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Color me happy: Art kits provide creative stress outlet for employees

A woman wearing a medical face mask and scrubs sits at a desk, holding a packet with colored pencils and coloring sheets.

Registered nurse Ashley Banks is game to try relaxing with an art kit provided by Center Stage Arts in Health.

Employees are coloring away their stress with arts kits provided by Center Stage Arts in Health, which provides arts programming to nourish well-being throughout Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine. Center Stage is a program of the Department of Humanities.

The art kits include a postcard with a message of gratitude and basic art supplies, with guidance for any level of artistic confidence, said Claire de Boer, founder of Center Stage Arts in Health. About half of the employees who stayed at the Hershey Lodge during the COVID-19 pandemic accepted the offer to take an art kit as a way to relax between shifts.

The art kits also have been delivered to staff of the Emergency Department and COVID unit. “We are receiving mounting requests for them from individual on-site staff members,” de Boer said. “We are working hard to keep up with the demand and are delighted that our employees are finding the simple art projects a helpful way to relax.”

For details, contact de Boer at

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