Tidewater Arts Outreach music, arts and performing arts experiences are beneficial in many ways:
• They enrich the soul, stimulate the mind and promote wellness through the healing power of music and the arts,
• They allow our special needs clients to have a voice, a creative choice and an artistic outlet for self-expression,
• They create a sense of community and a source of inspiration for our artists and performers by providing them with opportunities to share their talents,
• They provide other volunteers the chance to contribute a variety of skills and resources that support our humanitarian services and increase the impact of donor contributions.
Further, the arts in healthcare settings:
• Help patients feel safe, comfortable and welcomed
• Reduce anxiety and the experience of pain
• People feel connected, heard and appreciated
• Help people be seen and understood as individuals, not as patients, numbers, or by their job descriptions or diseases
• Help to enhance the facility’s community relations and express its values
• Reduce staff stress; improves morale
• Enhance a sense of connection with the community
• Has the potential to help reduce staff turnover & attract quality staff
• Replace activities that can no longer be accomplished with meaningful activities that are appropriate and achievable
• Help staff connect culturally with patients, families and other staff members from diverse cultures
• Specific arts activities can ensure that people leave a legacy, and create a lasting expression
• While the arts cannot cure, they can help heal
• Provide additional, profound communications opportunities for verbal and non-verbal participants
Music has been shown to preserve cognitive skills in clients with dementia. Jazz dance has been shown to have positive effects on cognition, mood and balance in older adults. Study after study shows there are far-reaching benefits to having regular, stimulating programs and social experiences in long-term care, and that the arts are an important tool to help people with special needs engage and thrive.
“I Remember Better When I Paint” is a beautiful video depicting the benefits of engaging in visual arts experiences for persons with Alzheimer’s.