Iris Music Project, a nonprofit organization that reimagines residential and healthcare communities as spaces of creative exchange, respectfully requests a $1,000 Awesome grant to support in-room performances for hospice and bed bound older adults living at Mather Place (MP) in Wilmette, Il.
During the summer of 2023, two Chicago-based Iris musicians, cellist Kimberly Jeong and pianist Florence Mak, served as the musicians-in-residence for this community, spending 8-10 hours per week cultivating collaborative relationships with the older adults through both exciting communal events and intimate in-room performances. While living in a post-pandemic era, residents at MP continue to feel isolated, having fewer activities with which to engage them, furthering a decline in overall morale and quality of life. Residents who once took part in social events no longer felt comfortable to attend post-pandemic. As a result, Kimberly and Florence provided private concerts in the familiarity of their own space.
Kimberly and Florence remain committed to the bed bound older adults who have come to be their close friends, as music possesses the power to connect and heal souls. At the end of a visit, a resident remarked with tears in her eyes, "Thank you, thank you! As always, you have made my day, my week and my month!" Funding from The Awesome Foundation would enable them to continue personalized concerts for these residents. Over the course of 9 months throughout 2024, this project would directly reach approximately 54 older adults.
While these concerts may not reach a large audience, their impact on the individuals they serve reverberates throughout the MP community, turning an institution into a home.
Funded by Chicago, IL (October 2023)