The perspective of T, a guest at the Pine Street Inn - Shattuck Shelter:
The perspective of the audience:
Shelter guests respond to Vivaldi, Reger, and Irish fiddle tunes performed at a Dimock Center concert.
The perspective of the shelter staff:
"We serve women who struggle with substance abuse and have significant trauma, mental health and life skills problems. All of them are trying to figure out how to stay sober and get their lives back together. These monthly concerts mean so much to them. First, we make this a real concert-going experience. The women dress up, sit in a concert hall environment and receive a program describing the pieces being performed. The musicians are so warm and engaging and that immediately breaks down any barriers that might exist. Most of the women haven't had the experience of hearing classical music and don't know about the instruments. The performers smile, laugh and create a welcoming environment. They are exceptional musicians and perform a wide range of pieces from different composers and styles of music. Our women struggle mightily with feeling-they use substances to kill their shame, despair and trauma. The music helps to release their feelings in a safe and manageable way. It offers them a sense of peace. The performers always ask the women what they think of the pieces and this gives the women an opportunity to reflect on what they have heard and actually use "feeling" words. It gives them a sense of calm and focus that is unusual for them. We are blessed to have SMB with us each month. My other staff tell me that the women often speak about the concert for several days and express delight in having had this opportunity to experience real live classical music!"
Allen Spivack Former Director, Women's Residential Services, Dimock Center
"Our deepest thanks for bringing the gift of music to our shelter guests. Shelters can provide services that help sustain the body and mind, but music helps sustain the spirit, and those we serve -- who face a variety of daily challenges most of us will never fully be able to comprehend -- need a strong spirit more than anyone. Thank you again for your concerts!"