University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Internship/Volunteer Program

What is the Art for Recovery Internship?

You will have an opportunity to encourage patients to express their creative spirit at a time when they are dealing with deep feelings. You will work both at the bedside, in waiting areas and in the outpatient infusion unit. You will be supervised by the Director of Art for Recovery. If you are interested, you may work in the Art for Recovery studio working on specific projects.

Who is Qualified to Participate?

If you are a student enrolled in fine arts, psychology or an expressive arts program, or if you are an artist, musician, writer/poet than you qualify. You must be psychologically aware (many patients are seriously ill), comfortable working with people who are very sick and may die, sensitive to the needs of the patients, be comfortable in a hospital setting. You must also have an awareness of art materials, be able to assess the artistic/writing ability of patients to find the best possible expression for them and provide a non-judgmental and safe environment.

What Do I Have to Do to Participate?

You must first contact the Director of Art for Recovery ( or Phone: 415.885.7221. You will be asked to attend a group interview and if you and the Director of Art for Recovery feel this is a good match, you will be asked to contact UCSF Volunteer Services ( 415.353.1673) where you will be interviewed, asked to get a TB test, proof of immunizations and attend a UCSF orientation, and you will also receive an identification badge. Once that is complete, Art for Recovery will hold an additional orientation which you must attend.

What is Required of the Internship?

You will be asked to volunteer about 4 hours per week. You may internship for a semester or for the entire year. You will be given art materials and asked to complete information on the patients you work with. You will also be required to attend a monthly workshop with the other interns facilitated by Art for Recovery. It will be important for you to create new projects and share them with the group and with the patients. It will be mandatory for you to follow all rules and regulations of UCSF.

Can I get University Credit?

Each student should contact the director of Art for Recovery individually regarding this issue.

What else do I need to know?

This internship will give you an opportunity to reconnect with your own creative spirit. The patients will be your teachers and you will learn from them as well as learn new things about yourself.