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Profiles of Courage: Nitza Danieli

BY Kadesha Washington

Walking around the clinic, you’ll most likely hear an amusing yet familiar name – “Nitza Pizza.” As the director of The Alfano Family Arts in Medicine Studio (AIM), Nitza Danieli shares her passion for art with patient families. The Art Studio, one of the first of its kind in the country to bring creativity and play into a hospital clinical setting, encourages meaningful self-expression through painting, sculpture, building, and drawing and works as an integral part of a patient’s treatment and care.

“I love seeing patients running to the studio and wanting to stay even after their treatment is over,” said Nitza. “It’s been a joy to watch patient and family dynamics, everyone so full of creativity and joy. Even the doctors and nurses encourage their patients to join the table and share in the joy of art.”

When the clinic closed due to the pandemic, AIM found a way to bring creative art projects to patients in their homes. Every Friday, Nitza and AIM volunteers Ria, Amelia, and Ishaan, share art sessions that teach patients, siblings, and parents a fun and easy-to-do art project.

“Kids are still kids, and they need the power of art to heal,” Nitza said. “Working with other AIM artists to create videos helps us connect with them.”

Nitza admits that she misses being onsite and working with her little artists. However, creating these weekly art videos has helped her cope. “Thanks to Hope & Heroes and The Aflano Family for supporting my passion for keeping the connection with the children. Making our art videos is a joy, and working with our volunteers helps me manage my distancing reality.”

So thankful for Nizta and all the AIM volunteers as they keep our patient families active and inspired!


Catch the weekly AIM Virtual Art Sessions, every Friday on Instagram (@hopeandheroes) or watch the videos on YouTube. We encourage patient families to submit photos of completed art projects! Tag us at #HopeAndHeroes or send photos and videos to AIMNitza@gmail.com.

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