Two new offerings from Gifts of Art are a feast for the eyes—and ears.
GOA recently released a new coloring book and a lullaby CD called Sweet Dreams.
The Kaleidoscope Coloring Book features art by renowned kaleidoscope maker Charles Karadimos, cover art by internationally recognized kaleidoscopic quilt maker Paula Nadelstern, and designs by several U-M School of Art & Design students.
The word “kaleidoscope” literally means “beautiful form watcher.” Children and adults alike have loved to see what images emerge as they color in the designs.
And, this coloring book is more than just “busy work.” Since 2010 when GOA created its first coloring book, more than 30,000 books—each with a box of 24 crayons—have been given out to patients and families, providing an aesthetic diversion and helping combat the stress often associated with healthcare settings. The Kaleidoscope Coloring Book was made possible through a UMHS Fostering Innovation Grant (FIGs).
The Sweet Dreams CD features 15 lullabies from around the world sung and played by Gifts of Art bedside musicians, Mott music therapists, doctors and friends. It was funded by a gift from Concerts for a Cure, an international musical charity organization founded by acclaimed violin virtuoso Jourdan Urbach, who recently won the Jefferson Award for Public Service—considered the “Nobel Prize for Public Service”—at the age of 20.
Gifts of Art Director Elaine Sims says, “Sweet Dreams came about because GOA’s Bedside Music program is so successful—and the need is so great. Only about 38% of the patients referred by clinicians can be reached in any given day.
“The main reason is lack of musicians. We just don’t have enough musician time. Also, we’re receiving more requests for end of life patients and acute patients in intensive care who require longer visits.
“But with a CD, our patients, families and staff can hear the bedside music any time of the day or night.”
In Fiscal Year 2012, 8,523 patients and families were reached by bedside musicians. Of those, 3,392 visits took place directly at the bedside. The rest were in open areas such as pre-surgery, surgery observation, surgery waiting and psych units.
“We do projects like these because the arts are critical to the human condition,” Sims says. “The arts are a basic human survival need. They provide clues to social support systems and help us feel safe and cared for.
“Art at the Health System is meant to be a workhorse, not to just sit on the wall and look pretty. It helps take you back to better days, happier days. A color, a shape or an image may resonate with you and help ground you and maintain your sense of self – all very important in times of crisis.
“We do it for patients and families, but we also do it for staff. They need it, too,” Sims says.
You can listen to Sweet Dreams online, http://www.med.umich.edu/goa/sweetdreams.htm