Sharing Notes receives award for community involvement
By Kevinisha Walker
Sharing Notes, a Roosevelt University-sponsored community engagement program, won the 2013 Friends of La Rabida Children’s Hospital Award for Community Partnership.
Founded in January 2012, Sharing Notes “focuses on pairing conservatory and young professional musicians with opportunities to serve the community with their gifts,” said Allegra Montanari, Sharing Notes’ founder and executive director.
Now in its second year, Sharing Notes aims to “bring the healing power of music to those who need it while developing the value of community engagement and expanding the perspectives of young musicians through unique performance opportunities,” as stated on the organization’s website.
With 61 different musicians expressing their talents through Sharing Notes partnerships, Montanari said the organization serves three Chicago hospitals: La Rabida Children’s Hospital, Prentice Women’s Hospital and the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital.
The organization’s musicians are mostly music conservatory students from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at the university. But Montanari notes several young professional musicians who work in the area or who are in town participate in the organization, too.
“We welcome anyone to participate,” Montanari said. “You do not have to be a music student or a professional musician.”
Sharing Notes musicians have been performing at La Rabida Children’s Hospital for more than a year now, and it is their second partnership since its founding.
The hospital’s CEO Brenda Wolf said, “We are very excited to honor the work done by these [organizations like Sharing Notes], whose support and commitment help the children of La Rabida and so many others.”
Montanari said Sharing Notes musicians have already provided more than 180 hours of music to patients, staff and visitors of the three hospitals.
The children Sharing Notes works with range from infants to 18 year olds. According to Montanari, many of the children are being treated for sickle cell anemia, physical abuse and several other ailments.
Montanari also mentioned some of the children they play for don’t have speaking abilities, or they have developmental delays which prohibit them from interacting as other children do.
“This partnership is particularly special because of the level of interaction we have with the children we play for,” Montanari said.”They sit just a few feet in front of us, and we get the chance to know them.”
Sharing Notes’ first partnership was with Prentice Women’s Hospital. While there, the organization’s musicians play for adult women with various types of cancer.
Its third and newest partnership is with the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital.
“This Sharing Notes partnership has the most typical performance type environment for musicians,” Montanari said. “There is a baby grand piano and a microphone for musicians to interact with their audience.”
Sharing Notes will be honored at La Rabida Children’s Hospital’s 27th annual fundraiser next month.
For more information about the organization, visit its website at sharing-notes.com.