Arts and Entertainment

Center Stage Arts in Health program awarded NEA grant

Program showcases creative and performing arts at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

The Center Stage Arts in Health program hires regional musicians to play in common areas of Hershey Medical Center, such as lobbies and waiting rooms. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

HERSHEY, Pa. — The Center Stage Arts in Health program at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine has received a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) award of $10,000 to build partnerships with the Harrisburg Symphony and Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz.

Center Stage enhances the healthcare experience by showcasing creative and performing arts that calm, nurture and inspire.

“Through this program, we seek artistic ways to nourish the well-being of individuals who come through our doors, whether they are patients, caregivers, employees or students,” said Claire de Boer, director of the Doctors Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine and Center Stage Arts in Health. “We are proud to accept this NEA award to further our mission.”

The NEA ArtWorks grant awarded to Center Stage Arts in Health supports a new program, titled “Striking a Chord,” in which duos and trios from the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra and Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz perform throughout Hershey Medical Center.

The award to Center Stage is part of $82 million in NEA grants to fund local arts projects across the country.

“The arts reflect the vision, energy and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said Jane Chu, NEA chairman. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as Center Stage which serve their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”

“When someone is facing a health challenge, it affects their whole person – their body, mind and spirit – and it also affects those who care about them,” said Dr. Craig Hillemeier, dean of Penn State College of Medicine, CEO of Penn State Health, and senior vice president for health affairs at Penn State University. “The arts play a vital role in our ability to provide a holistic approach to healing, and we appreciate the NEA’s support in enhancing the well-being of our patients and families through beautiful music.”

The NEA grant will also fund an innovative audience response survey conducted by the Penn State Survey Research Center. Center Stage staff will encourage visitors to share feedback via an electronic device. Results will be tabulated by the PSSRC and a summary of findings will be shared.

The Harrisburg Symphony debuted musicians in the main lobby of the hospital in January.

“Thanks to the Medical Center and the NEA for enabling this new partnership to take root,” said Music Director Stuart Malina. “We are very pleased to be able to take some of our musicians into the Medical Center setting to perform for patients, staff and visitors. We believe in the healing power of music and one can sense the effects when we perform there."

Read more about the healing nature of music and watch our Ask us Anything About video on music and medicine.

Visit the Center Stage calendar of events to attend any of the 15 NEA- funded performances held through May 2018.

Last Updated February 08, 2018