Center Stage at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

[MUSIC] “All along the waterfall with you, my brown
eyed girl” [music] In early 2011, we realized that live music in the lobbies would probably soften
the healthcare experience for a lot of people. So we started to work with some musicians and
we also had a look at what other institutions nationwide were doing. And we just talked to
people here and got a feel for what programs would suit us the best. So eventually what evolved
was a multifaceted arts program that kind of covers the institution and it’s funded
in part by the institution and also in large part by grants and philanthrophy. Well, we were
introduced to the organization through Claire, she had sought us out. But when we got here, we
realized what a great fit it was for us being professional musicians but also being in an
environment where we could directly share our music. We don’t know what type of patients
are coming in or what mind set they’re in but we know that we’re trying to provide something
uplifting for their spirits and that’s what really makes it meaningful for us. Center Stage
has different musical programs. A large one is live music in the lobbies where we hire
musicians, who are professional, to play instruments that are soothing and cheerful in many different
lobbies and waiting areas of our hospital. We also do Lunch With Center Stage. So, a summer
lunch outdoor lunch concert and that draws mostly employees. We choose musicians who span
a wide breadth of diversity and culture and ethnicity as much as we can because we believe
the arts are a great platform to promote diversity. Well I think Center Stage is really fundamental
to what we try to do as a workplace and as a healing facility. In terms of trying to help
people understand that there is more to what we are able to offer them than sort of the
sterile diagnoses and sterile therapeutic maneuvers that we can use to help them get
over their illnesses, that you know, to help them understand that they are a part of the
outside world even when they’re here. The program has just grown and I love just seeing how
it evolves and they’re constantly, kind of, just trying to find new angles and even more
ways to integrate the arts and music into ya know, one’s experience at the medical center.
My vision for the future of Center Stage is to share the way we have grown and been welcomed
and expected in this hospital that that be shared across the country. Art and sharing
art, builds community.

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