PROJECT: MUSIC HEALS US is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide encouragement, education and healing through bringing high-quality live music performances and interactive programming to marginalized communities with limited ability to access it themselves, with a focus on elderly, disabled, rehabilitating, incarcerated, and homeless populations.
Now in its fifth season, PROJECT: MUSIC HEALS US has presented over 100 free classical music concerts in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice centers, retirement homes, food pantries, centers for individuals with disabilities, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters. Each season (September-May) includes a series of public ticketed concerts which aid in subsidizing the rest of our healing concerts.
We present formal chamber music and solo recital concerts featuring musicians from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Perlman Music Program, and more. The roster of musicians includes both up-and-coming artists of this generation as well as their performing artist mentors. Additionally, these concert evenings feature 45-minute pre-concert lectures, 15-minute pre-concert YOUNG ARTIST PERFORMANCES, and post-concert receptions with Q&A with the musicians.
We perform concerts for patients in nursing homes, hospitals, and hospices, as well as for those who are incarcerated in prisons and those staying in homeless shelters. These performances are shorter versions of the formal ticketed concerts with much more discussion and interaction with the audience.
In addition to generating funding for the healing concerts, the public ticketed concerts feature Young Artist Performances by local high school and college level musicians, creating a space for talented aspiring musicians to develop experience and connect with professional performing artists. In its 2018-2019 season, PMHU will also offer a full Young Artist Mentorship Program in which young musicians will join PMHU artists in healing and outreach concerts and workshops, providing them with the opportunity to learn first-hand what it means to use art for social good while forging musical mentorships that may last a lifetime.
In the last two years, Project: Music Heals Us has developed an innovative ‘outreach’ program that brings interactive, thoughtfully-conceived chamber music concerts to incarcerated communities. PMHU artists have performed in federal and state correctional institutions of all security levels in Connecticut, New York, and California. PMHU was awarded the ProMusicis 2017 Father Eugène Merlet Award for Community Service, supporting a week-long musical immersion pilot program at Danbury Federal Correctional Institution in January 2018. During this week, PMHU musicians presented an interactive, conversational, and educational musical program, and facilitated creative workshops to help inmates find positive emotional outlets through composing their own musical pieces. The resulting musical creations and responses of the inmates was extraordinary, and reinforced to all involved the power of music to bridge the divide between people of different cultures and circumstances.
PMHU’s 2018-2019 season of Prison Outreach Residencies will include four additional weeks of musical immersion programs in federal and state prisons.
In 2018-2019, PMHU will embark on a new year-long initiative called Novel Voices. Expanding on our belief in the importance of using art to bring comfort, connection, and empowerment to those living on the margins of our local communities, this project is designed to give voice and visibility, through music and film, to the lives and struggles of both local and international refugee communities, and to educate and encourage audiences and artists alike to become connected and involved. It will bring free, interactive concerts to displaced populations while increasing awareness of and raising support for both U.S.-based and international refugee-aid programs.
Throughout the 2018-2019 season, violist and PMHU founder Molly Carr, pianist Anna Petrova, composer Fernando Arroyo Lascurain, and filmmaker Lea Hjort will visit ten refugee communities in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East to perform music, engage with refugee audiences, and record their stories. These conversations will serve as the inspiration for an original musical work by Lascurain and a film by Hjort, documenting the year-long journey. The Carr-Petrova Duo will record and release Lascurain’s composition on an album entitled “Novel Voices,” and will premiere it alongside Hjort’s film in a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall in Fall 2019.
Click here for more information on this exciting project.
This season, PROJECT: MUSIC HEALS US will collaborate with Vista Life Innovations and artist Samantha Listorti to bring to Vista Life students a series of "paint-night" concerts that journey into the heart and mind of Ludwig von Beethoven. Through an exploration of his intimate string quartet repertoire and personal journals, each paint-night will feature one aspect of Beethoven's struggle with disability and the tools he drew upon to ultimately find personal triumph.