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 1998 with the mission of expanding the delivery of their “Arts Adventures” Programs to many more children in hospitals throughout Southern California.
All of Discovery Arts’ programs are offered free of charge for the hospitals, patients and their families. They rely on the generosity of individuals, monthly donors, corporations, private foundations, community partners, a committed circle of private donors, art supply manufacturers and an enthusiastic corps of volunteers, to help provide their “Arts Adventures” to these often forgotten children.
“We have found that these very sick children all share one wish...‘to be normal.’ Anything we can do to make their journey a little easier or a little brighter is our greatest wish. It is a privilege to serve these wonderful children and their families each and every week, all year long. We are truly honored to be a welcomed partner with our hospitals, medical staff, parents and the children,” states Marilyn Clements, Discovery Arts' Co-Founder and Executive Director, “25 years have gone quickly and we look forward to many more!”
Click here to Join Discovery Arts’ Circle of Friends
ABOUT DISCOVERY ARTS
Discovery Arts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that brings the healing power of the arts to children with cancer, serious blood disorders, and life threatening illness while they are in the hospital receiving treatment. Discovery Arts' mission is to insure that each child has the opportunity to forget about the obvious horrors and circumstance of cancer or life threatening illness. Discovery Arts began serving children in a small 14 bed unit at Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center at Millers. They now serve more than 3500 children and their families each year, providing nine programs in six southern California hospitals. Their first step out of California and into the nation, began in 2009 with a program at Mercy Children's Hospital in Springfield, Missouri.
For children who are too ill to participate in their group programs, a Discovery Arts crew member brings the magic directly to a child’s bedside for their very own Arts Adventure with a “Bedside Adventure Kit.” These custom made packaged kits are filled with a variety of age appropriate art materials and fun creative projects. Each and every child receives a Bedside Adventure Kit, additional kits are also provided to the hospitals for children to enjoy when Discovery Arts is not on site. Additionally, each time Discovery Arts arrives, every child receives a costume, that they get to keep, plus trophies, keepsake photos and much more.
Discovery Arts brings more than just a smile to children with cancer or life threatening illness. Their Arts Adventures give these precious children a chance to get out of bed, laugh, create, feel good about themselves, and for the moment, just be a child.
Don Harper, President and Co-Founder of Discovery Arts
Don Harper composes music for film, television and the stage. Don composed the score for Disney’s Lion King 1.5 DVD release and for the animated television series, The Legend of Tarzan. Mr. Harper’s work can also be heard in feature films such as G-Force, National Treasure & National Treasure 2, The Guardian, Texas Rangers, Armageddon and The Rock; in the TV film Houdini; and in the series The Magnificent Seven. An accomplished orchestrator and conductor, Harper has contributed to such films as Jack Frost, Twister, Speed and Disney’s animated feature, Tarzan. Don Harper also arranges, composes and produces music for live venues worldwide, including Sight & Sound Theatre’s musical production; Joseph, Tokyo DisneySea’s, Nighttime Halloween Parade and Disneyland’s fireworks spectacular Believe – There’s Magic in the Stars.
Marilyn Clements, Vice President, Executive Director, Co-founder of Discovery Arts
As Executive Director, Ms. Clements manages all day-to-day operations of the agency, as well as personally visiting the hospitals each week as one of the primary Discovery Arts Adventure artists. With more than forty years of professional experience, she has choreographed and directed numerous special events and theatrical productions that include Pope John Paul II’s visit to Los Angeles at the LA Memorial Coliseum, Radio City Music Hall's, "Magnificent Christmas Spectacular" in New York, The Joe Gibbs Special Event at Kennedy Center with an array of Celebrities that include Bob Hope and President and Mrs. Bush. She has worked extensively for the Walt Disney Company, and also choreographed for Disney at the N.A.R.M. Convention for the Disney Record and Video Divisions, to mention a few.
It's a Spooktacular time of year! Fall is here and children are getting excited for Halloween. Please consider Donating to our Annual Costume Drive.
Just imagine a really sick child and seeing their face light up when we present them with their very own costume, that they get to keep. We've seen miracle smiles, again and again, as a really sick child transforms themselves and transcends their circumstances. This is very important during treatment and it makes a big difference for children who are in the hospital.
We have found that children who are in the hospital really enjoy their costumes, they are a perfect way for them to rise above their illness to become a Pretty Pretty Princess or their favorite Superhero.
We are in need of costumes all year long, please consider supporting us by becoming a Costume Designer Partner. Your Partnership will provide 1,000 costumes for children in our participating hospitals. Due to health concerns we can only accept new costumes.
Our most requested costumes are Princesses for girls and Superhero's for boys.
To donate new costumes for our Annual Costume Drive
buy one and send it to us,
send us a gift card, or make a donation!
FUN FOR EVERYONE TIP:
Get in on the fun and host a costume drive on our behalf.
Call us for details (949) 454-8997, we'd love to hear from you!
We are happy to join in the choir to sing praises to Elia, Happy and Healthy Now!
