Music in the Key of Connection

A clip from Keisha Hutchins Hirlinger performing her powerful “A Healing Song” at Music in the Key of Connection: A Fundraiser for ARTZ Philadelphia, livestreamed on December 5.

The evening of December 5, 2020,ARTZ Philadelphia held its first-ever virtual fundraiser,“Music in the Key of Connection.”When Zoom and Facebook went live, 70+ people joined us as we welcomed six musicians from the Philadelphia region: Keisha Hutchins Hirlinger, vocals, guitar, piano Alexandra Cutler-Fetkewicz, violin Alex Levin, piano Erik Dutko, guitar Ashley Phillips, vocals, guitar Alex Shaw, percussion and vocals, with Patricio Acevedo, guitar, cavaco, cuatro, and vocals

The musicians led us through an incredible evening of original songs and covers, classical violin, jazz piano and guitar, and Latin American vocals and percussion.

Alex Shaw and Patricio Acevedo

The night was full of smiles, dancing, rekindled memories, and connection. While Zoom and Facebook may have their challenges, the opportunity to chat to each other and the artists about the performances proved to be an added benefit of the virtual realm. And while watching in the comfort of their own homes, virtual concert-goers could stand up and stretch their legs, move and dance to the music, or grab another cocktail while still enjoying the community the musicians created. The musicians offered us insights into why they had selected specific pieces along with brief histories of some pieces, and it felt as though we were right there with them in their homes and studios.

A screenshot of virtual concert-goers enjoying Alex Shaw and Patricio Acevedo

Funds raised through this event will support our new online music program “ARTZ Notes” and other programs designed to bring connection and joy to people living with dementia and their care partners in 2021. “ARTZ Notes” is about interactive, shared experiences and the joys of music-making and listening in company with others. “Music in the Key of Connection” exemplified those shared experiences around music. It was truly a perfect way for us to usher in the final month of 2020 and look towards a brighter, evermore connected new year at ARTZ Philadelphia.