Delaware Art Museum Helps Heal through the Arts 

The Arsht-Cannon Fund Supports Latino Arts Education Outreach 

The Delaware Art Museum is celebrating a $30,000 grant from the Arsht-Cannon Fund at the Delaware Community Foundation (DCF) to expand the reach of its Healing through the Arts program. The program delivers free art experiences through eight partners in greater Wilmington, with a focus on Latino-serving and cancer-serving organizations.

The idea for Healing through the Arts was sparked in 2017, when community members Vanesa Simon and Luisa Ortiz shared ideas about the role of creativity in healing. The Museum agreed that art helps people heal mentally, emotionally, and physically, and offered seed money to pilot three painting workshops and a community celebration for cancer patients.  

Since then, the Delaware Art Museum and Simon’s company, Mariposa Arts, have expanded the program to serve not only people experiencing cancer, but also people experiencing environmental trauma, including gun violence, social conflict, and adverse childhood experiences. By reaching beyond the Museum’s walls to provide experiences with art to those who need it most, the partners use the practice of artmaking to catalyze healing and build community.  

The Arsht-Cannon Fund grant is targeted toward the growth of community partnerships that will increase access to art experiences for the many Latinos who are confronting overwhelming levels of stress. 

“We are excited to support the Delaware Art Museum’s efforts to engage our Latino families in learning, expressing, and developing creative ways to manage feelings associated with mounting life challenges,” stated Christine Cannon, the Executive Director of the Arsht-Cannon Fund. “With linguistically- and culturally-designed experiences, many will feel welcomed, and their participation can open many opportunities.”  

“I find that looking at art, and talking about art, provides a different vehicle to reflect on your experiences,” says Vanesa Simon. “Participants come to the Museum, a place that doesn’t have anything to do with cancer. They look at beautiful art, or even challenging art, and see things in it they’ve never noticed before. They talk about their observations with a group of people that know what they are experiencing. Sometimes it isn’t about cancer, but they have space to talk about their lives through a different lens.”  

Healing through the Arts workshop content changes to reflect the needs of each new audience. The program has added grief drumming, watercolor, clay workshops, gallery tours, and holds workshops in the Museum’s labyrinth. 

In addition to the Arsht-Cannon Fund at DCF, this program is made possible by Incyte and Museum Council. This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on

About the Delaware Art Museum 

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the most comprehensive Pre-Raphaelite collection on display outside of the United Kingdom, and a growing collection of significant contemporary art. 

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.