© 2023 WVIK
Listen at 90.3 FM and 105.7 FM in the Quad Cities, 95.9 FM in Dubuque, or on the WVIK app!
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

COVID & the Arts: Birdhouses Reduce Stress

Living Proof Exhibit

What's the connecton between bird houses, covid 19, and working at home ?

Herb Trix has more. 

Pamela Crouch knows all about social isolation.

The executive director of Living Proof Exhibit – which she co-founded 10 years ago to help people affected by cancer – was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, and she was quarantined during chemotherapy because of a compromised immune system.

"I discovered that you really can't be sad when you're painting a little birdhouse. And that doing something to help others just made me feel better."

Credit Living Proof Exhibit
Pamela Crouch

Now, she’s revisiting that on a larger scale with “Make Hope Soar: The Birdhouse Project,” to help others reduce the stress of social isolation, while also producing something beautiful for cancer patients and survivors, with a message of hope on the bottom.

 "So we're re-visiting that on a larger level now because we're all dealing with social isolation."
"One of the things that we have done through the years for ten years is that we've dealt with people with compromised immune systems who've not been able to get out into society. So our programming is actually ready to go for people who are dealing with having to be at home on their own. And we've discovered through the years that working on a project in the arts helps reduce stress."
Instructions can be found at Living Proof Exhibit. And the finished birdhouses will be shown during the opening celebration of the 10th-annual exhibit of cancer survivor art at the Figge Art Museum on Sept. 24. The exhibit will run through early December.

"We encourage people to use the arts to get through this stress and to also use a project to help our community. So we're all working together even though we're separate." 

After the opening, Living Proof will work with hospitals and organizations that work with people impacted by cancer, to find homes for the art projects. The nonprofit also rescheduled its annual "Flourish" fundraiser from this month to Sept. 10 at the Putnam Museum. You can get tickets and more information at the living proof website.

Formerly the arts and entertainment reporter for The Dispatch/Rock Island Argus and Quad-City Times, Jonathan Turner now writes freelance for WVIK and QuadCities.com. He has experience writing for daily newspapers for 32 years and has expertise across a wide range of subject areas, including government, politics, education, the arts, economic development, historic preservation, business, and tourism. He loves writing about music and the arts, as well as a multitude of other topics including features on interesting people, places, and organizations. He has a passion for accompanying musicals, singers, choirs, and instrumentalists. He even wrote his own musical based on The Book of Job, which premiered at Playcrafters in 2010. He wrote a 175-page history book about downtown Davenport, which was published by The History Press in 2016. Turner was honored in 2009 to be among 24 arts journalists nationwide to take part in a 10-day fellowship offered by the National Endowment for the Arts in New York City on classical music and opera, based at Columbia University’s journalism school.
Related Content