About ArtCares for Kids

About ArtCares for Kids

ArtCares for Kids is a Miami-based nonprofit organization serving children in medical settings dealing with psychological, emotional and physical challenges. Our dedicated volunteers understand the benefits of nurturing children through the creative process of art and strive to provide art as a therapeutic and healing tool.

Children with cancer describe the effects of treatment as exhausting and weakening. Chemotherapy makes them feel sad, tired, and scared, taking a tremendous toll, not only on their physical, but their emotional lives.

“Art provides a nonverbal way for children to express their feelings and traumas. It helps them assert their individuality and prevent their illness from defining who they are,” says Clinical Art Therapist Liz Portuondo, who along with Tania Quintana and Dorian Rosen, founded ArtCares for Kids in 2010 to help children in the Pediatric Oncology and Transplant units at Jackson Memorial’s Holtz Children Hospital.

Using different mediums and art directives, ArtCares volunteers create a positive environment where children affected by challenging, traumatic experiences, and/or life-threatening diseases, can safely express their feelings about the world around them, and provide a welcome diversion from their surroundings. Through ArtCares, the children have the opportunity to be transported, even if only temporarily, from a place of darkness and chaos to a place of beauty and color. This feeling of wellness empowers the child and in turn has a residual effect.

The positive impact of art on children is well documented within the medical community. After immersion in a world of color and creativity, the children leave the art room renourished and recharged, helping them cope with their many challenges.

Make a Donation

ArtCares for Kids invites you to delight everyone on your list by giving a donation in their name, and making a difference in the life of a child living with cancer. Donations to ArtCares for Kids can be made in any denomination through the Key Biscayne Community Foundation’s secure PayPal donation portal.

Become a Volunteer

ArtCares for Kids relies on our fantastic group of volunteers, without whom it would be impossible to reach so many children every week. The ArtCares volunteers meet weekly to create art projects with the children of the Pediatric Oncology and Hematology Units of the Holtz Children’s Hospital and Baptist Children Hospital.

Donate Art Supplies

ArtCares for Kids happily accepts donated art supplies of all kinds, shapes, sizes, and colors! Art Supply donations should be in good condition, either new or gently used. We accept art & craft supplies of all kinds, including paint, paint brushes, crayons, canvases and anything that would encourage a child to get creative.

Buy Some ArtCares Gear

Shop for a cause & get your ArtCares gear today! Every purchase supports our efforts to nurture children through the creative process of art. By purchasing your ArtCares Gear, you are not simply financially supporting our efforts, you are also spreading the awareness of our cause.

Meet the ArtCares Team

Meet the team that leads ArtCares for Kids and brings children throughout Miami-Dade
county the therapeutic and healing tool of art.

Liz Portuondo

Founder of ArtCares for Kids

Liz Portuondo is a Clinical Art Therapist formally with Miami Dade County Public Schools. She also worked as an art therapist for the Children’s Bereavement Center & Enfamilia Art and Family Education Center.

She is also certified in special education and art and has over 15 years experience working with children, ages 2 to 21. Ms.Portuondo founded ArtCares for Kids in 2010, a non-profit organization comprised of volunteers, dedicated to assist pediatric inpatients within a medical setting, using art as a creative and healing outlet while they receive medical treatments such as chemotherapy. Liz is also a member of the Advisory Council for the Key Biscayne Women’s Giving Circle.

Dorian Rosen

Co-founder of ArtCares for Kids

A Co-Founder of the ArtCares for Kids organization, Dorian Rosen is also an artist, volunteer, and volunteer coordinator for ArtCares. She is also a Teen Group & Community Service Coordinator and would love to hear from you about donations to the Art on the Walls project and anyone interested in the Feature Artist Project.

“I am honored to be Volunteering with the Pediatric Patients at the Holtz Children’s Hospital, the experience has been a Blessing to my life. I Love sharing this opportunity to Express Compassion with other volunteers, as we help the patients cope by Creating Art!”

Tania Quintana

Co-founder of ArtCares for Kids

A native of Miami, FL , Tania has been an integral part of ArtCares for Kids since its inception. She initiated the contributions of local artists and students from Miami-Dade College to transform and enhance the hospital walls. She is an active community volunteer in numerous organizations such as the Children’s Home Society, Amigos Together for Kids, and St. Vincent de Paul Society.

She has also served as the PTA president and board member of St. Patrick’s Parish School in Miami Beach, and is currently the secretary of the executive board for the New World School of the Arts.

Viviana Brown

Public Relations Coordinator

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Viviana has been living in Miami since 1980. She graduated from the University of Miami in 1987 with a Master’s degree in English and a Bachelor in Foreign Languages.

She has been volunteering at ArtCares for Kids since 2011, enjoying the immense joy the interaction with the children at Holtz and Baptist Hospitals brings to her daily life.

Mary Munn

Student Project Coordinator

Mary Munn is an art teacher at Gulliver Prep with 18 years of experience working with children from ages five to eighteen. She completed her MS in Art Education at FIU and is an active member of the National Art Educators Association. She is also the founding sponsor of Gulliver Prep’s chapter of the National Art Honor Society.

As a teacher, she explores and implements ideas to inspire children to discover their creative voice through their art and, with students from the NAHS, has participated in public service art projects within the local community. As student project coordinator at ArtCares, she has been able to provide her students with a conduit to reach into the community and help children discover the healing power of art.

Barbara Toland

Public Relations & Special Projects

Originally from New York, Barbara attended University of Miami and received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in marketing. She has been a dedicated ArtCares volunteer since 2011, contributing creative ideas and energy to the organization.

“I have been so inspired by the children who create wonderful works of art. They always have smiles on their faces despite their medical challenges. Nothing makes me happier than when the children leave with an armful of artwork which they proudly hang on the walls of their rooms.”

Clara Toro

Honorary Member

Clara Toro was born in Medellin, Colombia. After receiving a degree in Industrial Design from The Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, she moved to Montreal, where she enrolled in a program of Sciences de L’Amenagement (Environmental sciences) at the University of Montreal. Clara also attended Pratt Institute after moving to New York City, where she finished the courses of her master’s program.

Clara has worked as a teacher for almost 15 years. She holds an Elementary Montessori teaching certificate, a K-12 Art teacher certificate, and a K-6 Elementary certificate from the State of Florida. Currently, she volunteers at Jackson Memorial Hospital, working with children in the Oncology /Hematology unit. Clara is also the president of The Guild of Florida Grand Opera, a board member of Florida Grand Opera, and board member of Arts for Learning. Clara is married and has two children.