What does healthcare look like when you take away the threat of a bill? What does community feel like when we equally value each other?
The compassionate, radical and creative values behind those concepts guide the work of O+ staff and volunteers year-round.
I am pleased to share the 2018 annual report, which quantifies and qualifies the exchange of art for medicine that took place at our second festival in Poughkeepsie and our ninth festival in Kingston, highlights the positive outcomes of partnerships between O+ and fellow nonprofits, and illustrates O+’s public health and activism initiatives.
In 2018 we hired part-time and full-time staff thanks to a 3-year capacity-building grant administered through the Tides Foundation. Organizational stability has enabled O+ to create a formal assessment and onboarding process for new festival cities. That process is currently underway with a North Adams, MA-based festival team; the first O+ North Adams takes place May 10-11, 2019.
It has also empowered O+ to go deeper in the New York communities of Kingston, Poughkeepsie and nearby Newburgh. How?
We expanded educational offerings inspired by O+ murals, which focus on local culture, history and landscape and/or social justice issues. We provided guided tours of the public artworks to a variety of audiences: general public on foot for ArtWalk Kingston and on bike during O+ Kingston; local teachers as part of professional development in partnership with Ulster BOCES; and 180 students in an ongoing partnership with the Kingston school district. We also updated our mural map and translated it into Spanish to broaden the reach of our public art to thousands of residents and tourists.
We launched the O+ Radio Hour, a weekly conversation about art, music and wellness at the intersection of community on the nonprofit Radio Kingston. The show features compelling interviews with creative people, activists and policy makers, health and wellness tips from providers, and music from our alumni.
Our wellness team brought Educate & Activate to Newburgh — “Trends in Opioid Use, Treatment and Harm Reduction” — and in Poughkeepsie: “Improving Wellness for All City Residents.” And this year’s Kingston festival featured panel discussions on topics near and dear to the hearts and minds of our creative participants and audiences: radio as the great connector, career advice for independent musicians, and issues around curating and producing public art.
We provided Narcan trainings for artists and musicians during O+ Poughkeepsie and for the general public at Educate & Activate in Newburgh and O+ Kingston. Also at O+ Kingston, we hosted The Box, an interactive public art installation that emphasizes the importance of HPV screening and allows women to self-test themselves and take charge of their own health.
We even brought more art-making to the health and wellness EXPO+s in our festival cities, including an all-ages performance stage in Kingston and live painting in Poughkeepsie. Also in Poughkeepsie, O+ assisted the Poughkeepsie Alliance and Arts Mid-Hudson with the curation and production of the 16,000-square-foot Poughkeepsie Gateway mural made by artist duo boogieREZ.
And we welcomed back to Kingston alumni Jess X. Snow and Layqa Nuna Yawar in support of Survivor Love Letter, their new project with Tani Ikeda. The artists painted a monumental love letter to survivors of sexual assault and violence, featuring words by Ikeda and Kingston-area survivors, on Family of Woodstock’s Darmstadt Shelter. The opportunity to bear witness to local survivors writing their words on that wall provided for me a deeper understanding of how art can heal.
The work did not go unnoticed. O+’s “quietly radical mission” was featured in a Nov. 23 feature story for YES!, which aims to provide vigorous reporting on the positive ways communities are responding to social problems.
As we look ahead to year 10 (and beyond) our focus will be to seek out new ways to collaborate with other radical organizations, strengthen our existing partnerships, advocate for a more just healthcare delivery system and, of course, MAKE MORE ART!
O+ is a nonprofit cultural and wellness organization that equally values the contributions of every member of a community, shining a light on the work of both creatives and health and wellness providers. O+ is dedicated to supporting the health of underinsured artists and musicians, and revitalizing local communities.
O+’s yearround work — including art, music and wellness festivals, healthcare advocacy, art-focused educational programs and public health forums — restores and sustains the health of creative people while strengthening local economies.
O+ endeavors to improve the physical and mental health of artists, musicians and local volunteers while contributing public art to a community and revitalizing its economic health. O+ has formed relationships with more than 50 local businesses, health organizations, nonprofits and hundreds of volunteers to date. O+ operates on the support, hard work and kindness of the communities we serve.
O+ empowers communities to take control of their collective wellbeing through art, music and wellness.
O+ envisions thriving, diverse communities where a person’s value is based on their contribution to the whole and everyone has access to the arts and wellness.
O+ festival artists make murals, sculptures, site-specific installations, films and performances that reflect the history and culture of our diverse communities, honor local landscapes and bring marginalized identity to the fore. O+ artists receive health and wellness care in our Artists’ Clinic and local dentists’ offices in exchange for their creative gifts.
