NEWS | March 17, 2021

Pediatric patients shine at Creative Arts Festival (video)

Art, movies made by hospitalized children celebrated at drive-in theater event

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In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UC Davis Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department needed to reimagine how they would honor their patients and safely celebrate the third annual Creative Arts Festival this year. 

In previous years, the festival has been an in-person red carpet gala with patients and their families gathering to view a gallery of patient-created artwork and movies. UC Davis Children’s Hospital’s partnership with BayKids Studios brings creative filmmaking to hospitalized children to improve their morale, self-confidence and sense of hope. 

The team dreamed big and found a new venue: the West Wind Drive-In Theater in Sacramento. 

“Patients and their families were able to attend the festival and receive their awards from the safety of their cars. It was truly a magical night, from touring through a virtual gallery of patient-created artwork, to watching their amazing films on a big screen,” said art therapist Katie Lorain. 

Nearly 50 patients and their families attended, along with 45 staff members. The evening began with a virtual art gallery, highlighting 19 pieces of art created by hospitalized children. This was followed by a slideshow awards presentation and film screening of 17 patient-made films, facilitated by BayKids Studios. The team announced each film individually and presented an award to each filmmaker before the screening. The artists received a photo book of all of the artwork as an award and filmmakers received personalized Oscars called “The Greatest Davis Awards.” 

“Instead of clapping, artists were celebrated by honking horns and cheering from cars. The creativity of the artists and the support from the attendees filled the air, making us all feel like we were closer than we actually were, demonstrating how art really does bring people together,” Lorain said. 

Links to some of the films that were screened

Riley’s X-Wing Fighter – Riley Blum
Jessenia’s Adventure – Jessenia Muro
Paloma the Dog – Isabella Garabay
The People - Yazmyne Zamudio Owens
Stay with Me – Jasmin Schwab
My Trip of Radiation - Anna Vande Pol
My Life with Sickle Cell – Amie Sesay
Yoshi’s Adventure - Cadel Perdue
Back in Black – Mimi Hall
Avengers Endgame – August Wold
13 Corners – Bill Hobson
Charlotte’s Nail Show - Charlie Morales