Princess Delphine has shared her name with a cultural fund to support arts in health care, with the creation of the Princess Delphine of Saxe-Coburg Fund.
Created by the Ghent University Hospital, Princess Delphine’s fund will promote the healing power of art and will support initiatives like “scientific research into the impact of art in healthcare, training and awareness-raising initiatives about art in healthcare, workshops, concerts, lectures…in collaboration with external partners in the arts…” as well as “infrastructural projects such as the artistic design of multipurpose spaces, purchase and rental of equipment for workshops, artworks,” and “the development or purchase of software to enable artistic initiatives,” the Hospital’s website explains.
Princess Delphine will also serve as the fund’s honorary chairman. In a statement on the Hospital’s website, the new Belgian Princess said, “’It is a great pleasure for me to give my name to this fund. As an artist, I feel the power of art every day. It touches people in the depths of their being. I am convinced that we should approach patients as people who can still be affected by art. Any form of art can strengthen you as a patient and distract you from the stressful experience you go through in the hospital.”
“Princess Delphine is an artist for whom communication and love are very important,” said Professor Tessa Kerre. “She stands for warmth and human contact. She also says that art has a therapeutic effect. So she is the right person in the right place. She represents the message we want to convey in her art.”
Kerre added, “Art can play a role in the healing process. The bond between patient and care provider can be strengthened through art and culture. When you, as a doctor, visit a patient who is reading a book, it can be nice to talk about it.
“Some people also make drawings or paintings during their admission. Everyone is looking for a way to fill up their time in the hospital. Art and culture are often given a place there. By talking about art together, you can make a connection through a passion and talk about something other than the disease.”