O+ festivals feature concerts in large and intimate venues, including a former Vaudevillian theater, galleries, breweries, even alleys. Participating musicians receive health and wellness care in our Artists’ Clinic and local dentists’ office in exchange for playing festival shows.
O+ is committed to advocating for underinsured, freelance musicians and artists in need of health and wellness support. Towards this end, the O+ Artists’ Clinic is the heart of every festival. Artists, musicians and festival volunteers receive care from nurses, doctors, dentists, bodyworkers and mental health professionals. Festival attendees experience wellness expos, healing arts classes, cycling events and Narcan trainings.
O+ has developed Educate & Activate, a series of forums that foster understanding of current public health issues, provide critical support for health insurance navigation, and coalesce the community response to policies and protocols.
O+ Festivals: Kingston & Beyond
Our O+ Festival is a weekend-long celebration, during which artists and musicians create and perform in exchange for a variety of health and wellness services donated by local doctors, nurses, dentists and complementary care providers. Connections first made in the O+ Artists’ Clinic and in local dentists’ offices during festival weekends often grow into longterm provider-patient relationships.
Today, the O+ Festival is the most profitable weekend of the year for many businesses in the city of Kingston, where the flagship festival takes place. In 2018 O+ implemented the SUPPO+RT program, aiming to engage local businesses in a cyclical strengthening of Kingston’s economy via donations from their festival profits. These donations support O+’s year-round programming and build more valuable ties to the community.
O+ has also launched festivals in cities across the nation, including San Francisco, Petaluma, CA, Chicago, and Haverhill, MA.
The 2018 festival cities took place in the New York cities of Poughkeepsie and Kingston. The national team also created a formalized onboarding process for new festival cities, which it launched with the team from North Adams, MA (taking place May 2019).
One hundred-thirteen volunteer providers staffed the Artists’ Clinic during the festival weekend. Twenty-one artists, 96 musicians and 56 festival volunteers received 465 clinic visits, which included: nursing, primary care, integrative medicine, acupuncture, addiction care, breathwork, Oriental medicine, chiropractic, craniosacral therapy, homeopathy, clinical hypnosis, integrative Reiki, massage, mental health, naturopathy, neurofeedback, ortho bionomy, reflexology, Reiki, sound healing, spacious heart guidance and Thai yoga massage.
“We’re really trying to look at things from a more holistic perspective … to understand who this individual is as a whole, as a human being, and we’re connecting with love and we’re connecting with services, and that’s a very powerful thing.” — Cynthia Kim, LCSW
New in 2018: participating artists and musicians were entitled to a visit with a nurse, doctor and mental health professional as well as three additional wellness services.
In addition, the Cingel and Viglielmo dental practices saw 70 patients Friday and Saturday. Post-festival, Dr. Bruce Milner donated 10 more dental appointments and the Institute for Family Health donated 8 dental vouchers. New this year: speech-language pathologists from Northwell Health’s Lenox Hill Hospital traveled to Kingston to provide videostroboscopy (testing for vocal cord conditions and abnormalities), vocal consultation and coaching for 12 O+ musicians. And Dr. Joseph Cohen and O+ sponsor Golden Paintworks Mural Paints partnered to provide eye exams for our visual artists.
The health and wellness EXPO+, curated by lead sponsor WMC Health/HealthAlliance, provided an opportunity for locally-based organizations to share their services with the public. A performance stage geared toward families and featuring Rhys Ellis, Esther Crow and POOK and Energy Dance was a new addition for 2018. The Comedy Resistance surprised passersby with an impromptu set from Janeane Garofalo, Seaton Smith, Duval Culpepper and Frances Dunn, who advocated for voter registration. Other wellness offerings for the public included five cycling events, healing arts classes in yoga, dance, sound healing, meditation and vegan cooking, Narcan trainings with Keep It Moving and HPV self-testing with Go Doc Go’s The Box.
Twenty-three volunteer providers staffed a one-day Artists’ Clinic at the second annual O+ Poughkeepsie festival of art, music and wellness. Thirty musicians, three artists and five volunteers received a total of 98 wellness appointments, which included nursing, primary care, women’s health, mental health, massage, acupuncture, reflexology, Reiki, chiropractic and orthobionomy.
