Description & History

HAI provides cultural services to consumers with a broad range of needs. There are four departments in HAI designed to meet these needs. They are called Cultural Events Program, In-Facility Program, Prevention and Education Program, and Arts Workshop Program.

The Cultural Events Program (CEP)purchases bulk tickets for theater and sporting events in order to make available steeply reduced group tickets to the entire community. CEP also operates three buses that are designed to accommodate mostly wheelchairs and stretchers, in order to transport folks with physical disabilities and the frail elderly to events. In addition, CEP secures prime seating at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park events for HAI's physically disabled and frail elderly constituencies. Lastly, CEP's program, called Describe, is a translation service available to blind theater patrons. Volunteers narrate what is happening on the stage to patrons through headphones.

The In-Facility Program had its beginning sending performing artists into mental hospitals, and it now serves consumers in schools, day programs, group homes, assisted living homes, prisons, and hospitals. In-Facility also oversees the Prevention Education Program, which sends teaching artists into medical facilities, prisons, and schools to conduct HIV/AIDS prevention workshops, youth leadership programs, peer education programs, and service learning programs, using drama and photography as tools for engagement, learning, well-being, and recovery.

The Arts Workshop Program sends visual and performing artists into schools, group homes, day programs, assisted living facilities, and hospitals to conduct hands-on workshops. One of the jewels of this program is the HAI Gallery, which exhibits the work of its "outsider" artists--artists who have mental illnesses and visit the HAI Saturday Studio to draw and paint each week as part of their therapeutic process. The space and supplies are provided by HAI.

About the organization

Hospital Audiences Inc. (HAI)

Tina Suszynski
Director of Communications
(212) 575-7675
David Sweeny
Executive Director
(212) 575-7676
Organization’s website: