I saw this video from Sketch Toronto’s Pinterest:
Tl;dw? Lincoln Hospital started a program where artists can earn $40 worth of health care for every hour of art they put in to the hospital – be it a mural, or teaching children, or acting.
There’s a family story about my grandfather’s friend. My grandfather worked as a doctor in Toronto for most of his career. His friend practiced up north, where hospitals and doctors were few and far between. Sometimes his patients didn’t have health care, or didn’t have the money for his services, but he would accept art as payment. He amassed a healthy amount of paintings from from artists that belonged to this… group of seven… Canadian painters. They weren’t famous when they bartered health care for painting, but they ended up being fairly well known.
I love that this hospital is offering medical support in return for art. I’ve been known to trade my artistic abilities for a beer or two myself in special situations. $40/hour isn’t a bad valuation either. That being said, I’m not sure how much health care you get for $40 in the States (dear OHIP, never leave me). But the concept that a hospital can see value in something other than the almighty dollar (I’m being unfair – most of what I know about hospitals I know from Nurse Jackie, or similar shows where patients need to prove financial worth before receiving attention) gives me the warm fuzzies.
You know, if the TTC ever lets me trade hours working on a mural for Metropasses or Canadian banks decide to accept my art in lieu of mortgage payments, I think things would be pretty awesome.
Until then, good on you Lincoln Hospital!