Why It’s Important

The arts cultivate a healing environment, helping patients address the mental and emotional aspects of recovery.

Here are just some of the outcomes of the power of music and the arts in healthcare and congregate care settings:

  • Enriches the soul, stimulates the mind and promotes wellness;  Reduces anxiety and consciousness of pain
  • Creates ‘community,’ helping people feel connected, heard and appreciated
  • Helps people to be seen as individuals, not as patients, numbers, job descriptions or diseases
  • Has the potential to reduce staff turn-over & attract quality staff
  • Helps staff connect culturally with patients, families and other staff members from diverse backgrounds
  • Helps people leave an artistic legacy and  create a lasting expression.

The need for arts in long-term care is great. Survey results show our programs are highly valued for their content, their quality and their health and wellness benefits.  In this young but growing field of arts in healthcare, we see great opportunity to provide artists with the information & resources they need to create effective and appropriate programs, for all abilities, that uplift, engage, stimulate & inspire.  We hope you’ll join us in our efforts, by making a financial contribution to TAO today, and by telling your family & friends why you choose to support our efforts. Together, we can effect positive change for people of all ages and walks of life, through the arts.

TAO contacts artists and facilities to assess artist availability and schedule the best possible programs. We schedule approximately two dozen programs and workshop each month, rotating among the dozens of locations currently served by TAO. Confirmation letters are sent to both parties; program fliers are created to acknowledge funders and promote the artists. Surveys are sent to facilities for feedback.

Confirmation calls are made to artists and to activities directors a day or two before a program is to take place. If the facility has to make a last-minute schedule change, or if an artist has an illness or emergency and cannot keep a date, TAO will either send a replacement or reschedule the artist, depending upon the needs of the facility and other factors. Follow-up calls, emails and surveys are exchanged after the program; we also use FaceBook as much as possible to share post-program photos, kudos and comments. The staff and client satisfaction/outcomes surveys are important program components that are used to mentor program artists and continually strengthen our offerings.


Senior Facility Staff •  Program Host •  Senior Program Participant •  Domestic Violence Workshop •  Pediatric Hospital Client •  Crisis Shelter Guitar Workshop


We fundraise so that we can run our operations, pay staff and artists, and provide arts supplies and equipment. Fundraising activities include house concerts, an annual golf tournament and our Once More Concert and Auction. We also are funded by grants from area foundations, corporations, arts commissions, rotary clubs and more. We ask the facilities where we send artists to partner with us by making an annual contribution, which is augmented by our other funding, to provide the highest possible caliber of experiential performances, programs and activities.

We post our schedule of programs, performances and workshops at the beginning of each month here. We extend an invitation to TAO supporters to attend our programs, so they can see firsthand what the magic is about. Email us at TAO@TidewaterArtsOutreach.org if you are able to attend a program and we will gladly make arrangements for you. NOTE: the best programs to participate in are at dependent care programs, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Many shelters are small and some are confidential, so they are often not appropriate places for visitors. Always call or email TAO before attending a program.