ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Eastman Performing Arts Medicine is a program that brings musical performances and music therapy from Eastman students to patients and faculty at Strong Hospital.

This week, EPAM received a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts that will allow them to broadcast performances right to hospital rooms, increasing accessibility dramatically for their programming.

Gaelen McCormick started Eastman Performing Arts Medicine in 2018, with the aim of providing music therapy and performances at the hospital allowing patients and staff to become present in a stressful time:

“I become really present with the situation, who I am, and here in this time and space and it’s very well-identified… you are here right now,” McCormick said.

And, to help heal:

“All basis of healing (is needing) a place of belonging, and music just makes that possible,” said violist with the program, Sean Mulligan.

The grant will replace old CCTV hardware that was originally installed to help broadcast services from the Interfaith Chapel at Strong with modern equipment.

“The chapel has been here since ’59, I don’t know when the equipment went in, but it kept breaking down, needing service,” said Rev. Robin Y. Franklin, Director of Chaplaincy Services.

When the project is complete — it is due to launch in 2024 — patients who are stuck in their rooms and beds, and are unable to leave can see these performances.

“So it will just be as easy as clicking a channel on your TV,” McCormick said. “It’s just a very important part of the program to me that everyone has access to the music.”