In 2017, Central Louisiana Arts & Healthcare, Inc. will begin its 14th year of operations. Their mission is to bring innovative arts experiences into healthcare settings for patients, caregivers and staff. One of their major ongoing programs is called Lobby Arts. This program brings live performers into both CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital and Rapides Regional Medical Center to perform in lobbies and waiting areas for the enjoyment of both patients and staff. Live music, in the unconventional setting of a hospital, changes the entire mood and environment. Music creates a calmer and more welcoming atmosphere and this is one of the goals of healing arts. People are less anxious, people are calmer and the general mood becomes more positive.
Each month, Arts & Healthcare, Inc. posts a schedule of these musical performances on their website which can be found at www.artsandhealthcare.org. Pianist, Rodessa Metoyer plays piano once a month at the Cabrini Outpatient Center. Gladys Miller performs at the Cabrini Outpatient Center on Mountain Dulcimer once a month. Jane Oxenhandler and the Red River Dulcimer Ensemble play every month at the Cabrini Outpatient Center and they are often joined by the Arc Angel Choir from John Eskew Training Center under the direction of Caroline Voelker. The Gary Cathey Band performs in the Cabrini Outpatient Center every third Wednesday from 10 am – noon. Other performers including Greg Thompson, Tammy Hromadka, Nick Scalfano and Ashlynn Lanford and DC Sills share their talents when they can. All of these performances are free and open to the public.
“There’s just something about music — particularly live music — that excites and activates the body,” says Joanne Loewy, director of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine. Loewy’s work is part of a growing movement of music therapists and psychologists who are investigating the use of music in medicine to help patients dealing with pain, depression and possibly even Alzheimer’s disease. According to Loewy, “Music very much has a way of enhancing quality of life and can, in addition, promote recovery.”
Arts & Healthcare, Inc. is grateful to the talented musicians who share their artistic skills with our local hospitals to make a difference through music.
These programs are supported by grants from RoyOMartin and the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, as administered by the Arts Council of Central Louisiana. Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works.