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Today, Second Lady Karen Pence traveled to North Texas where she visited the Children’s Health Music Therapy Program at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas and The Art Station in Fort Worth.

Upon arrival, Mrs. Pence met with The Art Station founder, Jane Avila, who provided an overview of The Art Station. She also provided insight about the need for community-based programs to serve a broader range of clients and to collaborate with other social service and mental health organizations.

The Art Station is a community-based nonprofit art therapy organization, providing individual and group art therapy for children, teens and adults facing many different life challenges such as depression and other mental health issues, behavioral problems, relationship issues, developmental delays, trauma, grief & loss and chronic illnesses. There are eight art therapists on staff with additional therapists pursuing art therapy credentials.

Then, Mrs. Pence observed an art therapy session for a group called Women in Transition.  In this group, participants deal with issues facing women such as assertiveness in relationships, empowerment, setting boundaries, positive self-image, life transitions and daily life stressors through a variety of creative processes. In this session, they reflected on their life transitions through altered book art. Following the client group session, Mrs. Pence participated in a roundtable discussion with The Art Station’s therapists about their work with a variety of clients and venues in the community. For more information about The Art Station, visit

Following the visit at The Art Station, the Second Lady visited Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. Upon arrival, hospital staff members provided Mrs. Pence with an overview of the music therapy program. Then, she observed a music therapy session with patients.

Music therapists play an important role in helping to calm a child’s fear and anxiety, allowing patients to express their feelings. Music reduces a patient’s level of pain, as well as address cognitive, social, emotional, spiritual, physical and developmental needs. The therapists in the Children’s Health Music Therapy program are credentialed professionals trained in music theory, performance, child growth and development, psychology, anatomy and physiology. The therapists are proficient in a variety of instruments, including guitar, keyboard, percussion instruments, voice, and more.

To stay updated on the Second Lady’s art therapy program visits and stories shared about the life changing treatment, follow the Second Lady’s Blog Page. To stay updated on her events, follow her on Twitter at, @SecondLady.

About Art Therapy

Second Lady Karen Pence chose one initiative to champion, and it is art therapy. She calls her initiative, Art Therapy: Healing with the HeART.  According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship. Professional art therapists who are experts in human development, psychological, and counseling theories and techniques facilitate Art therapy. For more information about the art therapy profession, visit