Ziggy's Art Bus brings color to families of sick children

There’s a mobile art studio cruising around town, bringing sick children and their families a chance to get away from it all.

It’s called Ziggy’s Art Bus, and the concept rolled into the Twin Cities metro just a few months ago.

It may be a small space, but big things are going on inside Ziggy’s Art Bus as the young people on board are able to take a breath and just be kids for a little while 

Artistic minds need a creative place to work, and you won’t find a more welcoming place than Ziggy’s Art Bus.

“I love Ziggy’s Art Bus. I could live in this,” said artist Arianna Howson. 

The bus has been converted to an art studio and makes stops each Tuesday at Crescent Cove and the Ronald McDonald House. It’s a chance for kids and families dealing with serious illnesses to get away for a moment. Plus, parents get to see their children be kids again.

“The girls don’t have to worry about, ‘Is my sister going to be OK,’ [and] Mackenzie doesn’t have to worry about, ‘Is someone going to come draw my blood, am I going to hurt.’ She can just be a kid,” said Ann Wynegar.

That’s exactly what founder Gina Zaffarano envisioned when she came up with the concept.  

“It becomes a community, just being able to support one another and celebrate having this moment in time where they can stop and be children,” Zaffarano said.

Named after Gina’s dog, Ziggy’s Art Bus can adapt to all artists.

“It had to be multi-faceted. We knew we had to be able to bring the furniture outside, we had to be able to reconfigure it based on the needs of the child or families that come in,” she said. 

So far, it’s been life-changing for the volunteers. 

“Every time you’re in it, it reminds you of what’s important,” said volunteer Erica Marsden. 

Zaffarano said she wants to see Ziggy’s Art Bus grow, to see more buses in the fleet around Minneapolis, around the state and even around the country so more families and kids can enjoy the art experience.

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