In partnership with the Poughkeepsie Alliance and Arts Mid-Hudson, O+ oversaw the submissions process and production of the 16,000-square-foot Poughkeepsie Gateway mural on two sides of the Route 9 underpass on Main Street. The work of art was made by Poughkeepsie-based artists boogieREZ (Risa “Boogie” Tochigi and Rez Ones) and features whimsical creatures, colorful pop culture imagery and words like “Impact — Inspire — Empower” and Poughkeepsie references like “PKNY — Queen City — 845” on two sides of the Route 9 underpass on Main Street. The mural was unveiled at an Aug. 15 ribbon cutting that included representatives of government, the local business community and city residents.
“This was once kind of dimly lit. It was rather dark and uninviting, and it was on the busiest corridor probably right here in the city of Poughkeepsie,” said Mayor Rob Rolison. “Now this spot has been transformed into a place of color, and it’s full of life.”
O+ continued producing its free Educate & Activate series of forums and panels (sponsored by Health Quest) featuring nonprofit organizations, local government leaders, educators and activists to discuss national health issues and their impact on local communities. Educate & Activate aims to foster awareness of the larger health policies at play and provide a forum for local community advocacy.
May 31: “Trends in Opioid Use, Treatment and Harm Reduction”
This Educate & Activate in Newburgh focused on opioid use trends in the Hudson Valley, plus harm reduction, treatment, first-person perspectives, and advocacy for harm reduction practices. A training for the opioid overdose prevention drug Narcan and kits were provided by Hudson Valley Community Services and Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange & Sullivan.
Panelists included Dr. Maya Hambright, medical director of Samaritan Daytop Village’s Cape Road Residential Treatment Program in Ellenville, physician at Health Quest Medical Practice-Woodstock and a volunteer provider in the O+ Artists’ Clinic; Sean Tonner, outreach coordinator of Hudson Valley Community Services Syringe Exchange Program (SEP); Deb Greene, program director for RECAP’s New Life Manor; and Kathleen F. Morgan, chief operations officer of HONOR (Helping Others Needing Our Resources), Middletown. The moderator was Daniel Maughan, vice president of Transformation for St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital.
Aug. 2: “Healthy Poughkeepsie 2018: Improving Wellness for All City Residents”
This Educate & Activate in Poughkeepsie focused on pressing issues of inclusion in public health and strategizing solutions to bridge divides.
Panelists included Dashon Davis, co-coordinator of Voices Of Tomorrow Empowered – VOTE; Chris Howard, RN, BSN, director of the Emergency Department at MidHudson Regional Hospital; Vernae Johnson, program director of The Living Room at Mel’s Place; Sharley McIver, LMSW, CLC, associate director of family programs, Dutchess County Healthy Families: The Institute for Family Health; and City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Robert G. Rolison. It was moderated by Michael Collura, RN, CFRN, critical care flight nurse for LifeNet of New York and at MidHudson Regional Hospital in the Emergency Department.
O+ provided guided tours of murals to diverse audiences: general public on foot for ArtWalk Kingston and on bike during O+ Kingston; local teachers from a variety of disciplines as part of professional development in partnership with Ulster BOCES; and 180 students in an ongoing partnership with the Kingston school district. In addition, the Friends of Historic Kingston tour of the Stockade District often included a stop at one or more O+ murals, including “Pronkstilleven,” which depicts painter John Vanderlyn and civil rights and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth. The O+ staff also updated the Kingston mural map and translated it into Spanish to broaden the reach of public art to thousands of residents and tourists.
The O+ Radio Hour, a weekly conversation about art, music, wellness and activism at the intersection of community, launched in early 2018 on the nonprofit Radio Kingston. Each Tuesday night episode features compelling interviews with creatives, activists and policymakers, health and wellness tips from providers, and music curated by different members of the O+ team. And once a month the show does a deep dive into the music and hosts O+ alumni bands for in-studio performances. Producing this show has allowed O+ to make the case yearround for localizing our country’s health and wellness system — one town at a time.
Musicians, artists and festival volunteers received the following services in the O+ Artists’ Clinics: nursing, primary care, integrative medicine, acupuncture, addiction care, breathwork, Oriental medicine, chiropractic, craniosacral therapy, homeopathy, clinical hypnosis, integrative Reiki, massage, mental health, naturopathy, neurofeedback, ortho bionomy, reflexology, Reiki, sound healing, spacious heart guidance and Thai yoga massage.
In addition, patients spoke with case managers from the Institute for Family Health, learned about the mission and services of The Actors Fund and Health Care is a Human Right, and even received haircuts from the stylists of Headspace Salon.
