Sing for Hope Healing Arts, which brings bedside performances and creative workshops to nursing homes and healthcare sites, goes digital with the launch of Healing Arts Interactive (www.healingartsinteractive.org). Healing Arts Interactive will feature live, interactive performances by leading artists from Broadway, Lincoln Center, and the world’s top stages, available to anyone with internet access. All proceeds from the initiative go to support working artists and bring the arts to under-served communities at large.
Recent research has shown that, for the senior audience, art isn’t just a hobby or interest; for many, it’s a crucial part of their well-being. The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown have exacerbated the sense of loneliness and depression already felt among millions of older adults as they have been cut off from family and largely confined to their rooms or homes. Healing Arts Interactive will provide a vital service to residents of the nearly 31,000 nursing homes nationwide effectively locked down due to the virus, and will also benefit the 50+ million seniors living in their own homes. It directly addresses the dual challenges of reaching this fragile population, along with the growing need to support artists directly with income and performance opportunities while they are critically underemployed.
Famed soprano Renée Fleming, a leading arts and health advocate and Sing for Hope founding board member, said, “We are learning more every day about the positive potential of music for health and well-being. In these isolating times, delivering vibrant, engaging arts programming to our most vulnerable seniors could not be more critical.” Fleming spearheads a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and the National Endowment for the Arts to bring attention to the intersection of music, health, and neuroscience, and she has given presentations with scientists and practitioners around the world on the subject.
Healing Arts Interactive will present daily live, interactive performances by many of the world’s most gifted artists, with a robust calendar offering at least three events per day. Members will enjoy a wide variety of music, ranging from Broadway and jazz to classical, gospel, and world music, as well as museum tours, dance performances, readings, and so much more. Being interactive, the program allows members to speak to the performers, ask questions, and connect in a whole new way.
This personal access to a world of live art is affordably priced at $9.99 per month or $99 per year. Healing Arts Interactive is available on any device — phone, computer, tablet, or smart TV; no special software or apps are necessary. 100% of membership proceeds go directly to the artists, providing critical employment opportunities at a time when so many in the performing arts are underemployed.
“In a digital world, Sing for Hope is no longer bound by location or in-person access,” said Monica Yunus, Sing for Hope Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director. “Healing Arts Interactive enables us to significantly further our core mission of ‘Arts for All,’ reaching individuals around the nation and across the spectrum of independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care.”
“Healing Arts Interactive is a lifeline for so many, allowing us to connect audiences with arts programming, while providing employment for artists during this year when our stages have been dark,” added Camille Zamora, Sing for Hope Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director. “It serves to spread the power of community, mental stimulation, and emotional release that only the arts can provide.”
Artists and patrons alike are eager for Healing Arts Interactive.
“Sing for Hope and the Healing Arts Interactive has created a space for performers to share their gift and connect with our seniors in the most accessible way,” said Broadway artist Nathan Lucrezio, whose credits include Aladdin and Cinderella. “Whether it’s a movement class or a concert, this opportunity is changing the way the arts can impact our elderly and inspire us through the digital age.”
According to Cathy Rowe, DrPH, Coordinator of SOMA Two Towns for All Ages, “Sing for Hope has brought arts and entertainment into the homes of our older residents, helping to fight the isolation of COVID. Sing for Hope provided our first entree into online programming with movement class and weekly concerts. Because of their popularity, more and more of our residents have used technology to connect during the past year. We never could have provided such a range and depth of programs on our own.”
Unitex, the largest family-owned linen and uniform service provider to the healthcare industry in the U.S., has signed on as Founding Sponsor of Healing Arts Interactive. “We are excited to introduce this innovative new platform to the 300+ facilities we serve throughout the Northeast,” said David Potack, President of Unitex. “We care deeply about the residents that live in these facilities and the particularly trying time they have had during the current health crisis. We are proud to be partnering with HAI to help bring the arts to these underserved and isolated residents.”
Broadcast studio space for Healing Arts Interactive is generously provided by 28 Liberty, a Fosun International property in Lower Manhattan. Since 2016, Fosun has been a major supporter of Sing for Hope, including providing pro bono space for the Sing for Hope Pianos Studio.
Sing Hope and HAI are supported in part by the the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Sing for Hope has been instrumental in the healthcare community through its Healing Arts programming. For the past fifteen years, Healing Arts programs have aided healthcare staff in achieving their patients’ prescriptive therapeutic goals by creating a positive environment focused on reducing pain, helping patients express emotions and needs, and supporting caregiver wellness. Learn more and become a member at www.healingartsinteractive.org.