Meet Butler Hospital and Kirsten Volness

Butler Hope Healing Community ExhibitionArts in Healthcare
Organization: Butler Hospital
Project Name: Multi-Disciplinary Healing Arts Residencies
Project Coordinator: Wendy Grossman and Laura White Carpenter
Participating Artists: Len Cabral, Christopher Johnson, Teri Pimley, and Kerri Peterson Weaver

Project: Butler Hospital’s Healing Arts 2017-2018 Multi-Disciplinary Residencies Program, a nine-month project (September 2017 – May 2018), will host a variety of artists and expressive arts therapists for a series of workshops and short-term residencies on each of the hospital’s eight inpatient units. The goal of the residency is to provide quality arts experiences to our inpatients, their caregivers and staff, which help patients move forward with their treatment.

Through a series of groups in movement, music, visual arts, creative writing and storytelling, we strive to create a comfortable space for creative self-expression to take place. This in turn allows for connection, joy, a sense of peace and hope.

More concretely, we also will use the arts as a tool for engagement in treatment for mental illness and addiction recovery during the short stays that our patients experience, which typically last from five to 10 days. This allows for a broad integration of the arts into the culture of Butler Hospital and permits us to serve as many patients as possible.

About the Organization: Butler Hospital treats psychiatric, substance use and neurological disorders and serves as the flagship mental health teaching hospital for Brown University’s medical school. Butler is a member of Care New England Health System. The hospital’s mission is to: Provide treatment for psychiatric illness in an atmosphere of dignity and respect; Contribute to knowledge through education and research; Continuously improve the ways we serve our patients and our community.

Kirsten Bio picProject Grants for Individuals
Artist Name: Kirsten Volness
Project Name: Verdant Vibes New Music Concert Series
Project: Verdant Vibes is a new music ensemble and concert series bringing together artists and musicians creating new work in a variety of genres and media, acoustic and electronic. This season we will present a three-concert series of music selected from our international call for scores, local and regional guest artists, and collaborations with young writers from the Manton Avenue Project, an afterschool playwriting program based in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence. We will work with the students on composition and performance of a new project, Olneyville: the Operetta!

18055642_776072662571353_6649634511345034880_oThis summer we posted our public, free, and inclusive call for scores for all types of new music that fits our core ensemble’s instrumentation, regardless of style or genre. We encouraged submission of electroacoustic and multimedia works, as well as proposals for collaborations from artists of all disciplines that do not fit the mold of a standard call for scores. opened this summer and received 750 submissions from around the world. We received over 750 submissions from around the world, and have been very fortunate and successful in attracting fantastic local, national, and international composers and other collaborative artists to work with us and present their work to local audiences.

We will continue to emphasize the work of RI artists (one show will feature local composer/performers) while including music from composers from all over the world. We believe combining local music with music from outside Rhode Island on our concerts helps expose our growing audience to exceptional new music from a variety of communities. We will encourage composers from out of state, who are able and willing, to attend our rehearsals and concerts, with the aim of providing a fruitful exchange between these creative communities.

Artist Bio:
Kirsten Volness is a musician, composer, and teacher who has been involved in the creative community of Providence and greater Rhode Island for eight years. She is co-founder/director and pianist of Verdant Vibes, plays piano with NYC-based ensemble Hotel Elefant, collaborates on unique multimedia projects such as Meridian Project (astrophysics+new music/media), Tenderloin Opera Company (homeless advocacy music/theater group), and is an affiliate artist of Sleeping Weazel. As inaugural Composer-In-Residence, Kirsten also curates the First Fridays chamber music series at the Music Mansion in Providence. She teaches privately and at the University of Rhode Island. kirstenvolness.com

The mission of Verdant Vibes is to present opportunities for a diverse group of composers, performers, and audience members to come together to experience new music. We aim to accomplish this not just through our call for scores and performances by our core ensemble, but through our collaboration with unique and diverse guest artists, accessible and eclectic performance venues, talented students, and curious and enthusiastic audience members. We hope to grow on the successes of this project thus far, and to continue to strive toward the goal of a strong and inclusive new music community in Rhode Island.