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Society for the Arts in Healthcare
2437 15th St. NWWashington, DC 20009
Telephone: 202-299-9770Fax: 202-299-9887
Humor is Her Weapon of Choice Against Pain
Fran Di Giacomo, who suffers from ovarian cancer, has gone through 21 operations, seven years on chemotherapy, and lost her brother and mother to cancer. Despite having to take numerous medications, and still being in severe pain, Di Giacomo uses humor and art to subside her pain. Di Giacomo has turned her suffering into humor by writing the book "I'd Rather do Chemo Than Clean Out the Garage: Choosing Laughter Over Tears," which includes a section entitled "You Know You're on Chemo If" "You get up in the morning and your hair doesn't."
SouthBendTribune.com, September 20, 2006MORE>
Music Lessons Help Young Child Memories
A Canadian study being published in the online edition of the journal Brain found that children who took music lessons for a year received higher scores in memory tests than students who did not take music lessons. Researchers studied and took measurements of children between four and six years old. Research showed that children who took music lessons scored higher in memory tests on harmonies, rhythms and melodies, and in general memory tests, including literacy, mathematics, and IQ.
Yahoo News, September 20, 2006MORE>
Wind and Water Colors: Healing Through Art
Twenty six artists from Hancock County, Mississippi, one of the best art towns in the United States according to USA Today, are coming together to exhibit their work after relocating and rebuilding due to hurricane Katrina. The traveling exhibit has helped artists, like Elizabeth Schafer who lost 200 pieces of her art in the storm, start creating again. Schafer's paintings of her reaction to hurricane Katrina's effects derive from blues and gospel music heard on the streets of New Orleans. Rome News Tribune, September 17, 2006MORE>
African Talking Drums for Healing
Edward Kabuye, the founder of the Talking Drums of Africa, has made it his mission to help heal people suffering from Uganda's horrific past under the rule of Idi Amin, and to address current issues in Africa. Kabuye described how the drums help heal when he said, "Drums are close to our spiritual life, and when the African drumbeats start, most people are quick to note that the whole atmosphere changes. One's heavy spirit can be lifted." Society, September 17, 2006MORE>
College Offers Music Therapy
Converse College started its undergraduate music therapy program this fall. The degree takes four and a half years to finish, and requires music therapy students to complete core classes, become adept in piano, voice, and guitar, and complete clinical training with the S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind, and special education students in Spartanburg School district. Elizabeth York, an associate professor of music therapy at Converse College commented on the importance of music therapy when she said, "It's interesting because you can use music in a neonatal-intensive care unit for tiny babies and on the other side of one's lifespan, music therapy is used for hospice care and Alzheimer's patients." GoUpstate.com, September 17, 2006MORE>
In Paintings, a Message: "I'm Still Here"
The Hearthstone Alzheimer Care program, run in Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut, helps patients suffering from Alzheimer's express their emotions, have a better sense of control, and even recall a part of their past. Paul Raia, director of patient care and family support for the Alzheimer's Association chapter in Massachusetts said, "Alzheimer's distorts reality in so many ways, but the art pieces all have definite structure. You don't see the same level of disorientation in their artwork that you would in their cognitive ability."
The Boston Globe, September 17, 2006MORE>
Helping the Developmentally Disabled
People suffering from developmental disabilities are able create their own artwork on a weekly basis, and display it in the "Black, White and Red (Read) All Over show" at St. Peters Community and Arts Center. Tracy Higgs, who teaches the program said, "Participants learn how the arts can enhance their lies from a creative, leisure and social perspective. Participants also gain a sense of accomplishment and connection to the community arts environment." STLtoday.com, September 14, 2006MORE>
With Courage, Hope and Color National Exhibit of Art by People with Epilepsy on View in Salisbury
On the Eastern Shore in Salisbury, Maryland, a show entitled, "Expressions of Courage: Through the Years," made possible in part by the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, will feature artwork created by people suffering from epilepsy. There will also be a diary from each artist describing their experiences with epilepsy. Dr. Jose Balea, director of public affairs of the Epilepsy Association of the Eastern Shore said, "The inspirational artwork focuses on the positive contributions of individuals with the disorder and demonstrates the positive role art plays in the healing process in people's lives." The Daily Times, September 10, 2006MORE>
Art Therapy a Creative Solution for Senegalese Patients
Senegal 's two-year-old art therapy program is the first of its kind in the country. The program brings together professional artists and people with mental disabilities every afternoon featuring a different professional artist. Due to the workshops, patients have created pieces good enough to be shown in Dakar's 2006 bi-annual art exhibition. Dr. Cao, creator of the program, says that whether patients are cured, or simply just take pleasure in the therapy, that the work they produce may even change their status in society. NewsVOA.com, September 7, 2006MORE>
Shapes and Colors: Special Education Earns Extra Credit from the Fanciful Vision of Michael Graves
St. Coletta Special Education Public Charter School, in Washington, D.C. is unique both inside and out. Besides the whimsical architecture and bright colors, the school also has studios for art and music, and a "sensory" room that uses lights, colors, and sounds to stimulate students. After fighting hard against opposition to building the school, students and parents alike are ecstatic. Doreen Hodges, whose son has Down syndrome said, "It's so beautiful and you could just feel the love in the building. You never thought anything like that was ever going to be available to kids like this in D.C." Washington Post, September 6, 2006MORE>
Art Therapy for the Therapists
Faisal Mamsa, a Sioux Falls doctor, has taken up painting again after putting it on the shelf for 20 years. In treating patients with borderline personality disorders, Mamsa found it extremely therapeutic to paint. He said, "All these paintings depict the times I have felt helpless and could not do anything about it." Besides using his art as therapy, Mamsa also uses it as a way to describe the disorder to other people, and dispel the stigmas surrounding the disorder." KELOLand.com, September 5, 2006MORE>
Art Therapy Can Reduce Pain and Anxiety in Cancer Patients
A study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found that art therapy can reduce tiredness, depression, anxiety, lack of appetite, and other side effects of pain after only an hour long art therapy session. The four-month long study found that art therapy can be a delightful distraction from their pain, along with a tool used to explore deeper psychological issues, and help less verbal patients express their emotions. NewsTarget.com, August 25, 2006MORE>
Health: Art Therapy Touches Lives at Runnells
The Runnells Specialized Hospital in New Jersey has put a unique spin on their activities therapy program, "Art of The Masters." In each session senior citizens, ranging from perfectly self-sufficient and active to suffering from Alzheimer's, learn about an artist and then create a piece of work that looks similar to one they learned about. They use various mediums including pastels, watercolor, wire, paint, and paper collage. Devine Media Enterprises, August 23, 2006MORE>