Evanston Arts Council for The Merion
September 15, 2015
There is no denying that an appreciation for the arts is satisfying for both the spirit and the senses. From attending a theater production, or enjoying a hobby such as playing an instrument, singing or painting, there are so many benefits to the arts.
Although there is a certain gratification that accompanies the expression of one’s own skill and creativity, valuing the beauty around us is often just as rewarding. If you’ve ever admired a gorgeous sunset, reveled in a friend’s garden or listened to your favorite song, you have allowed the arts to affect you in a positive way. In fact, you may not realize just how advantageous those experiences were for your mind and body as well.
The Health Behind Art
Researchers have tapped into this and found that the arts actually have many positive effects on health and illness as we age. Being creative brings out those child-like, carefree qualities that encourage playfulness and a sense of humor. Art activities have been shown to help patients recover from disease, reduce stress, and fight infection by:
- encouraging relaxation
- increasing socialization
- improving cognition
- providing a sense of control
- reducing depression and anxiety
- utilizing the senses and short term memory
- fostering a healthy self esteem
Understanding the implications of this type of research only illuminates the benefit that arts programs provide to adults later in life. Evanston senior living community The Merion is committed to doing just that.
Art at The Merion
The Merion has been exceptionally supportive of the arts in the Evanston area, hosting pre-concert programs for the Evanston Symphony Orchestra; sponsoring the ESO Musical Insights education program; and hosting Opera Idol, a competition for aspiring opera singers and underwriting a scholarship for the winner. The Merion also regularly donates rehearsal and performance space, in addition to hosting receptions for arts organizations and schools.
This past March The Merion was awarded the 2014 Evanston Arts Council’s Leadership Award, given annually to an Evanston business that has been exceptionally supportive of the arts. It is an honor which symbolizes The Merion’s commitment to its community.
“This world is but a canvas to our imagination,” Henry David Thoreau once so eloquently said. Thankfully, art programs like those at The Merion provide this inspiration.