Emily Cooper Welty Expressive Therapy Center

Contact Us: 330-543-4909
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Akron Children’s Emily Cooper Welty Expressive Therapy Center is the only facility in northeast Ohio designed for patients, families, staff and the community to receive holistic healing through the arts. Read More...

Cole-Robinette Jessica

Gaither Sarah
Sarah Gaither, MT-BC
Music Therapy Coordinator

No photo available
Julie Mohney
Office Coordinator

Pittner Jody
Jody Pittner, MA, LPC, ATR
Art Therapy Coordinator

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Meet Our Patients



Expressive Therapy - Overview

Contact Us:  330-543-4909
Hours:  Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The Emily Cooper Welty Expressive Therapy Center at Akron Children’s Hospital is a 3,000 square-foot, colorful, sky-lit space where children, their families and others can use the creative arts to deal with illness, cope with emotions and find comfort. It is staffed by art and music therapists trained to address psychosocial and physiological concerns.

Treatment goals include: 

  • Reducing pain perception and anxiety
  • Relaxation training and stress management
  • Social or intellectual stimulation
  • Promotion of self expression
  • Sensory-environmental stimulation
  • Addressing speech loss and other communication barriers
  • Opportunities for choice and control
  • Pain and symptom management   
  • Support during difficult procedures

Named for Emily Cooper Welty, in honor of her $1.2 million donation, the expressive therapy center has received support from various organizations, including Panera Bread, Northern Ohio Golf Charities, the Akron Children’s Hospital Women’s Board, the Paul and Carol David Foundation, the Helen Brach Foundation, the Howard Atwood family, Eileen Burg, and Dr. Ron and Maureen Russ, among others.

Community Artist Opportunities

Local artists are encouraged to present their works at the center. Depending on the project, artists must submit a One-Time Artist Proposal or an Extended Artist Proposal to be considered for presentation.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers serve a very important role in what we do in the Expressive Therapy Center. We count on volunteers to visit floors and help bring patients to and from the Center to attend various activities, as well as to assist with therapeutic groups, do laundry, work events and clean supplies.

The center accepts applications through the Volunteer office. Applications can also be submitted online.

All volunteers must be high school graduates who are at least 18 years old. Contact the center directly for additional shadowing and project opportunities.

Wish List

The expressive therapy center also maintains a wish list of items that help ensure are continued creative support for the children served by Akron Children's Hospital. Contact the center to learn more about donating these and other items not on the list.


What To Expect

Located at Akron Children’s Hospital in downtown Akron, the Emily Cooper Welty Expressive Therapy Center provides a unique combination of creative staff, space and materials to promote healing among patients and families. Features include: 

  • A large work area with a variety of age-appropriate furniture
  • A comfortable sitting area with brightly-colored carpet
  • An art area equipped for drawing, painting, scrapbooking, printmaking, jewelry making, book making, sculpting and more
  • A grand piano
  • A private recording studio large enough to accommodate a hospital bed
  • Computers for mixing music and editing movies and photographs, adapted for children of all abilities
  • A music area packed with plenty of instruments, including keyboards, drums, tone chimes, flutes, whistles, guitars and more
  • A wireless sound system
  • A dance area with a ballet bar and mirror
  • Adjustable wall panels for privacy when needed
  • Large sinks for art preparation and cleanup
  • A magnetized white board for drawing and displaying art materials
  • A camera, projector, projection screen, green screen and Blu-Ray player for recording and displaying movies and other multi-media projects
  • A small stage area for performances or movie screenings

Other therapeutic tools include iPads®, high-definition camcorders and a resource library of songs and books.


Specialty Programs

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Emily Cooper Welty Expressive Therapy Center