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University of Iowa News Release


April 9, 2010

UI centers connect creativity, health care via 'Journey through Iowa'

The University of Iowa's Hancher, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and College of Public Health have collaborated to create the "Iowa Arts and Health Care Project -- A Journey through Iowa." The project features Robert and Rebecca Bluestone, two artists whose work connects the arts to health care and healing. The "journey" will find the Bluestones visiting six Iowa communities prior to a culminating performance in Iowa City at the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center's annual Blue Rose Gala. The project runs from April 19 through May 8.

Rebecca Bluestone is an ovarian cancer survivor and was a caregiver to her mother, who died of breast cancer. Robert Bluestone was Rebecca's caretaker during her treatment and recovery. Together they are passionate about unlocking the powerful connection between creativity and the health care environment. Their performance, "Woven Harmony," which Hancher presented in 2008, is a unique multimedia concert that combines his classical guitar and her weaving.

Robert Bluestone is an accomplished classical guitarist who has toured the world to critical acclaim. Rebecca Bluestone's work is included in the collections of the Chicago Art Institute and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, as well as in the private collection of actor Robert Redford.

While in Iowa, the Bluestones will participate in three-day residencies in Spencer, Algona, Des Moines, Grinnell, Davenport and Iowa City. They will interact with health care providers including physicians, nurses, hospice caregivers and administrators. They will also share their artistry with patients and their families in settings committed to the health and well-being of the communities that are part of the project.

The project has been nearly a year in the making. Robert Bluestone visited Iowa in February in order to meet those who are involved and to help plan activities in each community. Tina Devery, executive director of the Iowa Consortium for Comprehensive Cancer Control, was instrumental in site selection for the project.

The partnering organizations in each community include: Spencer: Spencer Hospital, Spencer Regional Healthcare Foundation, Arts on Grand; Algona: The Haggard-Twogood Foundation, Kossuth Regional Health Center, Relay for Life; Des Moines: John Stoddard Cancer Center at the Methodist Medical Center; Grinnell: Grinnell Regional Medical Center; Davenport: Genesis Cancer Care Institute; Gilda's Club - Quad Cities, Select Specialty Hospital.
This project is supported by the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from Iowa Arts Council, General Mills Foundation, and Land O’Lakes Foundation.
The many additional funders for the project come from across the state of Iowa.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Rob Cline, Hancher Auditorium, 319-335-3827,; Steve Parrott, University Relations, 319-384-0037,