For Love and Art Project:
Bringing the Art Experience to Those with Limited Mobility!
Using Museum Art To Transform the Quality of Life for Seniors and Hospice since 2010!
As a hospice volunteer, I challenged Miss Billie to regain enough strength in her failing limbs to allow us to visit the city museum. Loving art as much as she did, she gave it her best effort, yet could not surmount the toll of her years.
So, like the mountain coming to the prophet, I began bringing pieces of the museum, gift shop postcards, to Miss Billie. And how she treasured them! Their power and beauty created a blessed respite from worldly trials and tribulations and celebration ensued!
Art has power that flows beyond mere understanding. Art enlivens and nourishes, stimulates and sustains-indeed, some call it food for the soul. Our museums simultaneously protect, display, explain, and share these gems with a grateful public.
Still, there are those individuals who have the desire but lack the mobility to visit our cultural repositories. Designed to work in harmony with museum outreach programs, community charities, and qualifying healthcare facilities, For Love & Art delivers the Art Experience to them.
In 2010, my passions for hospice volunteering and visiting museums merged into what soon became For Love & Art (FL&A), a 501(c)3 enterprise whose mission is to bring the Art Experience to those with limited mobility. Termed "therapeutic art," our service stimulates art appreciation while empowering caregivers to love people in creative and transformative ways. FL&A partners with an ever-expanding collegial collaboration of major museums around the world who have given us express permission to use artworks from their collections as engagement tools for seniors and hospice. Together, we reach populations at the grassroots that would otherwise have no chance to see - let alone formulate and express their opinions about - these beautiful works of art.
We showcase their treasures in two creative ways:
During our crowd-pleasing hour-long "Celebrating the Art Experience" program, trained FL&A volunteers showcase a partner museums' collection on a senior community's big-screen television while actively engaging audience members to express their thoughts and feelings. All points of view are considered, validated, and appreciated. Through sharing of experiences, fear, loneliness and boredom transform into Beauty, Joy, and Magic of Life for each participant.
Our Virtual Museum ArtBooks contain nearly 2,000 digitized artworks separated by museum. After being custom dedicated to donor specifications, these digital ArtBooks are endowed (usually as memorial gifts) to hospices and used by volunteers bedside. Given that one's experience while viewing art is based on 20% of what's there and 80% on one's creative and fertile imagination, people immediately tend to share about matters in their lives that are very important to them. This level of intimacy and trust between caregiver and those they serve is a necessary prerequisite for inducing meaningful end of life conversations. It supplants any fear of dying with gratitude for having lived a wonderful life.
Veterans FL&A deliver "Special Edition" Virtual Museum ArtBooks to VA Medical Centers that include mildly graphic images of war. Therapists use these as engagement tools during exposure therapy sessions for veterans coping with stress issues.
Kids FL&A endows Virtual Museum ArtBooks to children's hospitals. Quality of life professionals enjoy the creative aspects of sharing the Art Experience vs. the passivity of watching television. Kids learn a thing or two about art and museums, but mostly learn how to appreciate art and others' points of views.
We invite you to become part of our project, either as a volunteer or patron.
We're amassing an army of volunteers who eagerly visit seniors and hospice and use the great treasures of the world to elevate their quality of life mind, body, and soul. In many cases, we are introducing the wonder of art to people who have never considered its value for themselves and, in the process, reveal our shared humanity. Please consider volunteering now.
Patrons sustain our viability and sustainability so that we can continue to do what we do so well. Many endow Virtual Museum ArtBooks to eligible healthcare communities as memorial gifts to honor a loved one. Please consider donating now.
We invite you to take action and help fulfill the project in your community. You will heighten the quality of life for hundreds of individuals who otherwise would not be able to share in the Art Experience... For Love & Art.