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creative:impact - For Those Of A Certain Age, Streamed Music Performances Has Come Of Age

Melissa Goodson
Melissa Goodson

For residents of retirement communities, being vigilant about following COVID-19 protocols is critical.  The United Methodist Retirement Community (UMRC) in Chelsea knew that sheltering in place could lead to a sense of isolation and disconnection.  Melissa Goodson, major gifts officer at UMRC, joins Deb Polich and David Fair to discuss the impact hand-curated streamed performances have on the well-being of the UMRC residents.  Listen here.

Deb Polich
Deb Polich, President and CEO of The Arts Alliance

Creative industries in Washtenaw County add hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy.  In the weeks and months to come, 89.1 WEMU's David Fair and co-host Deb Polich, the President and CEO of The Arts Alliance, explore the myriad of contributors that make up the creative sector in Washtenaw County.

UMRC Foundation Partners with Creative Washtenaw To Provide Virtual Concerts for UMRC & Porter Hills Residents

Chelsea, MI/Grand Rapids, MI, Jan. 22, 2021 – The United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC) Foundation is pleased to announce a virtual winter Music Concert Series for residents of UMRC & Porter Hills. This series is made possible thanks to collaboration with Creative Washtenaw, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and support from the Elizabeth Loder Fund.  These concerts began Jan. 7 and will be offered to residents of UMRC & Porter Hills every Thursday evening through the end of March 2021.

“We are so excited to partner with Creative Washtenaw to provide musical entertainment for our residents over the winter months,” said Melissa Goodson, UMRC Foundation Major Gifts Officer.  “This series offers music from a variety of genres from artists across Washtenaw County. We hope there will be something for everyone.”

UMRC Foundation and Porter Hills Foundation President Wendy Brightman, added, “COVID-19 has been so difficult for our residents to be isolated from friends and family members.  We are thrilled to bring music and joy to the older adults we love and serve at UMRC & Porter Hills through this concert series and grateful to the Loder family for making it possible.” 

Artists record their concerts, and residents may then view the broadcasts through their computer, tablet or Smart TVs.  Performances so far have included composer, pianist and vocalist, Hannah Baiardi; the David Sharp Worlds Trio; and baritone, Darnell Ishmel.

Credit Porter Hills / porterhills.org
UMRC Residents Linda and Charlie Britton with their dog, Ember.

Residents of UMRC’s Prairie Cottages, Charlie and Linda Britton, are enjoying the series.  “Charlie and I enjoyed the beautiful music the Foundation brought into our Cottage yesterday!  The baritone voice and the artistic skills of the pianist brought joy in the midst of this pandemic.  We loved the contemporarily sung songs, the gospel songs with which we are familiar, and even a little Christmas music reminding us that the loving times of Christmas must be practiced and celebrated all year long. Even our black lab, Ember, relaxed at our feet, keeping us company!  Thank you!” 

“Washtenaw County is the home to many world-class performers and musicians, many who have been sidelined by COVID-19,” reports Deb Polich, president/CEO of Creative Washtenaw.  “We applaud UMRC and the Elizabeth Loder Fund for presenting this series and providing the joy of music to residents and artists too!”  

Said Brightman, “During the chill of winter, we hope these concerts will warm the hearts and cheer the souls of our residents.”

Building on a foundation of 165 years of combined service to older adults, United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC) & Porter Hills is a faith-based, nonprofit organization whose mission is: Welcoming all, partnering together, enriching lives.  Its vision is: A world in which all are empowered to age well.  Together, UMRC & Porter Hills represents the second largest nonprofit senior living organization in Michigan.  With a tradition of exceptional quality and a commitment to cutting-edge care, UMRC & Porter Hills and its affiliates combine to serve more than 6,700 older adults each year, from 24 locations and service lines, across 22 counties in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. umrc.com|734.433.1000 and porterhills.org|616.949.4975

The UMRC Foundation is the charitable arm for United Methodist Retirement Communities, with headquarters in Chelsea, Michigan.  Since its inception in 1998, the UMRC Foundation has provided over $18,500,000 through its Benevolent Care Fund to help UMRC residents remain in their homes when they outlive their resources.  The mission of the UMRC Foundation is to promote the wellness, dignity, and independence of seniors by supporting UMRC residents, staff and the communities UMRC serves. umrcfoundation.com|734.433.1000

Porter Hills Foundation is the charitable arm for Porter Hills, with headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1995, the Porter Hills Foundation was officially established as a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Its mission is to raise, invest, and monitor the funds that support Porter Hills in providing a continuum of high-quality communities and services.  With a focus on the health and well-being of older adults, and education and retention of our outstanding staff team members, the Porter Hills Foundation’s four priority initiatives include: benevolent care, employee support services, capital improvements, and life enrichment for older adults.  porterhills.org/foundation|616.577.2297

Creative Washtenaw (formerly The Arts Alliance) is the arts + creative industries authority in Washtenaw County.  A regional agency, its mission is to advocate for and support artists, creative workers and businesses to ensure that the greater Ann Arbor area remains a great place to create, live, work, learn, play and visit.  Creative Washtenaw is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.  Creativewashtenaw.org|734.213.2733



United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC)

UMRC Foundation

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Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
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