Wednesday, March 2, 2011

N.C. Arts Council Partners with Local Nonprofit, Arts For Life, to Bring Music to Patients

Musicians across North Carolina are a vital part of Arts For Life’s work to bring education, discovery, and joy to children and families facing serious illnesses. With funding from the North Carolina Arts Council, the nonprofit organization, Arts For Life, will continue to employ professional musicians in working with young patients at its chapter sites in North Carolina. Arts For Life’s Music Fellows teach guitar, drums, and songwriting to young patients at Charlotte’s Presbyterian Hospital, Asheville’s Mission Children’s Hospital, and Winston-Salem’s Brenner Children’s Hospital. Arts For Life Music Fellows teach both one-on-one lessons and group lessons at the hospital. Shy children who have never before participated in any support activities hear the beats, strums, and notes, and are lured out of their rooms. Their curiosity brings them to the groups, and the Fellows’ warmth, kindness, and skills as an educator keep the patients engaged for hours. With music, the Fellows spark a light inside the children and their parents, bringing life to an otherwise cold and stagnant environment. With help from the N.C. Arts Council, AFL’s Music Fellows transform the healthcare experience. The Music Fellowship program also provides much-needed job opportunities for musicians across the state. Through participation in the program, the Music Fellows discover the intricacies of effective teaching and they continue to gain an understanding of how to improve their communities through the arts.

“The support of our grants program by the General Assembly during these economically challenging times demonstrates the role the arts play in our economy and our quality of life,” said Mary B. Regan, executive director of the N.C. Arts Council.

More than 13.6 million people participated in N.C. Arts Council-funded projects last year; nearly 4.3 million were children. In 2009, Arts For Life provided visual art, creative writing and music lessons to over ­­­­4,500 young patients and families in need. Arts For Life (AFL) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting people facing serious illnesses and disabilities. By providing educational art programs, AFL enriches patients’ lives, nurtures their minds and spirits, and encourages positive healthcare experiences for children and their families.

For more information:

Elizabeth Messick

(336) 480-7906

Community Coordinator,

Arts For Life

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