Poughkeepsie Gateway / Poughkeepsie, NY
Her Voice Carries / Haverhill, MA
Artists Jess X. Snow and Layqa Nuna Yawar painted a monumental love letter to survivors of sexual assault and violence, featuring words by Tani Ikeda and Kingston-area survivors, on Family of Woodstock’s Darmstadt Shelter during the ninth annual O+ Kingston. The project included a facilitated workshop for survivors of sexual violence and their allies.
Volunteers from Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, Radio Kingston and O+ put on their painters’ overalls June 2 to transform four crosswalks at the intersection of Wall and John streets with the colors of the LGBTQ Pride and Transgender Pride flags in celebration of Pride 2018.
“It had been over a decade since I was able to access preventative treatment and the warm feeling of being taken care of was really overwhelming. Many artists (and working class people) live in worry of falling ill or getting injured knowing that unexpected medical bills can lead to financial ruin.
In a country with so much wealth, access to healthcare should be a right to all. Until then, I am grateful to all the organizers and volunteers at O+ Festival for what they do.”
“The dentist talked to me about art and what we were doing with the festival. It didn’t really occur to me (until then) that it was a trade, that I was giving something to the community in our art and I was getting something in return. I was just thinking that I wanted to make a mural … It hit me when I was walking out because usually when I go to the dentist I pay when I’m done, and it’s not cheap. They (the office staff) were all just like, ‘have a good day’ and waved at me. That’s it, huh? ‘Yeah, you’re done.’ That’s really, really great.” — artist Aaron Hauck, who made the “Late summer kill swim” mural with Samantha French
|Liabilities & Net Assets||Total|
|Total Liabilities & Net Assets||$343,231.56|
EXPENSES – TOTAL: $ 577,760
O+ sponsors, grantors and donors directly support the cost of producing festivals, materials and supplies for clinics, the mural tour maps, and year-round Educate & Activate series as well as the team of O+ staff members who bring O+ programs and festivals to life.
Our sponsors connect with O+ because our work and mission complement their core values.
Golden, an employee-owned company, has evolved from partner (supplying paint) to national sponsor (supplying paint, giving fiscal support and facilitating optometry appointments for our visual artists). Keegan Ales, the site of the first O+ meetings back in 2010, now showcases O+ bands and provides walls for a number of our murals.
Rough Draft Bar & Books, which opened in late 2017, hosted the Literary SALO+N in 2018 and donated a portion of its festival weekend proceeds. Additionally, the staff and owners of Rough Draft have asked to be even more involved in 2019, and will be the venue for many more events to come.
WMCHealth (Kingston and Poughkeepsie)
Golden Artists Colors (national sponsor and mural paint supplier)
Lagunitas Brewing Company (national beer sponsor)
Berkshire Health Systems (North Adams)
MASS MoCA (for assessment)
Reis Insurance Group
von Trapp Brewing
Ulster County Tourism
Queen City Lofts
Non-Profit Sector Strategies
Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley (EXPO+ sponsor)
Amsterdam Columbia Realty
Bear Call Mastering
Rough Draft Bar & Books
Murphy Realty Group
Santa Fe Restaurant
Ryan & Ryan Insurance
J.K.’s Wine and Liquor
Mainetti & Mainetti, P.C.
Variety Coffee Roasters
Tides Foundation: $420,000
Lawson Valentine Foundation: $2,500
Nuhn Trust: $1,500
Stinchcomb Family Foundation: $1,500
Thaddeus Foundation: $1,000
William Grant & Sons (Tuthilltown Distillery): $1,000
Bank of Greene County: $500
Gala Auction: $40,877.68 (except gala sponsorships)
O+ Festival Wristband Donations: $48,252
George Ahl: $25,000
Hurley Avenue Family Medicine: $5,000 (gala sponsor)
Flo Orzo: $3,000
Stephen, Sarah and Edward Columbia: $2,500 (gala sponsor)
Carmen Flamino: $1,500
David Ping: $1,000 (gala sponsor)
Michael Pisacane: $1,000 (gala sponsor)
O+ Partners who donate in-kind services and goods:
O+ could not build community and take care of so many without the outpouring of support from these exceptional individuals, businesses and companies that provide their products, services and credit at their stores. From day one in 2010 O+ has been about valuing each other equally and accepting whatever anyone is able to give. These fine companies give what they can to help O+ complete its mission:
