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Executive Director Newsletter 2/16

Valentine’s Day brings to mind the many ways that love can be expressed. During this insane time, the comfort of healing love is particularly important. Since 2018, the Sound Rounds program has brought Peabody Institute musicians into patients’ rooms at Johns Hopkins Hospital to provide comfort and help relieve stress through music. While it was originally an in-person program, the pandemic-inspired switch to virtual visits has made it possible to reach a larger number of patients and staff, boosting morale during this very challenging year. A new video from Johns Hopkins Medicine describes the impact that Sound Rounds, a program of Peabody and the Johns Hopkins Medicine Department of Service Excellence and Office of Well-Being, continues to have.

And the arts clearly have a place in helping us through and beyond the pandemic. Research demonstrates that creative arts in healthcare interventions can contribute to the following positive outcomes when services are integrated into medical treatment and community prevention and wellness programs:

-Reduced lengths of hospital stays

-Decreased need for multiple medical visits

-Reduced reports of pain and anxiety related to illness and invasive treatment

-Increased self-esteem and reductions in stress

-Reduced healthcare-related infection rates

-Decreased need for use of sedatives during medical procedures

-Reduced levels of depression and improvements in quality of life

-Decreased use of medical interventions covered by Medicare among the aging

Courtesy of Americans for the Arts

Other loving expressions of the arts have been manifested for 35 years through the Magical Experiences Arts Company (MEAC). A self-described ‘arts serving’ organization, MEAC provides innovative and creative theater programming to special education schools and nursing homes. These interactive performances empower, inspire, and educate children, adolescents, and adults with severe multiple disabilities in a safe, nurturing environment. The organization’s primary goal is to help develop communication and self-expression skills. One can only imagine the challenge of managing this work with today’s restrictions. Having witnessed MEAC in action through their residency at the William S. Baer School, it is clear that their impact is deep and compelling.

The arts and humanities also offer meaningful opportunities to honor Black History Month. On Thursday, February 25, join Young Audiences at Blacktastic: A Children’s Festival of Black History & Culture - a FREE, arts-integrated celebration of Black history featuring engaging performances and workshops by teaching artists that support learning for students of all grade levels. Learn more and register here.

On Tuesday, February 23 at 8 pm, join the Baltimore Museum of Industry and the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum to hear from different voices at The AFRO, about how this Baltimore publication has shaped news coverage and public opinion since its founding in 1892, and the importance of diversity in media. This event is free, no registration required. Tune into the BMI’s Facebook page to access this program

My best,


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