Veterans’ Restoration Quarters provides housing and support for 240 homeless veterans. The VRQ is an excellent venue for our larger rock and jazz ensembles, as they have a stage, amplification equipment, and a staff member on hand to help run sound. The veterans especially enjoy classic rock and blues, and we have begun adding group guitar classes on-site for the residents.
Steadfast House provides homeless women and their children, many victims of domestic abuse, a fresh start and a place to heal. Women at Steadfast House attend life skills classes and learn how to build esteem, manage emotions such as depression and anger, develop and maintain sobriety through recovery, and practical skills that lead to jobs for life. Acoustic soloists and duets work best for this small space, and the women enjoy a wide variety of classic and contemporary folk and pop.
Care Partners Adult Day Care for aging and impaired adults program offers an affordable and safe alternative to staying home alone or entering a nursing home. The patients and staff are an encouraging, lively, and focused audience who enjoy singing along and dancing to bluegrass, country, and folk tunes.
At the Charles George VA Medical Center inpatient wards and Community Living Center, AMS provides music performances for long-term residents as well as short-term residents recovering from surgery. The VA is unique as a music site, as there are two upright pianos for our use in the dining halls. Residents enjoy solo piano recitals and small ensemble concerts.
Open Hearts Art Center is a day program for adults with disabilities, that promotes self-expression through arts education. In addition to two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms of art, Open Hearts also encourages expression through performing arts such as music, dance, movement, drama, and theater. Asheville Music School provides song-writing classes and performance opportunities for the artists interested in exploring their musical talents.
Montford Hall is a residential recovery program for teenage boys. Their holistic program provides 12-step meetings, individual and family counseling, academics, and recreational activities. In an effort to expand their arts programing, Montford Hall and Asheville Music School created an on-site music class, tailored to the residents’ interests and skills. Asheville Music School instructors lead a weekly youth ensemble, providing the residents with a healthy form of self-expression in a supportive environment.
The beauty of outreach is that everyone benefits.
As parent Rae Geoffrey said, “My daughter Grace has enjoyed all the places she’s played, but Steadfast House had a special impact. As important as it is for the recipients of the music, it is also life-changing for students to have the opportunity to play for and to interact with residents in these outreach locations. It reminds her of the amazing power of music to transcend boundaries, how to be compassionate and to take care of other people. Thank you for making this possible.”