"Elia struggled most of her life with repeated unexplained vomiting episodes that started when she was 3 years old. When she was five she was diagnosed with Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome. Episodes would happen every 8 weeks, give or take a couple of weeks at times, and would always end up with a trip to the ER or hospital admission due to its severity. She would throw up every 1/2 hour to every hour for 48 hours or longer, with intense stomach pains, and dehydration. Other than vomiting and stomach pains during each episode, she had no other symptoms, and her episodes would come without a warning and would stop as suddenly as it started.
In July of 2015, she went through what we thought was the worst episode yet. She was admitted to the hospital and by the 5th day test results showed that she was suffering from pancreatitis and complete intestinal blockage caused by an unknown cystic mass next to the her duodenum (first part of the small intestine). It was during surgery one week later that they discovered that she had a duodenal duplication cyst, a very rare congenital anomaly. They were able to partially excise the cyst, avoiding a more complicated surgery. It would take another two weeks for her to heal. The arts and crafts box [Bedside Adventure Kit] that Discovery Arts left for her kept her busy and helped take her mind off any pain or discomfort she was having. She also received a beautiful yellow fairy dress, wand, and wings when Discovery Arts visited the play room. While she could not wear the dress yet, she happily donned her wings every time she took a walk around the hospital floor. I am happy to say that she only had two more vomiting episodes after the surgery and is doing very well despite the unexplained bile duct dilatation she is now being monitored for."
~ Elia's Mom Fides
Read more to learn how the minimally invasive surgery performed at the Pediatric Surgical Center at Miller Children’s Hospital helped Elia recover. She is now back to being a child and doing the things she loves like singing in her church choir.
"Saw your post last that night with my daughter holding up all her yellow goodies. That was the funnest day she had at the playroom. She loved the arts and crafts and was so thrilled that there was a yellow dress that fit her. Yellow is her absolute favorite color, as you can tell. I will also never forget the spark in her eyes when she saw the bed side box you guys left for her in her room while she was in surgery. It was a lovely surprise. I just want to thank you for playing an awesome part in her healing. She is doing well today and this Christmas was able to sing a solo and be a live model in a life size art piece. Thank you for being a blessing to her!" ~ Fides
Dear Fides and Family,
Thank you so much for the lovely card. Your note warms our heart. Knowing that your daughter found some comfort during a very scary time in your lives is what keeps us motivated. Be well and God Bless!
With Heartfelt Thanks,
The Cast & Crew at Discovery Arts
6-year old Desi Cechin was diagnosed with Stage IV High Risk Neuroblastoma & began ongoing treatment on 4/23/14. She fought hard and very bravely. She won the battle on March 16, 2016.
Our prayers now are for her family, that they have the strength to carry on her legacy, that they find healing, and in time are able to come to terms with their greatest loss. This incredible little girl, with the love and support of her family, had a tremendous impact on her community. It's like her love and brightness allowed everyone to come together in love to rally for her. We were very honored to have been touched by Desi and to have followed her journey.
One thing that I would recommend that you take away from this post is the incredible strength of her family. Desi's mom Laura has shown such grace in sharing Desi's journey with the world.
There are so many healing aspects of knowing you are not alone in the fight to save your child. If are you are a parent that has lost a child to cancer I believe you might gain much healing from following Believing For Desi on facebook!
In Loving Memory and In Honor of all the children and families that we serve, especially to those we have had to say "Goodbye for Now" to, You make our mission that much more endearing for our entire Cast and Crew.
Please help us continue to deliver the healing gifts of imagination, fun and the important sense of normalcy to these brave children, all year long.
To donate new costumes for our Annual Costume Drive
buy one and send it to us,
send us a gift card,
or make a donation.
We are in need of costumes all year long, please consider supporting us by becoming a Costume Designer Partner. Your Partnership will provide 1,000 costumes for children in our participating hospitals.
“When you save a child’s life, you affect families, future generations, and everyone that child will influence over a lifetime. When you support a scientist, you affect not only the current work, but all the trainees, collaborators, and personnel connected to the work, and all their future studies that will follow over a lifetime.“
Here are a few ways you can help our mission of bringing joy a sigh of relief to children who are in the hospital undergoing treatment for cancer or other life threatening illness.
Win Prizes! Have Fun! Make a Difference!
September has 30 days and 30 Chances to gather $1 a day.
Take the 30/30 Challenge on your own or become a Team Leader!
Our spokesperson, Cathy Rigby, works tirelessly at raising awareness for our mission, which is an ongoing problem with ongoing needs. We are asking everyone to donate a 'Grateful Dollar’ in honor of every healthy child you know to help a sick child in the hospital.
Your generous Monthly Partnership will help a child in need of joy and laughter. Your support of just $15, or more, a month will help bring Arts Adventures to one child with cancer, serious blood disorder or life threatening illness. This is an ongoing service for an ongoing need. Your monthly support keeps us going, so we can continue to bring much needed relief to these special children who are facing the greatest fear of all.
Give back and help while doing everyday things like shopping and dining.
It's easy! And doesn't cost you extra money.
Connect with us and share with your friends!
Cathy Rigby hosts a day at CHOC and
Jonathan Jaques Children's Cancer Center at Miller Children's Hospital
Bringing the healing power of the arts to children who are in the hospital undergoing treatment for cancer or life-threatening illness.