Patient arts programs utilize the arts to assist with coping, stress relief, and communication through creative self expression. Participation at Lombardi increases the likelihood that patients will engage in the arts at home, boosting their quality of life during and after treatment.
Painting, weaving, drawing, beadwork, basketry, quilling, collage, quilting and needlework are some of the activities offered while waiting for appointments, during chemotherapy treatment, or when confined to inpatient areas. Participants engaged in art making report feeling relaxed, productive and happy.
"My spirits are lifted and I am looking forward to the rest of this day."
Community performances and private therapeutic sessions entertain and help individuals stay connected to life-affirming cultural events. Lombardi musicians include talented members of our own hospital community, the Georgetown student body, summer interns, and The Friday Morning Music Club and the members of the Washington metropolitan area music community. Thanks to excellent acoustics, music performed in the Atrium can be enjoyed in the Pediatric Oncology clinic, the Lombardi adult clinic, and adjacent administrative areas. A series of evening performances beginning in May 2009 will continue throughout the year.
Performing Arts at Georgetown University
While you are on the Georgetown Campus, take advantage of the diverse performing arts programs just a few steps from Lombardi Cancer Center/Georgetown Hospital. For up to date information and to order tickets online visit: http://performingarts.georgetown.edu and click on the calendar or box office links. Box Office Line: 202-687-ARTS (2787) [M-F 11a-3p] Administration: 202/687-3838 (M-F 10a-5p).
The Lombardi Dance program dates back to 2002, when Jill Roberts Piscatella, Georgetown graduate and member of the Georgetown University Dance Company (GUDC) volunteered her time, offering simple stretch movement exercises to people with cancer. Her efforts helped improve flexibility, muscle tone and mood. Jill invited and trained GUDC members to work with patients as well, and with funds from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, designed Lombardi Moves, a dance curriculum that assists with student training and serves as a guide for those who wish to continue the exercises at home. Ann Behrends currently leads the training with the assistance of GUDC liaison Sarah Clark-Hammel. Since the dance program's inception, the Arts and Humanities program has received anonymous gifts to expand to two professional dancers weekly and present dance in healthcare events for the extended community to demonstrate the role dance plays in cancer centers, hospitals and other healthcare settings.
Our community enjoys GUDC performances and other dance groups in our Atrium.
Research conducted at Lombardi supports decades of studies that indicate writing about thoughts and feelings may contribute to good health. Everyone receives a blank journal at the new patient orientation, along with an encouragement to write - for stress relief, reduced symptom awareness, improved sleep quality and to sort out and make sense of thoughts and feelings related to cancer and other life events. Each Tuesday, people on Five North and Seven West Infusion and the Lombardi Clinic are invited to write and given the theme for the week and a related poem to reflect on. A workshop at 11:00 a.m. in the Nina Hyde Room led by Nancy Morgan offers a chance to write as a group and share thoughts and feelings. Weekly writing prompts are available on the table outside the arts office in the Lombardi Clinic, room M344C. Readings are scheduled and Lombardi Voices, an anthology of writing by members of the Lombardi community, is published annually. Individual writing sessions can be arranged by calling 202-444-7228.
Exploring the role of theater at Lombardi is a work in progress. A member of the Educational Theater Company actors' group in Arlington lead a dramatic improvisation session with staff to address issues related to patient care in a creative way. The Georgetown Players have performed for children with cancer, and in summer 2009 The Traveling Players Ensemble will perform for the Lombardi community(calendar). Playwright Wendy Wasserstein presented an act from her play, Welcome to My Rash, that probed the relationship between a cancer patient and her doctor, at a gala benefiting the Arts and Humanities Program.