Alchemist Custom Cycling Apparel
Brew Dr. Kombucha
Herzog’s Home & Paint Centers
ImmuneSchein Ginger Elixirs
Institute for Family Health
The Mill House Brewing Company
The Ginger People
Utility Bicycle Works
Variety Coffee Roasters
YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County
Jane Bloodgood-Abrams, Nani Chacon, Vivien Collens, Joe Concra, Jill Draper, Faith 47, Gaia, GERALUZ, Jessie and Katey, Carolita Johnson, Kieran Kinsella, Harvey Konigsberg, Polly Law, Ocean Lofgren, Norm Magnusson, Dr. Joel Mandelbaum, Linda Mary Montano, Jeffrey Milstein, Sean Andrew Murray, Andrew Nelson, Stuart Okorofsky, Denise Orzo, Franc Palaia, Kevin Paulsen, Matt Pleva, Giselle Potter, Johnny Poux, Jess X. Snow, Eugene Stetz, Jim Toia, WERC, Layqa Nuna Yawar
BUSINESSES / NONPROFITS / INDIVIDUALS
The Actors Fund, Anahata, The Anchor, BSP, The Beverly, Canine-Corner, La Charla, Dr. Thomas Cingel, Clove & Creek, Melissa Cohen (interior designer), The Corner at Hotel Tivoli, Dawn’s Dog Boarding, Dia: Beacon, Duo Bistro, Event Atlas, Evermore Pet Food, The Forsyth B&B, GlampStar, The Hot Spot, Hurley Avenue Family Medicine, JK’s Wine & Liquor, Don Johnson, Le Petit Bistro, Michael Pisacane, Rainbow Body Yoga, The Rhinecliff, Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Ruth Mandelbaum, Stockade FC, Storm King Art Center, Street Art Mural Tours, The Taste of Rhinebeck, Two Ravens, Upstate Films, The Village Tea Room, Woodstock Healing Arts, Yoga Lab, Zephyr Float
In 2018, O+ had nine Board members, 12 administrative staff, and hundreds of volunteers representing the cultural life and health industry of the Hudson Valley.
Thanks to a 3-year capacity-building grant administered through the Tides Foundation, O+ employed three full time employees and 11 part-time staff:
Executive Director – Joe Concra
Director of Operations – Aimee Gardner
Director of Communications – Kathleen Murray
Program and Sponsorship Assistant – Molly Sterrs
Graphic Designer – Micah Blumenthal
Web/IT Director – Lauren Gill
Director of Music – Jeff Mercel
Art Co-Directors – Denise Orzo & Kimberly Kae
Clinic Director/Nursing Specialist – Shannon Light
O+ Poughkeepsie Festival Director – Corene Concepcion-Rivera
O+ Kingston Festival Director – Sarah Van Buren
Plus the hundreds of volunteers that power each city’s festivals
In 2018, O+ welcomed new members who bring legal and development expertise to the Board of Directors. They are: Dawn Morrison, Executive Director of the NDH Foundation; Amy Short, consultant with Mountain Crone Corp; and Susan Von Reusner, Principal Attorney at The Law Office of Susan C. von Reusner PLC.
“As someone who raises money in a traditional healthcare setting I have had the opportunity to see the struggles and frustration people have with navigating the healthcare system,” O+ board member Dawn Morrison says. “O+ offers a voice for those who may be disenfranchised in a very fun and progressive thinking way. I am proud to have an opportunity to help the mission move forward.”
Theresa Widmann – President
Founder, Anahata Yoga & More
Liz Harrington – Secretary (until June 2018)
Business Development Consultant/Growth Director, Hudson Valley Current
John Cappello – Board Member
Land Use, Environmental & Municipal Lawyer
Jacobowitz and Gubits, LLP
Justin Goldman – Treasurer
Financial Services, The Bank of Greene County
Dawn Morrison – Board Member
Executive Director, NDH Foundation
David Ping – Board Member
President, David Ping Group
Michael Pisacane – Board Member
Owner, MAP Financial
Amy Short – Board Member
Consultant, Mountain Crone Corp.
Daniel Stone – Board Member (until June 2018)
Partner, Evolving Media Network, and Senior Creative Technologist, Moonfarmer
Susan Von Reusner – Board Member
Principal Attorney at The Law Office of Susan C. von Reusner PLC
There is no better testament to the work we do than when alumni artist and musicians return as festival volunteers. Alumni musicians Megan Jean and Byrne Klay of Megan Jean and the KFB returned to Kingston to volunteer alongside Lara Hope and Matt Goldpaugh at our festival home base, accepting donations for all-access wristbands and answering attendees’ questions. In addition, Hope introduced some of the 2018 bands at Keegan Ales.
Legendary bassist Sara Lee stepped in wherever she was needed: Artists’ Clinic, Green Room and HO+ME Base. And Duane Mark was both a 2018 performer and volunteer.